[Guide] How to Unlock and Decrypt FileVault

EliteMacx86

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 22, 2018
Motherboard
GIGABYTE Z370 AROUS GAMING 3
CPU
Intel Core i9 9900K
Graphics
2xAMD RX 580 8GB
OS X/macOS
10.14.6
Bootloader
Clover (UEFI)
Mac
MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS
How to Unlock and Decrypt FileVault

If you have tried to enable FileVault and cannot boot into macOS, this guide is for you. FileVault has few requirements and if you do it properly you can have FileVault working without any issues. But if you have not taken measures, you can end up in a sticky situation where you're unable to boot into macOS except the recovery. In my previous post, i already discussed how to enable FileVault. For more information, you can read the guide here

To unlock and Decrypt FileVault, you need a passphrase which was offered to you when setting up FileVault.

Unlocking and Decrypting FileVault
First you must unlock the drive and then decrypt the FileVault. The very first step is to boot into recovery drive. Once you're booted into recovery, follow the steps below.

1. Login into your Account with your system password.
2. From Utilities, open Terminal
3. Type the following commands

Get a list of APFS Volume on your system
Code:
diskutil apfs list
It will provide the list of the APFS volumes. Try to look for the locked volume. In my case, it was disk1s5.

Type:
Code:
diskutil apfs unlockVolume /dev/disk1s5
Enter your passphrase and it will unlock the volume.
Get a list of the users.
Code:
diskutil apfs listcryptousers /dev/disk1s5
You'll see two cryptographic users. You need to use Personal Recovery User

Type:
Code:
diskutil apfs decryptVolume /dev/disk1s1 -user XXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX
When promoted, enter your passphrase and it will start the decryption.
To check the decryption status, type:
Code:
diskutil apfs list
Once the decryption is completed, you can restart the system and continue to boot into macOS normally. To enable FileVault properly, follow the guide below.