Does Seagate Ultra Touch have password protection?

Introducing the Seagate Ultra Touch External Hard Drive

The Seagate Ultra Touch is an external hard drive that offers secure portable storage. It comes in capacities ranging from 1TB to 5TB, providing ample space for backups, media libraries, and file transfers 1.

Some key features of the Seagate Ultra Touch include:

  • USB-C and USB 3.0 compatibility for fast file transfers
  • Password protection and AES-256 bit hardware encryption to secure files
  • File sync and backup software to easily manage data
  • Textile design for durability and portability

The Ultra Touch comes formatted for Windows and Mac right out of the box for plug-and-play use. Its slim, lightweight design makes it easy to take the hard drive anywhere. Overall, the Seagate Ultra Touch provides reliable and secure storage in a compact, travel-friendly form factor 2.

Understanding Hard Drive Encryption

Hard drive encryption is a technology that uses sophisticated mathematical algorithms called ciphers to encrypt the data stored on a hard drive (Source). The purpose of hard drive encryption is to convert the readable data on the physical disk into an unreadable format that cannot be accessed without the correct decryption key or password.

When encryption is enabled, everything written to the hard drive gets encrypted on the fly before being stored. Conversely, everything read from the drive gets decrypted before it reaches the operating system. This prevents unauthorized access to the encrypted data. Even if the hard drive is removed from the device, the data remains inaccessible without the decryption key.

Full disk encryption encrypts the entire drive, including the operating system files. File or folder encryption encrypts only designated files or folders stored on the drive. Hard drive encryption provides a strong level of protection against physical theft and prevents data access if the device is lost, stolen or improperly decommissioned.

Seagate’s Hardware Encryption Technology

Seagate uses proprietary hardware encryption technology on drives like the Seagate Ultra Touch to encrypt data on the drive1. This technology encrypts all data on the fly using a random, unique encryption key that is stored in a separate, isolated memory chip on the hard drive itself. The encryption and decryption processes happen automatically at the hardware level, without needing any special software installed.

Some key advantages of Seagate’s hardware encryption approach are1:

  • No impact on drive performance since encryption/decryption is handled in hardware
  • Encryption works across platforms and operating systems since no drivers or software required
  • Keys are securely stored on the hardware and cannot be accessed from operating system
  • Data remains inaccessible if drive is disconnected or moved to another device

In summary, Seagate Ultra Touch uses always-on hardware encryption to securely protect data without any user setup required.

Password Protection on the Seagate Ultra Touch

The Seagate Ultra Touch external hard drive comes with built-in password protection and hardware encryption capabilities. Seagate uses its proprietary Seagate Secure technology to enable password protection and file encryption on the drive.

According to the Seagate Ultra Touch user manual, the drive uses AES-256 bit encryption to securely protect files on the disk. AES-256 is an advanced encryption standard used by governments and corporations to keep data secure.

To enable password protection and file encryption, users must download and install the Seagate Toolkit software. The Toolkit gives you the option to set a password during the setup process. Once a password is set, all existing and new files written to the disk will be encrypted.

When trying to access the encrypted files on the Ultra Touch drive, the Toolkit software will prompt you for the password to decrypt and access those files. If the wrong password is entered, the files will remain encrypted and inaccessible.

According to Seagate (per the Ultra Touch product page), “The Seagate Secure encryption technology on Ultra Touch protects your private files across all devices – Windows®, Mac, Android and iOS”. So password protection works across operating systems.

In summary, the Seagate Ultra Touch implements hardware-based AES-256 encryption to securely password protect files on the drive. The encryption is managed through Seagate’s Toolkit software.

Setting a Password on the Ultra Touch

Setting up password protection on the Seagate Ultra Touch external hard drive is simple with the Seagate Toolkit software.

First, download and install the Seagate Toolkit for your operating system from the Seagate Toolkit downloads page.

Once installed, open the Toolkit and click on ‘Seagate Secure’ in the main menu. This will open the Seagate Secure screen.

On the Seagate Secure screen, click on ‘Change Password’. You will be prompted to set a password.

Enter your desired password and click ‘OK’. Be sure to choose a strong password that is not easily guessed.

You will be prompted to re-enter the password to confirm. Enter it again and click ‘OK’.

That’s it! Your Seagate Ultra Touch drive is now password protected. All existing and new data on the drive will be encrypted.

To access the encrypted data in the future, simply reconnect the Ultra Touch drive and enter the password when prompted by the Seagate Toolkit.

Accessing Encrypted Files with the Password

Once you set a password on the Seagate Ultra Touch drive, all the files stored on the drive will be encrypted. To access those encrypted files, you need to unlock the drive by entering the correct password.

Here are the steps to unlock and access your encrypted files on the Seagate Ultra Touch using the password:

  1. Connect the Ultra Touch drive to your computer via USB.
  2. Open the Seagate Toolkit application. This can be downloaded from the Seagate website.
  3. In Toolkit, click on ‘Seagate Secure’ on the main menu.
  4. Click on ‘Unlock Drive’.
  5. Enter your password and click ‘Continue’.
  6. If the password is correct, the drive will unlock and mount, allowing access to the encrypted files.

Once unlocked, you can access, view, edit, copy, move files on the Ultra Touch normally through the file explorer. The encryption is transparent to the user.

Closing the Toolkit app or disconnecting the drive will automatically re-lock it. To access the files again, you’ll need to unlock the drive with the password again.

If you forget the password, it cannot be recovered or reset even by Seagate. The only option is to erase the drive which will delete all data. So make sure to remember or securely store the password.

Resetting the Password

If you forget the password for your Seagate Ultra Touch drive, you can reset it using the Seagate Toolkit software. According to the Seagate Toolkit User Manual, there are a couple options for resetting the password:

You can reset your password using a recovery key if you set one up previously. The recovery key allows you to generate a new password without losing data access. Refer to the Seagate Toolkit software to use your recovery key and reset the password.

If you did not set up a recovery key, then the only way to reset the password is to delete the entire drive. This will erase all data on the drive and allow you to set a new password. Be aware that data cannot be recovered after a reset like this, according to the Seagate Secure FAQ.

The moral of the story is to set up a recovery key when you first set your password. The recovery key gives you a backup option for getting back into your encrypted drive if you ever forget the password. Just be sure to keep the recovery key in a safe place.

Security Considerations

While password protection offers an extra layer of security for your data, there are some important warnings and best practices to keep in mind:

Choose a strong password that would be difficult for someone else to guess. Avoid using personal information or common words. A longer, more complex password is harder to crack. See Microsoft’s tips on creating a strong password.

Do not share your password with others. The encryption is only as secure as the password itself. Anyone with the password can access the encrypted files.

Be careful not to forget your password, as this could result in permanent data loss. Seagate does not have a way to recover or reset passwords.

Always eject the drive properly before removing it. Forgetting to eject could lead to data corruption or loss of the encryption keys.

Keep backups in a separate secure location in case your drive gets damaged, lost, or stolen. The password alone will not help recover data off a failed drive.

Understand that if you forget the password, the data is irretrievable. Seagate does not have a “backdoor” to access password-protected drives.

Password protection alone may not fully prevent unauthorized access. Use best practices like physical control, hidden volumes, and strong passwords.

Alternatives to Seagate Ultra Touch

While the Seagate Ultra Touch offers convenient password protection and encryption, there are other external hard drives on the market that provide similar security features. Two popular alternatives include:

Western Digital My Passport External SSD – This SSD comes with 256-bit AES hardware encryption that can be activated through included software. A password can be set to restrict access to encrypted files on the drive (1).

LaCie Rugged Secure External HDD – The LaCie drive has Seagate Secure self-encrypting technology built-in, allowing users to set a password to protect data. The encryption meets FIPS 140-2 Level 2 standards for added security assurance (2).

Both of these drives provide password protection and encryption capabilities comparable to the Seagate Ultra Touch. When choosing an external drive, it’s worth comparing security features as well as aspects like durability, speed, compatibility, size, and price.




The Seagate Ultra Touch external hard drive offers robust password protection and hardware encryption capabilities to keep your data secure. By setting a password in the Toolkit software, you can restrict access to the files stored on the drive. Only by inputting this password can you unlock and view the encrypted contents.

The Ultra Touch uses Seagate’s proprietary AES-256 bit encryption to encrypt files, providing protection even if the drive itself is lost or stolen. The password acts as the key to decrypt the data. Just be sure not to forget your password, as resetting will erase all data on the drive.

Overall, the Seagate Ultra Touch provides trusted security features allowing you to transport sensitive files and keep them protected. The hardware encryption and password access give you peace of mind that your data remains secure from unauthorized access.