How to recover inaccessible APFS partition on Mac?

Posted by Vivian to Mac Data Recovery Tips on January 22nd, 2019

My internal disk is 500 GB, which has two partitions: APFS Physical Storage (301.02GB) and High Sierra (199.05 GB). The APFS partition is inaccessible in Disk Utility, and I currently log in to macOS High Sierra (199.05GB partition) on which I post this. There was a system (macOS High Sierra) and a lot of data on that 301.02 GB partition, I can't just erase it, how can I recover that APFS partition?

APFS is the default file system for macOS High Sierra 10.13, Mojave 10.14, and Catalina 10.15, macOS Big Sur 11. Its better space management and performance have attracted many users to try. However, improper operations could also make APFS a troublemaker. For instance, accidental deletion could make your APFS partition inaccessible or even lost. The worst thing is that your Mac can't even boot if the APFS partition loads the operating system, let alone access data on that APFS partition. Fortunately, you found this page which talks about how to recover an inaccessible APFS partition and recover lost data with ease.

Solution 1: Repair this inaccessible APFS partition with Disk Utility

If your APFS partition is inaccessible in Disk Utility, the file system of this partition might have some errors. Luckily enough, Mac has a native application called Disk Utility to repair minor disk errors. You can try to repair this partition with the following steps.

Step 1: Restart your Mac computer and immediately hold Command+ R keys to boot in macOS Recovery mode.

Step 2: Select Disk Utility in macOS Utilities and click "Continue".

Step 3: Click "Show all devices" in the View option and select the inaccessible APFS partition.

Step 4: Click First Aid at the top and click "Run" to check and repair this partition.

Solution 2: Recover lost data and reformat this APFS partition

Since Disk Utility can only repair some minor disk errors, it is possible that First Aid failed to repair this disk. If so, this partition might have undergone file system corruption and you need to reformat it to fix this issue. But remember never reformat a partition before you have a copy of data backup because reformatting will erase data. Instead, you can recover lost data from this inaccessible APFS partition with Mac data recovery software like iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac first.

iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is one of the best Mac data recovery software. Except for recovering data from inaccessible/lost APFS partitions, it can recover lost data from encrypted APFS volume and recover lost data from unreadable/formatted/deleted/unrecognizable HFS+, exFAT, FAT32 partitions and drives. Furthermore, this program supports Mac photo recovery, documents recovery, emails recovery, etc. on Mac computers.

Tutorial to recover lost data from inaccessible APFS partition

Step 1: Download, install and launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac on your Mac.

Step 2: Select the inaccessible APFS partition in the drive and partition list. If you don't see this partition, click "Find Lost APFS Partitions" in the upper right corner and select the drive where your inaccessible partition locates.

Mac drive and partition list - iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac

Step 3: Choose the APFS partiton you want to recover and click "Next" to scan for data.

Step 4: Double-click to preview the scanning results and select files you want to recover.

Preview scanning results - iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac

Step 5: Click "Recover" to get your data back.

After recovering data from this partition, you can reformat this APFS partition in Disk Utility so that you can use it again.

Tutorial to reformat APFS partition on Mac

Hope this article is helpful to recover your inaccessible APFS partition and to recover lost data from this APFS partition.

Still have questions?