Restoring An Encrypted Folder From Time Machine

Because of how Espionage works, restoring from Time Machine can be either a simple process, or a complicated one, depending on whether or not the folder was locked at the point in time that you restore from.

It is strongly recommended that you first familiarize yourself with how Espionage works before proceeding with this document.

Preliminary Setup

  1. If the folder that you're trying to restore is currently under Espionage's control (i.e. it appears in the folder list), then quit any applications that may be accessing documents in this folder, and then make certain that the folder is disabled before proceeding (uncheck its "Enabled" checkbox, "Save Changes").
  2. Download iVisible, a free software that will allow you to see invisible files in the Finder.
  3. Run iVisible and click the "Make visible" button. The Finder will restart and you will be able to see invisible files.
  4. In the Finder, navigate to the folder so that it's selected (but not so that you're inside of it).
  5. Engage the flux capacitor, err.. open Time Machine.
  6. Go back in time to the point that you want to restore from.

At this point there are two possibilities...

Possibility #1: If The Folder Was Locked Or Disabled

You *WILL* see the folder in Time Machine and will *NOT* see the hidden sparseimage/sparsebundle in the parent folder.

This case is simple. Just select the folder, and click Restore as you normally would. Now open Espionage and re-enable the folder if it's there (if it's not, then add the folder back into Espionage, it will recognize it's already encrypted). Everything should be back to normal.

Possibility #2: If The Folder Was Unlocked

You will *NOT* see the folder. Instead you may or may not see an alias/link (it will have a little arrow on it). Let's say that your folder was on your Desktop and it's called Secret:

/Users/<your username>/Desktop/Secret

And let's assume you had it encrypted as a sparseimage. You will then see a file (in Time Machine) on your Desktop called ".Secret.sparseimage" here:

/Users/<your username>/Desktop/.Secret.sparseimage

NOTE: You will not see this file unless the Finder has been set to show invisible files via iVisible.

  1. This file is what you want to restore.
  2. Select it, and click restore.
  3. Now, out of Time Machine, move your folder (in this case, the "Secret" folder on the Desktop) to the trash, or rename it. Remember, it should be disabled in Espionage before you do this.
  4. Open Espionage. If there's an entry for the folder, select it, and re-check the Enabled checkbox and Save Changes. Otherwise, drag the invisible disk image onto Espionage to import it back in.

Your files should now be restored. You can unlock the folder, and set iVisible to hide invisible files.

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