With macOS High Sierra, Apple introduced its new file system called APFS (Apple File System) for Mac computers. APFS replaced the Mac OS Extended (HFS+) as the default file system for solid-state drives and other flash storage devices.
When macOS High Sierra is installed on an SSD, the drive is automatically converted to the APFS. Reports are coming in that the new macOS Mojave automatically converts not just SSDs but also hard drives to APFS when users upgrade from High Sierra to Mojave.
As you know, Windows 11 and Windows 10 do not support APFS by default. We need to install third-party file system drivers to open files in APFS drives. The rule doesn’t apply if you have installed Windows in dual boot with macOS on a Mac using Boot Camp as the required file system drivers are automatically installed by Boot Camp.
If you need to open an APFS drive, unfortunately, currently there is no free software out there that can help you open APFS drives in Window 11/10 for free! However, you can use the trial copy of software mentioned below to access APFS drives in Windows 11/10.
APFS for Windows by Paragon Software
APFS for Windows by Paragon Software is one of the software that you can use to access APFS in Windows 11 and earlier versions. By installing APFS for Windows, you will be able to view, read and write drives formatted with APFS.
The APFS for Windows, although is not free, offers 8-day trial. If you often need to access APFS drives in Windows 11/10, you better buy a copy of this software!
Download APFS for Windows by Paragon Software
MacDrive APFS another software around to help you access APFS formatted drives in Windows 11, Windows 10 and Windows 7. The catch, however, is that it can give you only read access to APFS drives. So, if you need both read and write access, Paragon APFS for Windows is the ideal solution for you.
Like Paragon APFS for Windows, MacDrive APFS is also not free. You can download the 5-day full trail copy by visiting the developer’s page.
UFS Explorer Standard Access
UFS Explorer Standard Access yet another commercial software out there to help you access files located in APFS drives. In addition to Windows 7 and Windows 8, UFS Explorer Standard Access supports Windows 10 as well.
“The rule doesn’t apply if you have installed Windows in dual boot with macOS on a Mac using Boot Camp as the required file system drivers are automatically installed by Boot Camp.”
Nikolaus Holzer says
Could not get APFS for Windows to work. At first sight everything works fine, but when you start to use and access your data on the APFS-Volume some applications have troubles with file access. You can access the files with other programs or copy them to a NTFS drive and open them, but what’s the sense in that…
Customer service has been completely unresponsive. It’s not a lot of money, but it is wasted. I’d better give it to charity.
Now I reformatted the shared disk to exFAT, so I can access it natively with both macOS and Windows.
I just did boot camp on a 2013 MacBook and can go from mac to windows from within mac. To go from windows to mac, I have to use the alt option key on reboot. Why can’t boot camp see the mac volume still? Surely this apfs issue isn’t still the problem?
Albert Eberli says
I have installed Mojave as Primary OSX and “Shared Data” in a separate APFS Volume in the same APFS-Container. Sadly APFS for Windows works only with the Primary OSX installed on the first Volume of the APFS Container. All other Volumes in the same Container are not recognized. So it is not usable for me at the moment.
crapware, useless stuf windwos should do by default.
Did you disable the Windows 10 Fast startup?
and also ensure the Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 redistributable Update 3 RC are installed?
I think Paragon makes great software (I am an unafiliated, unpaid fan) I was running it on an HP Server, serving 40 Mac Pros, all running InDesign… The Paragon Software was fast and and stable…
I’m using MacDrive in Windows 10 and so far everything seems to work fine (it can read only APFS and can read/write my USB3 HFS+ media drives natively so that KODI and other network devices can see my media shares via SMB3 in Windows the same as when I’m running Mojave.
On the Mac Mojave side, I have Tuxera NTFS and it has no issues read/writing NTFS (no data loss issues I’ve ever seen) and formatting drives in NTFS (e.g. for my Zidoo X9S, it wants NTFS so I bought a 5TB drive, formatted it and moved my 3D movie dumps of my 3D BD collection over to it and it works great, and that was done from OS X El Capitan before I even installed Windows 10 here, which had to wait until I replaced my Mini’s RAID0 drives with a 2TB SSD as you can’t install more than one boot drive on RAID0 and newer OS X versions don’t support RAID0 directly from the GUI at all).
Tried Paragon NTFS for Mac. Seemed to work initially but after a while noticed that the NTFS drive worked fine from the Mac side but got lots of missing files and file corruption issues when accessed from within Windows 10.
Support from Paragon was not responding to any of my requests/questions.
Recommend to avoid Paragon solutions all together if you really care about data integrity (and you should!).
Ken Granger says
I should have clarified that the application installs and sees my APFS portable drive but refuses to mount it, even in Read Only mode. And I should add that their website’s APFS for Windows – Troubleshooting page has several titles of articles but no content.
Very disappointed in the software and their customer support. I purchased their HFS+ for Windows and Microsoft NTFS for Mac products and they work fine. I need the APFS for Windows because I know have an APFS formatted disk and would like to be able to work on the files stored there when I’m at work on my Windows box. No luck.
Ken Granger says
Sadly, I’ve been unable to get Paragon’s APFS for Windows to work on two different Windows 10 PCs, and their support has been unresponsive after I sent them the log files they requested several weeks ago. I’d love to be able to say it works but it doesn’t.