Can't find newly-created encrypted folder

Hi All,
I just used Disk Utility to create an encrypted folder for my Mac running Mojave 10.14.3 on my 12" retina 2017. It all went according to plan: the dmg appeared mounted in Finder, and I could see the files. To be extra sure, I restarted, and now I can’t find it anywhere, not on iCloud where the Mac now stores my Desktop, not anywhere on my Mac. I tried Finder search and HoudahSpot. Any ideas about what might have happened? Am I searching the wrong way or in the wrong places? Or is the dmg gone, and I need to start over?

Hi Cathy,

Hmm, that’s weird. I’m wondering, what if you try this:

  • Open a new Finder window
  • Select the appropriate button in the toolbar to display the files in “list view” (or use the keyboard shortcut Command-2)
  • Hit Command-F (for “find”)
  • At the top, make sure Search: This Mac is selected, so that you are searching your entire Mac
  • Below that, select Kind is Other from the dropdown menus
  • In the new free-text field that appears, type in Disk Image

This should show you all the disk image files on your Mac (it will include not only .dmg files, but also sparse bundles and other image files).

Now if you click on the Date Modified column header to sort by date modified, you should be able to easily identify the disk image files that you most recently changed. Theoretically, yours should be among the most recent ones, since you literally just modified it. And if you see it there and select it, you can see the path to it at the bottom of the finder window, so then you know where it is.

Maybe this will help you to locate the file?

Hope this helps! :slightly_smiling_face:

Perhaps even easier: If your folder is no longer mounted as a disc image, and it probably isn’t if you restarted, just do a search on “sparseimage” – that is the file format for encrypted folders. Look over the results for your new encrypted file (it won’t appear as a folder when it’s not mounted.)

I have only a few encrypted folders on my Mac, but if you have gazillions, you might have to refine this a bit.

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And another thought: I believe the Finder doesn’t normally search the trash. So, just in case the file has somehow accidentally ended up in the trash: open the trash folder and sort by date modified to see what floats to the top of the list there.

Oh, and it just occurs to me that the Finder has a “Recents” filter under “Favorites” in the sidebar. (If it’s not there, go to the Finder preferences, “Sidebar” tab, and select to display “Recents”.) Maybe that’ll help you find the file.

Yep, it was in the trash. Not sure why or how, but there you go. I’ve misplaced stuff like that before and never know why. ;(