Error unlocking APFS volume - how to fix and recover data?

By Juno | Posted to Mac Data Recovery on January 9th, 2018 |

I have an APFS disk that has been encrypted, and now is unreadable. It seems it was interrupted during encryption and it is half encrypted. It doesn't mount, doesn't unmount, doesn't eject, and also freezes Disk Utility whenever connected. When plugged, it asks for the password one time. If it is correct, it asks for a second time, but disk does not mount after that message box disappear. I'm running 10.13 High Sierra. Is there any idea to fix this issue?

After upgrading to macOS Catalina 10.15/Mojave 10.14/High Sierra 10.13, our Mac internal hard drive will not only be formatted to be APFS, but also will be automatically encrypted. It is quite controversial that Apple encrypted drive without informing in advance. Some Mac users are not satisfied with this, especially when they can't unlock encrypted APFS drive.

Sometimes, there are errors happen to our APFS drive and make it can't be unlocked even with the right password. Unlocking APFS volume error can be caused by file system error, damaged or corrupted drive, etc.

After we found our APFS drive can't be unlocked, the first thing comes to our mind is how to rescue files on the encrypted drive. It is not an easy thing to recover lost data from encrypted APFS volume, and many Mac data recovery software don't support that at all. Fortunately, iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is one the a few Mac data recovery software that supports encrypted APFS data recovery.

How to fix can't be unlocked APFS volume?

For the security of our files, we can firstly recover data from can't be unlocked APFS drive, and then try to fix it.

Step 1: Recover data from can't be unlocked APFS volume with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is a professional Mac data recovery software that can recover data from can't be unlocked APFS drive, recover deleted/lost files from APFS drive, recover data from formatted APFS hard drive, recover data from unmountable APFS drive, recover data from unreadable APFS hard drive, recover data from corrupted APFS drive, recover deleted/lost APFS partition, etc.

Aside from APFS data recovery, iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery can also recover data from FAT32 drives, exFAT drives, HFS+ drives, recover data from formatted, unmountable, unreadable or corrupted hard drive, external hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card, pen drive, etc.

Tutorial to recover data from can't be unlocked APFS drive with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

1. Launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery on Mac and click "Find Lost APFS Partition" on the top right corner. Then you will see all connected hard drives.

Recover data from APFS encrypted volume with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

2. Select the drive which contains your APFS encrypted volume and click "Next" button. The software will list all APFS volumes on the selected drive.

Recover data from APFS encrypted volume with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

3. Choose the APFS encrypted volume that you want to recover data from and click "Next".

Recover data from APFS encrypted volume with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

4. Enter the correct password and click "OK" to start searching for lost files on the volume.

Recover data from APFS encrypted volume with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

5. Preview the listed searching results, choose files you need, then click "Recover" to get lost files back.

Recover data from APFS encrypted volume with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

6. Go through to ensure we have got all lost files back.

Step 2: Fix can't be unlocked APFS volume by formatting

1. Launch Disk Utility.

2. Select the can't be unlocked APFS volume on the left part of the window.

3. Click Erase on the top of the window.

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

Juno

Juno is a technical expert @iBoysoft. She has over 5-year experience in data recovery/repair technology. She loves to write data recovery tips and tutorials.

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