When creating a bootable installer for macOS, you may see the error message: “APFS disks may not be used as bootable install media.” Don’t worry, this error is usually easy to fix. In most cases, all you need to do is format your disk using the Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system instead of APFS.
File System Formats on Mac
There are founr main file system formats you can choose from when formatting a drive on macOS: APFS, Mac OS Extended (Journaled), ExFAT, and MS-DOS (FAT).
- APFS is the new default file system for all solid state drives (SSDs) and flash drives on macOS. It’s also the default file system for all iOS devices. While APFS is faster and more efficient than other file systems, it’s not compatible with as many devices and operating systems as the older Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format.
- Mac OS Extended (Journaled) has been the default file system for macOS for many years. If you’re formatting an external drive that will be used with a Mac, this is usually the best file system to choose.
- ExFAT is a cross-platform file system that can be read and written by macOS, Windows, and Linux. If you need to format a drive that will be used with all three operating systems, ExFAT is probably your best option.
- MS-DOS (FAT) is an older file system that’s not as efficient as modern file systems like APFS and Mac OS Extended. It’s only recommended if you need to format a drive for use with very old versions of macOS or Windows.
How to Fix the APFS Error in Disk Utility
Now that you know a little bit about the different file system formats on macOS, let’s look at how to fix the APFS error in Disk Utility.
Step 1: Open Disk Utility. You can find it in the Utilities folder in your Applications folder, or you can use Spotlight to search for it.
Step 2: Select your disk or partition in the sidebar of Disk Utility.
Step 3: Click the Erase button at the top-right of the window.
Step 4: In the Format drop-down menu, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
Step 5: Click the Erase button to format your disk.
After your disk has been formatted, you should be able to use it to create a bootable installer for macOS.
Now you know how to fix the APFS error in Disk Utility when trying to create a bootable installer for macOS. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.