Transfer data from APFS volume to non APFS volume

Summary: You must be excited with the upgrade of new macOS along with the new APFS file system. Ever wondered how will you transfer the data back from an APFS to HFS volume.

This blog explains about transferring data from APFS to non-APFS volumes. Plus, it suggests using APFS compatible data recovery software as well.

Mac hard drive Recovery

While upgrading to macOS Ventura, it made a change in the disk format of the system by converting them to use the new Apple file System automatically. For volumes that aren’t automatically converted to APFS, you can convert them in Disk Utility later. Basically, it is one file system for all Apple products no matter which device you are using. It supports SSD/Flash drives too.  APFS was designed to overcome inherent deficiencies in HFS+. But don’t look at positive sides since it has limitations too. If you don’t follow the proper instructions while improvising your Mac, you might end up losing your valuable data.

Reason for moving data/APFS Limitations

Currently, APFS is in the first generation, and that means not everything is included yet. Things like compression are unavailable, which feels like an obvious next step. Though APFS brings many advantages over other file systems still there are several things you can’t yet do with it:

  • Not compatible with Time Machine for backups
  • FileVault for drive encryption
  • Apple’s new files system unable to format fusion drive
  • BootCamp doesn’t read from or write to APFS formatted volumes

Steps to move data from APFS to non APFS Volume

You have got several choices to move your data to non APFS volume if you have converted you drive to APFS before. Let’s see how you can do this:

  • The external drive with HFS+ or other supported format needs to be attached to your Mac for copying the files to that drive. Eject the attached drive and move it to the other Mac
  • Turn On file sharing for Mac upgraded with High Sierra, and mount it as a volume on the older Mac
  • By using Airdrop, you can always copy the data to another non APFS volume
  • To mount the remote volume, use different files transmission technology like Dropbox, SFTP, SMB or email, sync the files with a directory and send a file


The above steps include destructive operations that will delete all data contained on the Apple File System Drive. Please back up your data to an external drive or another backup solution before proceeding. You will lose your data if you don’t backup as you are going to delete APFS drive.

Data Loss Situation

Data loss situation is more likely happen in new generation APFS files system as there is too much we don’t know. Just don’t trust any critical data to any APFS volumes without having sufficient knowledge before performing any operation. Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac will help you as a saviour to overcome this situation. The software has Mojave support and is compatible with multiple file systems including the latest APFS. There are few software available for APFS file recovery and this is one of the best software with high success rate.

How can you get your data back from APFS?

Download Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac to recover data from APFS Volume. Watch the video below for APFS Data Recovery

To conclude

So lastly, keeping in mind the Pros and cons of Apple file system we should be very careful about the steps we follow. As APFS is in the development stage and if you stuck in any unwanted data loss situation then you could always trust Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac software in dealing with.

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