After recently commissioning a new Mac mini as my primary Mac at home, I reconsidered how I was using my hard drives and decided to reformat a 4TB drive I was using as my main external storage. It’s time for APFS, I thought, but how does APFS actually work?

I found this great APFS FAQ over at The Mac Observer, but it glossed over something that every other article I looked at also missed. Sure, an APFS partition can contain multiple APFS volumes, but how do you actually create an APFS partition?

The short answer is, you don’t. When you are partitioning a drive and add an APFS partition, you will be asked for a volume name. The trick here is to understand what you’re actually creating. You will get a nameless APFS container (partition) which contains a single APFS volume that has the name you supplied. Thereafter, you can simply add additional named volumes to the nameless partition.

It’s simple, really, but nothing I read online covered this important aspect.


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