APFS Data Recovery

APFS Data Recovery

What is APFS?

APFS, short for Apple File System, is a brand-new filesystem developed by Apple Inc. to be used on Apple computers starting with MacOS High Sierra. APFS was designed to replace HFS+, which has been successfully used on Mac computers for the past 30 years. The first release was in 2017 and since then it is the official filesystem for the MacOS devices.

Symptoms of APFS Filesystem Failure

When inserting, say, an external drive formatted to APFS, you get the message saying that "the disk inserted was not readable by this computer". Do not initialize the drive if it stores important information and you are going to recover data from it.

Error - APFS disk not readable

Another symptom is when you do not see your APFS volume on the desktop. If you launch Disk Utility you see the APFS partition is listed as uninitialized or not mounted. Trying to run First Aid on it gives you the following:

Error - First Aid doesn't work for apfs volume

Somehow or other but you lost access to data stored on the APFS volume and now you are looking for a way to get data back.

APFS Recovery

On the one hand, APFS, unlike the predecessor HFS+, has many built-in mechanisms designed to protect data from loss and damage: checksumming metadata, copy-on-write, snaphots. On the other hand, slight damage in metadata makes all the volume inaccessible.

One more aspect is that Apple File System is a brand-new filesystem released in 2017 and, therefore, there are not so many data recovery solutions. Those few which available are not tested well because there just were not enough APFS recovery cases solved.

Among the recovery solutions for an APFS-formatted storage, we should distinguish between those that run on Macs and those which need an APFS disk connected to a Windows PC. Both have their pros and cons.

We offer a Windows-based data recovery solution for an APFS-formatted storage – ReclaiMe File Recovery software. You need to get the disk out of the Mac, connect it to a Windows PC, and launch the software.

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APFS Recovery Specifics

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