How to Create a New APFS Volume on your macOS Sierra?

As many of you think, Apple’s new file system “APFS” isn’t targeted towards a particular platform. According to Apple, it is a file system that fits into all of Apple’s OS variants (macOS, tvOS, iOS, and watchOS).

Now, this file system is available as pre-release software on macOS Sierra, the latest desktop and server OS from Apple. But, this feature is currently experimental. Anyhow by 2017, APFS is expected to become the default file system on iOS and macOS Sierra.


Current APFS File System on macOS Sierra   

The experimental APFS file system has some limitations as a file system on macOS Sierra. Here’re few.

  1. Time Machine backup won’t work if you’re using an APFS drive.
  2. In Fusion hard drives (Apple’s hybrid hard drives that use SSDs+ HDDs features), current APFS file system can’t be used.
  3. FileVault program in Macs won’t work with APFS drives.
  4. Mac Startup disks can’t use APFS file system.

If you want to test APFS on your macOS Sierra machine, you’ll have to wipe an existed drive and it should be reformatted with APFS.

In case you don’t want to use your internal hard disk, you can choose a USB flash drive or external hard disk for APFS. Anyhow before formatting your HFS+ drive, don’t forget to take backup of all the data on that drive. Or else, you may rush to find out a way to restore lost data in future.

Steps to Convert a Drive in macOS Sierra to APFS 

  1. Open your Terminal program and run the command “diskutil list” without quotes.
  2. Now, you can find out identifier of the drive you want to format.
  3. To format this drive with APFS, you have to create an APFS container on the drive. For that run diskutil apfs createContainer /dev/disk3 command (here, disk3 is the identifier of your drive.
  4. It’s the time to add an APFS volume. To do this, run this command -> diskutil apfs addVolume disk3 APFS myAPFS (Here, myAPFS is the name of new APFS volume.
  5. You’ve created your first APFS volume. Anytime, you can format this drive with another known file system using Disk Utility program on your Mac.
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John Harris

Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.

As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.

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