Yes, you can mount HFS+ volumes with macOS High Sierra and Apple File System

“macOS High Sierra introduces a new file system call Apple File System, or APFS. APFS replaces the old file system, called HFS+,” Glenn Fleishman writes for Macworld. “APFS has a lot of inherent advantages beyond just being modernized that improve reliability and speed.”

Fleishman writes, “Chances are, however, that you have external hard drives and thumb drives formatted using HFS+.”

“Apple doesn’t require that you change the file system format on external drives,” Fleishman writes, “whether attached at startup or plugged in temporarily.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It just works. Of course, you’ll likely want to utilize APFS wherever you can for the performance and other advantages it offers.


  1. Yep. You can also mount NTFS, windows shares, etc, without issues. In disk utility, you can also reformat to all Mac and Windows formats. I just converted an NTFS volume to HFS+ for extra storage attached to my new 27 iMac with High Sierra (1TB SSD)

    1. Why did you choose HFS+ and not APFS? Are you protecting the ability to be able to move the external HDD to an older Mac (pre-High Sierra?). Or are you being conservative until APFS gets some mileage under its belt.

      Just curious.

    1. It’s not open source yet, and no announced plans to make it so. However, it would make a lot of sense for Apple to do so after it finishes its own platform roll-out and perhaps makes some additions (full file checksums, compression, etc…).

      I’m expecting we’ll here more about where Apple is going with APFS at the next WWDC.

  2. As long as It Just Works®, I’ll be good. That’s what I care about; it working. I’ve got a heap of external drives, formatted of course, the way they were supposed to be before this new system. We shall see. I don’t like that it, APFS, won’t boot from a regular disk. Maybe there is a reason. Must be…

  3. Seriously??? It would be pretty bloody stupid if High Sierra didn’t read and write to HFS+. I’ve just finished updating a dozen iMacs at my local community centre and they’re all perfectly fine running HFS+ on spinning rust. They were a tad sluggish for a couple of hours but that was just Spotlight reindexing. Only took about an hour to update too, unlike the half dozen Windows 10 laptops I had to do last week that took two fecking days before they stopped whinging!


    1. I’ve often thought I need to identify a way to postpone or disable indexing after imaging on the “spinning rust” computers you mention . . . if you have any kind of post-imaging workflow (perhaps account creation, etc.) it’s a painfully slow process. I’m down to just about 25 of those computers now but “not to self” to figure that out for the next go around!

    1. I don’t think they have. I also checked Wikipedia, and it’s a proprietary disk format. So, it’s unlikely that other operating systems will support it. If Linux does support it, it won’t be out-of-the-box. Instead, you’ll probably have to get an APFS driver from the non-free repositories.

    1. From what I have read, APFS does not support RAIDs, so there is one potential disadvantage for some.

      I am just hoping that APFS will eventually be usable (and work well with) Fusion drives and HDDs. SDDs, while getting more attractive, are still way outside my price range for the size drives I need (3 TB at least).

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