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I'm using Catalina on an formatted APFS SSD and am finding a correct way to backup the OS. In the plugged in external HDD, I create a backup volume with APFS format using Disk Utility. But when I choose it as the backup volume in Time Machine, Time Machine requires the volume have to be erased. I did it and then go to Disk Utility to check, the volume is now formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

Should I continue to use it? Will it occur any problems when I make a restore from backups on a Mac OS Extended (Journaled) to an APFS SSD? Thanks for any help.

1 Answer 1

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Time Machine in Catalina only supports HFS+ as a destination volume. The first macOS that supports APFS as a destination volume is Big Sur.

ref:

https://support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/types-of-disks-you-can-use-with-time-machine-mh15139/10.15/mac/10.15

vs:

https://support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/types-of-disks-you-can-use-with-time-machine-mh15139/11.0/mac/11.0

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  • And in my experience, Big Sur Time Machine backing up to APFS is much superior (speed, reliability, usability) to backing up to HFS+. This is true whether the destination is HDD or SSD.
    – Gilby
    Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 9:53
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    That, of course, requires you to run Big Sur, and who wants to do that at this point if you don't have to? Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 16:17

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