Which one between APFS and Mac OS Extended (Journaled) performs better as partition store type for Time Machine backup in an external HDD (Magnetic Storage over USB connectivity)?


Note this answer now depends on the version of OSX/macOS you have.

This answer is for macOS Catalina and earlier versions - Big Sur now can use APFS - see Apple's Types of disks you can use with Time Machine on Mac You can also use HFS+ as before.

You can't use APFS as a Time Machine target:


Time Machine drives must be HFS+. That will likely change in the future but currently it is HFS+ only.


Now it can be done:

macOS 11.0 Big Sur: The Ars Technica review …in Big Sur, Time Machine does make the leap from using HFS+ to using APFS… https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/11/macos-11-0-big-sur-the-ars-technica-review/9/

  • better to quote Apple documentation rather than a third party
    – mmmmmm
    Jan 22 at 23:23
  • 1
    Given the incredibly poor job that Apple does of maintaining documentation on the web, and considering that Ars has macOS reviews going back 20 years, I think I'd actually prefer Ars. Here's a Wayback Machine link just in case: web.archive.org/web/20210105104812/https://arstechnica.com/…
    – TJ Luoma
    Jan 22 at 23:30
  • Yes I have learned on Apple's document slide - I made an internet archive copy too when I linked to the page in my edit of the other answer
    – mmmmmm
    Jan 23 at 1:40

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