APFS is the fastest and most advantageous file system introduced by Apple which is also the default file system of macOS High Sierra. This is the reason why when you install this new operating system on your Mac, your hard drive is converted to APFS automatically. You won’t have any choice in this matter and won’t be able to stop this conversion from happening. While APFS is definitely a better file system, if you have a reason for not wanting to convert to this new file system then you can skip this process. It will ensure that the drive remains on the Mac OS Extended file format as before. However, do keep in mind that you shouldn’t be attempting this unless you are an advanced user.
If you want to skip the transition of the file system of your SSD from HFS+ to APFS then you can use the following steps.
Do keep in mind that in order for this procedure to work, you need to have the complete macOS Higher Sierra installer instead of the mini installer. The reason for this is that the full installer contains the options that are required for skipping the conversion to the APFS on macOS High Sierra installation.
If you have been using the beta version of macOS High Sierra then you might remember having a toggle setting. It allowed users to avert the APFS conversion when installing the new operating system. This toggle setting was only a part of the initial versions of the macOS High Sierra, though. You won’t find such a setting on the version of the macOS High Sierra that is available for download now. If you don’t use the abovementioned method then there is no way for you to skip the conversion of your drive to APFS.
APFS is the newest file system which was introduced by Apple in the year 2016. It is the default file system for the latest version of the Mac OS, macOS High Sierra. Apple has made considerable improvements to this new file system. They have eliminated a lot of the issues with the HFS+ or Mac OS Extended file system that came before the APFS. It has a lot of advantages over its predecessors and is definitely a recommended file system for people who have an SSD on board their Mac or are using any type of flash memory storage.
The reason why APFS is so effective is because it is a lot faster than the file systems that came before it. Copying and pasting folders using APFS is far quicker than it was with HFS+. It is an instantaneous process which completes within seconds. Besides being fast, APFS is also incredibly reliable. Apple has removed the vulnerabilities from this new file system which means that there is lesser chance of file corruption with APFS. It is important to note that APFS is optimized for SSDs and Flash drives. This means that it is designed primarily for these two types of hard drive. So, if you have an SSD or flash drive on your Mac then it would wise for you to keep APFS as its default file system.
However, there are some downsides to having APFS as the default file system for your hard drive. For starters, you won’t be able to use that drive on any Mac which doesn’t have the macOS High Sierra installed on it. The reason for this is that APFS is only compatible with this latest version of Mac OS. It won’t work with any previous versions like El Capitan. Also, you won’t be able to use that drive on a Windows PC as well since APFS is not compatible with Windows too. Thus, if cross-platform compatibility is what you need then transitioning to APFS upon installation of macOS High Sierra is something that you might want to avoid.
While APFS is an excellent file system for flash and solid state drives, it is not so great when it comes to mechanical or hybrid drives. Since it has not been optimized for HDDs, its benefits for them are a little unclear and can’t be measured. Thus, for such hard drives, it is better to make use of HFS+. Even macOS High Sierra uses HFS+ as the default file system for such types of hard drives instead of APFS. So, if you don’t have an SSD or flash drive aboard your Mac, it is best that you keep the HFS+ file system and skip the transition to the APFS.
APFS is a very beneficial file system which can greatly improve the performance of your SSD or flash drive and make it more reliable. However, if you don’t want to lose the ability to use the drive with Macs that don’t have the macOS High Sierra then you can skip the APFS transition. It requires you to perform a set of steps when installing the macOS High Sierra. If you follow the steps and complete the procedure then you would be able to keep the HFS+ file system.