WD Drives No Longer Support Apple Encryption?

In a support call I opened, WD Support ended up telling me that standard Apple encryption (Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted) ) is no longer supported on WD external drives. That means, among other things, WD drives cannot be used for standard Apple Time Machine encrypted backups.

This is astonishing, as it makes many/most of the WD drives purchased by Mac users useless. I asked for confirmation a couple of times, but the support rep insisted it’s true.

is anyone from WD going to actually answer this? i would like to either see it confirmed or denied, but to leave it unanswered for 10 weeks seems wrong!!!

The problem that led to my WD Support call was that once formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted), Apple’s Disk Utility First Aid check would consistently return a status of failed - not repairable. This happened with multiple recent WD drives.

No thanks to WD (or Apple), I found a workaround for this. Using Apple’s Disk Utility:

  • First format the drive as FAT32.
  • Then reformat the drive as Mac OS Extended.
  • Finally again reformat the drive as Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted).

After this, the problem is gone. The drive can be reformatted as desired and passes Disk Utility First Aid forevermore.

Hope this is helpful.