How to Recover Lost Data from An Formatted APFS Hard Drive?

Written byChristinaUpdated on Jun 16, 2023
Gerhard Chou
Approved byGerhard Chou

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Help! Format an APFS hard drive by mistake, how to unformat it?

APFS hard drive is a hard drive which is using Apple File System. Data loss can happen on any type of hard drive, no matter what the file system is. If you format an APFS hard drive by mistake and don’t have a backup, you can find the data recovery solution to get lost data back in this article.

  •   Hello, I formatted an APFS external hard drive using Disk Utility Erase feature. All my videos and images were erased after erasing this drive. Is there any way to get the lost videos and images back?
  •   Hi, I have a backup drive which stores all my files of my work. This is a APFS drive and can be used on any Mac. Today, I connect it to a Windows PC, but it is not showing up. So, I try to use Disk Management to fix this issue. After fix, I find all files on the drive is gone, what should I do? How to get the lost files back?
  •   I formatted a hard drive to APFS and used it as a backup drive for my Mac. However, after a quick format, all data on the APFS hard drive was erased. How to unformat it?

unformat APFS hard drive on Mac or Windows

If the issues occur to you, you should find a quick method to help you unformat the APFS hard drive and get the lost data back as soon as possible.

How to unformat a APFS hard drive? How to recover lost data from an eased APFS SSD? Just read on.

Best method to unformat APFS hard drive on Mac or Windows PC

For the best data recovery result, stop using the APFS hard drive after formatting it. Immediately find a APFS unformat solution to recover lost data from the formatted or erased APFS hard drive. Data recovery software is the best solution to unformat an APFS hard drive on Windows PC or Mac.

Donemax Data Recovery is a powerful, safe and pretty simple to use data recovery software which supports APFS, HFS/HFS+, NTFS, NTFS+, ReFS, ExFAT, FAT, etc. With this powerful data recovery software, you can easily recover deleted files or formatted data from a APFS hard drive such as HDD, SSD, USB flash drive, memory card, etc.

Donemax Data Recovery for Mac

  • Recover lost data from formatted or erased APFS hard drive.
  • Recover permanently deleted files from APFS disk.
  • Recover inaccessible or corrupted data from APFS hard drive.

Follow the steps below to unformat an APFS hard drive:

Step 1. Download and install Donemax Data Recovery on your Windows PC or a Mac. Make sure the APFS hard drive is connected to your computer.

Step 2. Open Donemax Data Recovery, it shows all hard drives and devices on your computer. Select the formatted APFS hard drive to start data recovery.

unformat APFS hard drive

Step 3. Click on Scan button. Donemax Data Recovery will deeply scan the formatted APFS hard drive, finding all recoverable files.

unformat APFS hard drive

Step 4. Once the scan is completed, you can check the recoverable files by Type and Path. Then select the wanted files and save them.

unformat APFS hard drive

How to prevent data loss on APFS hard drive?

Even though the formatted data can be recovered by data recovery software, you still should prevent data loss on your hard drive. You’d better be carefully when you are planning to format your APFS hard drive. It is recommended to make a backup before you formatting your APFS hard drive.

If the APFS hard drive is the startup disk of your Mac, you can use a disk cloning application to help you create a bootable clone backup.

Unformat APFS hard drive FAQs:

  1. Just download Donemax Data Recovery and install it on your computer.
  2. Select the formatted APFS SSD.
  3. Click on Scan button to deeply scan the formatted SSD.
  4. After scanning, select wanted files and save them by clicking Recover button.
When you format a hard drive, the format process only deletes the entry of all files on the hard drive and make the disk space of the files be available for new files. Before the formatted data is overwritten by new files, you can use a data recovery tool to recover the formatted data.
Generally speaking, APFS is much faster than Mac OS Extended, and is used on SSD, for macOS High Sierra or later. Mac OS Extended can work on most of macOS versions and is good for HDD. Mostly, the Mac startup disk is APFS, Time Machine drive is Mac OS Extended.
No, the Windows PC can’t recognize an APFS drive, you should open disk management, find the APFS drive and initialize it so that it can be used on Windows PC.
Before you format the APFS hard drive, you’d better make a backup for all files stored on the APFS hard drive. You can download a disk cloning app to help you create a full bootable backup for your Mac.

Final Words:

Formatting an APFS hard drive using disk utility or other disk formatting tool will remove all data from the APFS hard drive. Fortunately, data recovery program can help you unformat APFS hard drive on Windows PC or Mac. Donemax Data Recovery is one of the most powerful data recovery programs. Follow the guide above, you can securely and quickly recover lost data from an APFS hard drive, SSD included, on Mac or Windows OS.

Contributing Writer


Christina is the senior editor of Donemax software who has worked in the company for 4+ years. She mainly writes the guides and solutions about data erasure, data transferring, data recovery and disk cloning to help users get the most out of their Windows and Mac. She likes to travel, enjoy country music and play games in her spare time.

Gerhard Chou
Editor in chief

Gerhard Chou

In order to effectively solve the problems for our customers, every article and troubleshooting solution published on our website has been strictly tested and practiced. Our editors love researching and using computers and testing software, and are willing to help computer users with their problems