Using PresSTORE with FileVault on Mac
Posted by Sven Koester on 31 July 2009 11:34

FileVault is a system in OS X 10.4 - 10.6 that protects files in the users home directories on a Macintosh computer by encrypting the home folder. While a user is logged in, his/her home folder including subfolders and files will appear like any normal home folder. It can be synchronized, backed up or archived as such.

However, upon logging off, FileVault encrypts the file system and stores it in a new image called sparse bundle, that among other files contains a directory holding chunks of 8 MB of the encrypted files.

In order to save these protected home directories using Synchronize, Backup or Backup2Go in PresSTORE while the user is NOT logged in, just save the /Users folder and define a filter to include all folders with a name ending in .sparsebundle for the Backup2Go template being used.

PresSTORE will then save the encrypted contents.

The sparse bundles allow further to create incremental backups, as only those 8 MB chunks with changes must be saved.


  1. Using PresSTORE with FileVault on OS X versions prior to 10.5 is not recommended.
  2. It is possible to restore the complete FileVault Home directory, but it is not possible to perform partial restore operations.
  3. Please note: File Vault 2 (OS X 10.7+) works differently. It encrypts the entire disk. An authorized user must have unlocked the disk before its contents becomes accessible.


Example filter definition:

sparsebundle filter example

























filter in b2go template

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Comments (4)
Christophe REMOND
16 October 2012 22:23
Does it mean that up to Lion, Backup2go cannot be used ?
Meilleures salutations,
Christophe REMOND pour HELIOS Software France
Andre Kuehnemund
26 October 2012 12:45
Backup2Go can be used with all supported versions of OS X. The article discusses Filevault and the difference between the original Filevault and Filevault2.
T. Binroth
11 May 2015 14:53

What about OS X Yosemite? Any major changes? Do I still have to define filter as described above?

Andre Kuehnemund
20 August 2015 10:28
The above filter only applies to Filevault 1 (OS X 10.4 - 10.6). As the last note in the above article points out, Filevault 2 (OS X 10.7+) works differently. Therefore, the above filter would not work with Yosemite.
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