How to revert/convert APFS to HFS/HFS+ without data loss?

Posted by Juno to Mac Data Recovery on December 22th, 2017

Summary: This article shows you two risk-free ways to revert/convert APFS to HFS/HFS+ without losing data. If unfortunately you lose data after changing APFS to HFS/HFS+, don't be panic. Download iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery to recover files with ease.

For many Mac users, it is not a pleasant experience to upgrade to macOS Mojave 10.14 or High Sierra 10.13 because the solid-state drives will be automatically converted from HFS/HFS+ to APFS. As the newest file system of Apple, APFS comes with some limitations and brings users troubles like the drive corruption after converting from HFS+ to APFS. If you're looking forward to reverting or converting APFS to HFS/HFS+ without losing data, here's the best solutions.

Before changing APFS to HFS/HFS+

First of all, it should be noted that under APFS, there is a new concept called container, which is the basic storage unit for APFS. Each APFS container contains one or more APFS volumes. So, here are the rules when converting APFS to HFS/HFS+:

Allowed: convert APFS container to HFS+ (also named Mac OS Extended)
Not allowed: convert a single APFS volume to HFS+
Not allowed: convert APFS to HFS

What's more, converting APFS back to HFS+/HFS will erase the drive and all data on it. Thus, please make sure you have a backup copy of the APFS container or the whole drive.

Part 1: Revert/convert APFS to HFS/HFS+

Method 1: Convert APFS to HFS/HFS+ in Disk Utility

You can convert APFS to Mac OS Extended (HFS+) with Mac's built-in APFS to HFS+ converter - Disk Utility. This process is destructive to the data on the APFS container/drive. So please check again if you have a backup copy.

Step 1: Go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.

Step 2: Select the drive that you want to convert/revert from APFS to HFS/HFS+.

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

Step 4: Complete the required name, select Mac OS Extended (HFS+) as the new format and then click Erase button.

When the process finishes, you'll get a clean HFS+ formatted drive and you can then copy back the data.

Method 2: Convert APFS to HFS/HFS+ with Terminal

You can also switch back to HFS/HFS+ from APFS with Terminal.

Step 1: Go to Applications > Utilities > Terminal.

Step 2: Type diskutil list and find the identifier of the APFS container.

Step 3: Type diskutil eraseDisk JHFS+ 'the disk name' /dev/'the identifier'. This process will wipe all the files in this APFS container.

Part 2: How to recover data after reverting/converting APFS to HFS+?

If you get into problems during the process of converting APFS to HFS+/HFS, such as HFS+ partition corruption, or data loss due to mistakenly APFS to HFS+ conversion, you can recover data with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is the best APFS data recovery software that can recover files after failing to convert APFS to HFS+, recover deleted/lost data from APFS volumes, recover data from formatted APFS drives, recover data from unmountable APFS drives, recover data from inaccessible APFS drives, recover data from corrupted APFS drives, recover deleted/lost APFS volumes, etc.

Step 1: Launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

Step 2: Choose the drive you converted from APFS to HFS+, click "Next" to scan for lost files on it.

Recover data after converting APFS to HFS+

Step 3: Preview the searching results, choose files you need, and click "Recover" to get lost files back.

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery also performs effective and reliable data recovery from drives formatted with other file systems (such as HFS, HFS+, FAT32 and exFAT), as well as data recovery from formatted, unreadable, unmountable, corrupted hard drives, external hard drives, memory cards, USB drives, Pen drives, etc. It's fully compatible with macOS Mojave 10.14/High Sierra 10.13/10.12/10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8/10.7.

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