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APFS Physical Store partition not mounting on Mac. How to access files on it?

Hi everyone, I'm having an issue with my Seagate USB APFS hard drive after upgrading to macOS Mojave 10.14.1. When I plug in the drive, it automatically converts to APFS Physical Store and is not mounting anymore. The drive is still detected in Disk Utility, but I can't access it. I know erasing or formatting the drive would fix the issue, but I don't want to lose the data that's on it. This has happened twice now to two of my Seagate hard drives after upgrading to Mojave. I was using APFS on High Sierra with these drives without any issues. Is Mojave known to convert APFS partitions to APFS Physical Store automatically? If so, is there a way to fix this without losing my data? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Best Answered by

iBoysoft author Jenny Zeng

Jenny Zeng

Answered on Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Run Disk Utility First Aid to repair the grayed-out APFS Physical Store partition. If it doesn't work, recover data on the drive and reformat it. 

APFS Physical Store is a term referring to a physical disk or partition that's formatted with APFS. Usually, only the boot drive will be converted to APFS when upgrading to macOS High Sierra or later. If your external hard drive was connected to your Mac in the upgrade, it likely will be converted to APFS.

As the first attempt to fix the unmountable APFS Physical Store partition, open Disk Utility, select your external hard drive, then click First Aid to check and repair it.

If your drive still won't mount, recover your files with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac, then format your drive in Disk Utility to start afresh. Follow the steps below:

Step 1: Download iBoysoft Data Recovery for free.

Step 2: Open the app, select the unmountable APFS Physical Store partition, and click “Search for Lost Data.”

Step 3: After the scan, preview the files on your drive.

Step 4: Check the box next to the files you want to recover, tap the Recover button and select a location to save the recovered files.

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