MBP M1 Ventura.

I use multiple external HDDs for storage /editing videos, photos, original music.

Should I convert them APFS or stick with HFS+?


1 Answer 1


I can’t recommend HFS+ for anything but external disks that are magnetic and workload that is read write.

That’s precisely your setup, so go with HFS+.

Everything else should be APFS (storage HDD, internal and external SSD).

The speed and features you will give up on Apple silicon and internal storage is so great of an advantage, I can’t see any reason ever to have your main storage not APFS with your generation or newer hardware.

For your external HDD - if you have invested in tools to repair them and have many copies of drives, HFS+ is still a fine choice and I see no reason to force everything to APFS. You may also have speed degradation with APFS, but this will depend on your choice of software as well as exactly how you connect things, what speed and capacity and generation of HDD you have.

Unless you’re buying a dozen drives and doing professional work, I wouldn’t spend time benchmarking APFS vs HFS+ and leave external things HFS+ for the next couple years.

  • Thanks! That’s the conclusion I reached. I do have 15 HDD spread across 2 Drobos and JBODs dedicated to various functions. About to dump the Drobos for an all JBOD with manual b/up. RAIDS are too expensive and inefficient for what you get space wise. And you still need the backup anyway. Thoughts?
    – Hoon
    Commented Jul 11 at 14:12
  • Bingo. How will you ever back up the RAID. They just don’t work for home users. $25k and tape backup is the minimum cost of entry for me and better if you’re spending $50k on RAID controller and storage and software. Then it makes sense for a business. Drobo is so much pain for little gain….
    – bmike
    Commented Jul 12 at 1:35
  • thanks for the affirmation!
    – Hoon
    Commented 21 hours ago

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