News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more. Tech help. No bull. We're community supported by donations from our Plus Members, and proud of it
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon
  • APFS changes affect Time Machine in macOS Big Sur

    Posted on Alex5723 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Non-Windows operating systems macOS APFS changes affect Time Machine in macOS Big Sur

    Viewing 4 reply threads
    • Author
      Posts
      • #2275982 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        APFS changes affect Time Machine in macOS Big Sur, encrypted drives in iOS 14

        “Apple is increasing its support for APFS on its computing platforms, bringing the ability to use Time Machine with an APFS-formatted disk to macOS Big Sur, while enabling the ability to view external drives using encrypted APFS in iOS and iPadOS 14.”

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2276100 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        I’ve never heard of ‘AFPS’ until reading Alex’s original comment here; from reading the article to which Alex has provided a link, I gather it is a form of encryption. I have a Mac laptop, currently running macOS 14, a.k.a ‘Mojave.’

        When, and if I move on from ‘Mojave’ to ‘Big Sur’, would this new feature interfere with my ability to keep retrieving already backed up files with ‘Time Machine’ that are either not encrypted, or not encrypted with this (to me) novel type of encryption? If it does interfere, would there be a workaround?

        I think that any new development that has to do with the means used for backing up one’s data files and documents is an issue of legitimate concern that needs to be fully understood, thus my question here.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

        • #2276108 Reply
          PKCano
          Da Boss

          Apple moved to the AFPS file system in Catalina. I haven’t used my old Time Machine in a couple of yesra, but I don’t think it is compatible with APFS.

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2276115 Reply
            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            PK, This is a worry, then: would an incompatibility to save APFS encrypted files cripple one’s ability to keep using Time Machine, not only back up new files, but even to retrieve old ones already backed, encrypted or not?

            Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

            • #2276120 Reply
              PKCano
              Da Boss

              APFS = APple File System. (Equivalent in Win is NTFS). You need a Time Machine with APFS formatted drive.
              Whether you encrypt it or not is not a part of the need for the APFS formatted drive.

              2 users thanked author for this post.
              • #2276141 Reply
                OscarCP
                AskWoody Plus

                Well, now I am left with the impression that this is going to be a real problem for many, unless something analogous to the “Rosetta” software is made available by Apple to let users continue to be able to use their Time Machine external drives after installing “Big Sur”, instead of losing access to files and documents they have stored in there, or else having to do something complicated and perhaps expensive to get around the problem. I imagine that this could seriously an unnecessarily affect a lot of people.

                Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

              • #2276559 Reply
                anonymous
                Guest

                I don’t think comparing it to “rosetta” is appropriate. It is more like how MS Word can open/save/modify either a doc or docx format file. The newer format is more efficient and has more capabilities.

                In this case, when a Mac BS machine pics a APFS volume as a storage destination, it will use the APFS features of that volume to create a new backup format. When you pick an HFS+ volume it will use the HFS+ backup features. When you pick a NAS volume, it will create an HFS+ sparsebundle file to hold the backups.

                It seems completely implausible that they wouldn’t allow you to browse or restore from the older TM backup archives.
                It seems unlikely that they would limit new backup creation to AFPS destinations (with the new backup format) if only because

                • having people reformat existing external drives usually destroys previous data and is easy to mess up.
                • even if non-destructive reformat happens, it could not easily/efficiently/safely translate an existing backup archive into this new archive format (therefore they still need to read the original format no matter what).
                • limits compatibility of that drive for other purposes with older macs you may still have
                • buying new drives to start over would be significantly burdensome.
      • #2276157 Reply
        Nathan Parker
        AskWoody_MVP

        You won’t lose your files. What will happen is Apple will convert your existing Time Machine backup from being formatted from HFS+ (Apple’s old file system) to APFS (Apple’s new file system). You can choose whether to encrypt it or not in Time Machine preferences (I have mine encrypted for security reasons).

        Overall this is a good move since I’ve had some issues with Time Machine being a little funky backing up an APFS Mac to Time Machine since it still used HFS+. Longterm, this is a good move to ensure Time Machine and the Mac use the same underlying file system.

        In Catalina, Apple already moved the backup database from a .sparsebundle to a .backupbundle and performed the upgrade without any major issues.

        The only possible issue the Time Machine issue would cause is you couldn’t restore your Time Machine backup to an older, non-Catalina Mac, but you likely wouldn’t do that anyway.

        Nathan Parker

        • #2276160 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Nathan: “What will happen is Apple will convert your existing Time Machine backup from being formatted from HFS+ (Apple’s old file system) to APFS (Apple’s new file system).”

          So, when I move to “Big Sur” (from Mojave, where I moved from “Sierra”, the OS my Mac came on with when I bought it, back in June of 2017), I will have to do something so then the Mac will reformat my TM external hard disk, maybe first moving all that is in it into its own internal SSD and then writing everything back to the reformatted TM external disk in APFS-compatible formats? I imagine that will take some time.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

      • #2276161 Reply
        Nathan Parker
        AskWoody_MVP

        It won’t be a full reformat. It can “convert” to the new file system without a full reformat.

        Nathan Parker

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2276207 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        I gather it is a form of encryption

        No. APFS is Apple “new” file system since macOS High Sierra (10.13) and iOS 10.3, replacing HFS+.
        Your Mac iPhone iPad are probably using APFS file system since 2017.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    Viewing 4 reply threads

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: APFS changes affect Time Machine in macOS Big Sur

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.