Can't repair volume because other APFS volumes in its container are mounted, how to fix it without data loss?

Posted by Katrina to Mac Data Recovery on April 12th, 2018

I couldn't see my APFS external hard drive (WD My Passport 0746 Media) in Finder, so I went to Disk Utility and found the drive unmounted. Then I ran First Aid, but it failed to repair and showed me the error: "Can't repair volume because other APFS volumes in its container are mounted."

APFS comes with space sharing concept, in which container is the basic storage unit, and in a container there're multiple volumes. This feature allows space to be shared between volumes in a container, and helps the Mac manage free space on its hard drives more efficiently.

However, space sharing also makes some troubles. Since these APFS volumes share the free space, if errors happen to one volume, other volumes will get involved too. Therefore, when we use repair tool, some new data will be written on the damaged volume as well as the shared space. But for the sake of data security, we are not allowed to do so on the shared space, and then the error pops out: "Can't repair volume because other APFS volumes in its container are mounted". Under this circumstance, the drive/container can't be mounted and we can no longer access files stored on it.

Fix "Can't repair volume because other APFS volumes in its container are mounted" error without data loss

Since Disk Utility can't repair the unmountable APFS drive, the only and last solution is to fix the error by reformatting. But reformatting will erase all data stored on the drive. To avoid data loss, we should recover data from unmountable APFS drive firstly. As APFS is a new and complex file system, there are a few data recovery program in the market that can truly support it. iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is one of them.

Step 1: Recover data from unmountable APFS drive with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is one of a few data recovery software that offers comprehensive solution for APFS Data Recovery and encrypted APFS data recovery. It can recover data from unmountable APFS drive, recover data from formatted APFS drive, recover data from inaccessible APFS drive, recover data from unreadable APFS hard drive, recover data from corrupted APFS container/drive, recover deleted/lost data from APFS partition, etc. on macOS 10.15/10.14/10.13/10.12 and Mac OS X 10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8/10.7.

Besides, iBoysoft Mac Data can also recover data from HFS drive, HFS+ drive, FAT32 drive, exFAT drive, etc. It fully support storage devices like hard drive, external hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card, memory card and more.

Tutorial to recover lost data from unmountable APFS drive with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

After downloading and installing iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery on our Mac, only 4 steps needed to get lost files back.

Step 1: Launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

Recover data from unmountable APFS volume with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

Step 2: Choose the unmountable APFS drive, then click "Next" to scan for all lost files on the drive.

Step 3: Preview the scanning results, choose files we want to recover, and then click "Recover" to get lost data back.

Step 2: Fix "Can't repair volume because other APFS volumes in its container are mounted" error by reformatting

After successfully restored all lost data, we can fix "Can't repair volume because other APFS volumes in its container are mounted" error by reformatting it without worrying about any data loss.

1. Launch Disk Utility from Utilities.

2. Select the unmountable APFS drive on the left part of the window.

3. Click the Erase on the top of the Disk Utility window.

4. Complete the related information (name, format, scheme, etc.), then click Erase button.

Still have questions?