Encrypt Home Folder

elementary OS: 5.1 Hera Status: Verified

These steps document how to activate home folder encryption for an existing user account on elementary OS 5.1 Hera.

Install the required encryption packages

sudo add-apt-repository universe
sudo apt update
sudo apt install ecryptfs-utils cryptsetup

Create a temporary user account which has admin rights

Go to Applications > System Settings > User Accounts, click ”+” in the lower left corner and a new user with the following settings:

Click Create User.

Logout completely and Login with the temporary user

Open a Terminal and execute the following commands:

sudo ecryptfs-migrate-home -u <username>

Logout completely and Login with your normal user

Next up we’ll login with our regular user. This finishes the home encryption.


If everything went well, we remove the home directory backup:

sudo rm -rf /home/<username>.<hash>

We also delete the temporary user in the System Settings and make sure its home directory is removed:

sudo rm -rf /home/homecrypt