APFS Data Recovery

APFS, short for Apple File System, is a relatively new filesystem released in 2017 and came to replace HFS+ which has been used in Apple computers for the last 30 years.

So you have just deleted important files and folders by mistake or accidentally formatted a device hosting APFS volumes and now looking for a way to recover data. Since it is a brand-new filesystem, there are very few data recovery solutions with ReclaiMe being among those tools which capable of recovering data from a APFS-formatted device.

How to recover data from APFS volume

  1. Pull the disk out of your Mac - disconnect an external drive or reassemble the Mac box to get the internal disk out. You may consider searching the web for the instructions like this for your particular Mac.
  2. Connect the disk to a PC running Windows. Use either a SATA port on the motherboard or an USB-to-SATA adapter.
  3. Download and install ReclaiMe File Recovery on the PC.
  4. Launch ReclaiMe File Recovery and select the APFS partition for recovery.
  5. Wait till the software brings data from the APFS volumes.
  6. Check some files, preferably images, in the preview. Apple Filesystem data recovery with ReclaiMe File Recovery
  7. Purchase a license key and copy data.

Specifics of APFS data recovery

  • If there are several volumes on the APFS-formatted device, in ReclaiMe you should get folders under the root folder named after the APFS volumes names.
  • Since APFS is a copy-on-write filesystem, data recovery typically brings many versions of the same file which are filtered by the comprehensive algorithm in ReclaiMe File Recovery; however, you can still get many “deleted” files under the unrelated folders and many scattered pieces of files and folders under the Unclassified folder.
  • Although APFS can be case-sensitive or not, ReclaiMe treats an APFS-formatted device as a case-sensitive.
  • APFS was designed to be used on SSD drives and uses TRIM command to inform an underlying drive which blocks are no longer used and therefore can be wiped. This can negatively affect the quality of recovering deleted data but in conjunction with copy-on-write feature the overall situation may be better as it may seem.
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