How to repair/fix corrupted APFS drive/container/volume?

Posted by Katrina to Mac Data Recovery Tips on October 31st, 2018

APFS is now widely used on Mac. However, after the initial release of the file system, many people have suffered from bugs and corruptions in the APFS and they are unable to access their data on APFS drives. This article acquaints you with solutions to fix APFS corruption and tutorial to recover lost data from corrupted APFS drives/containers/volumes.

Solutions to repair/fix corrupted APFS drive/container/volume

If you have important files on the corrupted APFS drive, it's highly recommended to restore lost data before disk repair. Because the disk repair process will overwrite the original data, resulting in irreparable data loss. If you don't care about all data on the APFS drive or you have made a backup, you can jump to specific solutions.

At first: Recover lost data from corrupted APFS drive/container/volume

iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac can help you recover lost data from corrupted APFS drives and recover lost data from corrupted APFS container/volume on macOS Catalina/Mojave/High Sierra. It deserves the best APFS data recovery software as it works perfectly in different data loss scenarios. iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is able to recover lost data from formatted APFS hard drive, recover lost data from unreadable APFS hard drive, recover lost data from unmountable APFS drive, recover lost data from corrupted APFS drive, recover deleted/lost APFS partition, etc.

Besides APFS data recovery, iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac also perform well on HFS, HFS+, exFAT, FAT32. It supports multiple file formats like documents, pictures, audios, videos, emails and different storage devices like hard drive, external hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card, pen drive, etc.

Tutorial to recover lost data from lost data from corrupted APFS drive/container/volume:

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

Step 2: Launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac, and select the disk with corrupted APFS drive/container/volume.

PS: If the APFS disk isn't listed on the screen, you can click on "Find Lost APFS Partitions" from the top right corner.

Recover lost data from lost data from corrupted APFS drive/container/volume

Step 3: Click "Next" to scan for the lost data.

Step 4: Preview the scanning results, choose files you want to get back.

Step 5: Click "Recover" button to recover lost data from the corrupted APFS drive/container/volume.

Solution 1: Use Disk Utility

Disk Utility's First Aid is a free built-in disk repair tool, which can help you check and verify minor error on disks. If there is any problems with your disks, the first choice is always to run First Aid.

Step 1: Go to Utilities > Disk Utility.

Step 2: Select the corrupted APFS drive/container/volume.

Step 3: Click on First Aid from the top. It will take a while to verify and fix the error.

Solution 2: Run FSCK command in Single User Mode

If Disk Utility cannot repair the APFS partition, you can also try FSCK command to fix APFS corruption. Firstly, you need to boot into Single User Mode. Follow the guide below:

Step 1: To boot the Mac in Single User Mode, you need to ensure that your Mac is shut down totally and the press Command + S as soon as you hear the boot chime.

Step 2: On successful entrance in Single User Mode, type the command fsck –fy.

Tips: If a message generated is "File system was modified", then again run fsck –fy.

Step 3: If it will generate a message "The volume (name) appears to be OK", type reboot and leave Single User Mode.

Recover lost data from failed internal hard drive

Step 4: Boot Mac back into OS.

Solution 3: Erase the corrupted APFS drive/container/volume

This operation will clean the whole APFS drive/container/volume, please make sure you have baked up or recovered lost data with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac.

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

Step 2: Select the disk with corrupted APFS drive/container/volume from the sidebar.

Step 3: Click Erase on the top of the window and follow the instructions to finish the formatting process.

Common symptoms of APFS corruption

1. Partition problems with APFS containers. There are problems occurs when resizing/erasing/merging an APFS partition.

2. Unable to create pre-boot volume. Some people complain that when attempting to install new macOS, the error: "Could not create a pre-boot volume for APFS install" pops out.

3. Problems with encrypted APFS drive. Some users encounter unexpected interruption when encrypting APFS drive. While accessing the APFS volume, many people get error message: "APFS encrypted volume won't accept password".

4. Disk Utility can't repair the APFS drive/container/volume. When checking the APFS partition with Disk Utility, many users receive error message: "container/volume superblock is invalid" and "fsroot tree is invalid".

5. Mac computer won't boot after Mojave/High Sierra boot.

Why does APFS corruption happen?

Like any other file systems, there are numerous reasons making an APFS drive/partition corrupted and inaccessible. The following are some common ones:

Virus attack
Improper hard drive formatting
Unsafe ejection of external drives
Operating system re-installation
Sudden power surge
Corruption or deletion of APFS containers
Hardware failure


This article focus on reasons and solutions to repair/fix corrupted APFS drive/container/volume. The truth is that unexpected corruptions happen to any file system. To avoid APFS corruptions, please regularly check the APFS drive condition and defragment it to keep your system running smoothly. In addition, to protect yourself from data loss, please back up important data regularly using Time Machine.

How to backup Mac with Time Machine?

Meanwhile, keep a professional data recovery tool like iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac on your computer to save your life in a crisis.

Still have questions?