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DDPE Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



What is encryption?

  • Encryption is a process in which data is “scrambled” using an encryption key.
  • This makes the data unreadable and inaccessible to unauthorized users.

How is DDPE or DEE different from current encryption solutions?

  • Dell Data Protection | Encryption (DDPE) and Dell Encryption Enterprise (DEE) are basically the same product that is branded differently in Windows and macOS.
  • Dell Data Protection on Windows is file-based encryption (as compared to full disk encryption), which means that:
    • It will only encrypt actual data on your system
    • It will not include the blank areas of your hard drive.
  • This makes the encryption processing much faster and more efficient.
  • Dell Encryption Enterprise on Mac uses Apple's built-in FileVault 2 encryption, so:
    • It does not require a separate preboot password.
    • You can upgrade macOS without decrypting your computer.

Does DDPE or DEE work on both Windows and Mac?

  • Yes. On Windows systems, Dell Data Protection uses its own local client to process encryption.
  • On Apple Macintosh systems, Dell Encryption Enterprise (which is how DDPE is branded on macOS) will use the native Apple FileVault 2 encryption application to encrypt your hard drive.
  • The Dell Data Protection or Dell Encryption Enterprise client will report the system’s encryption status back to UCSF's management servers in order to manage, track and report your computer's encryption status.

My Mac is already encrypted with FileVault 2; why do I need to install DEE?

  • DEE for Mac ensures that your computer remains encrypted and compliant with the UCSF minimum security standard.
  • DEE also saves a backup of your FileVault 2 recovery key, so you can regain access to your data if you forget your password.
  • If you do not use one of the UCSF standard encryption solutions, or if your Mac is running macOS Big Sur, you need to submit a Proof of Encryption form with the encryption recovery key to:

Do I need to encrypt a Virtual Machine (VM)?

  • You do not need to encrypt a Virtual Machine (VM) if the underlying host storage is encrypted.
    • Example: If you are running a Windows VM within a Mac that is encrypted with DEE, you do not need to encrypt the Windows VM.

What are the minimum requirements to run DDPE or DEE?

Supported Windows client operating systems:

  • Microsoft Windows 7
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1
  • Microsoft Windows 10
  • Windows 10 Enterprise is currently the only version of Windows supported by IT Field Services on UCSF-owned computers.
  • DDPE will run on Windows 7 and 8.1, but these versions of Windows are not supported by ITFS and are not recommended for UCSF-owned computers.

Supported macOS operating systems:

  • macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 (minimum requirement for Dell Encryption Enterprise)
  • macOS Mojave 10.14.6
  • macOS Catalina 10.15.7
  • macOS Mojave, Catalina and Big Sur are actively supported by IT Field Services on UCSF-owned computers
  • IMPORTANT: Dell Encryption Enterprise for Mac is discontinued by Dell and no longer distributed to Macs at UCSF.  Visit this page for details:

Minimum supported Windows hardware:

  • Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processor or AMD A series, FX, Opteron or Phenom II processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • >20 percent free hard disk space

Minimum supported Mac hardware:

  • Intel-based processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • >20 percent free hard disk space

How can I tell if DDPE or DEE is installed and if my system is encrypted?

  • On your Windows system, you will see the Dell Data Protection icon in your system tray.
  • Double-click this icon to:
    • Bring up the Dell Data Protection application
    • Display your encryption status
    • See a list showing the compliance state of each hard drive
  • On your Mac, open System Preferences and click Dell Data Protection or Dell Encryption Enterprise, then click encryption.
    • It will display the encryption status of each hard drive.
  • Further instructions:

How will DDPE or DEE affect my workflow when I'm accessing and moving encrypted files?

  • It will actively encrypt and decrypt files as you access them.
    • This will be transparent to you.
  • As you create a new file, it will encrypt and secure it.
  • It will only encrypt data on your local system.
    • If you email a file or move it to a location away from your system, it will decrypt it.

Will I need a preboot password in order to start my computer?

  • No. Dell Data Protection on Windows does not require a preboot password.
  • Encryption keys for your most sensitive files (such as Office files and PDFs) will be loaded into your system following a successful user login, so you do not need a separate preboot password.

Do I need to decrypt my computer to upgrade the OS?

  • If you have a Windows PC, you should not need to uninstall or decrypt DDPE before
    • Upgrading from Windows 7/8 to Windows 10
    • Applying Windows 10 major feature updates
  • We recommend creating a full backup and installing the most recent version of DDPE before upgrading Windows.
  • Contact the IT Service Desk at 415-514-4100 or at for assistance. 
  • If you have a Mac, you should not need to uninstall or decrypt with DEE before upgrading from OS X 10.7+ to later versions of OS X / macOS.
  • We recommend creating a full backup and installing the most recent version of DEE before upgrading macOS.

How can I receive help with DDPE or DEE?

  • If you have further questions or are experiencing any issues with your Dell Data Protection Encryption application, you can call the UCSF IT Service Desk at 415-514-4100 or submit a ticket at

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