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Be Aware of the Biggest Change in macOS High Sierra: APFS

After upgrading to macOS High Sierra on my MacBook, I also
converted my 512GB SSD Time Machine backup drive to APFS

Upgrading to macOS High Sierra? There are enough new features that it certainly seems worthwhile, though you’ll actually notice little difference in the upgrade since most of the changes are under-the-hood in car-speak and not necessarily visible.

Though mostly hidden from view, you do need to be aware that Apple has implemented APFS — the Apple File System — and it’s a ‘mandatory’ change when you upgrade if your Mac’s internal drive is a solid state one. (NOTE: If you have a Fusion or spinning hard disk drive (HDD), an upgrade to macOS High Sierra will not update your drives to APFS but the new operating system will be installed).

What does this change in the file system mean for you? It’s the wave of the future for Apple and works with iPhones and iPads so sharing files will be more seamless in the future. APFS is also a ‘modern’ file system optimized for fast, solid state drives (SSDs).

If you upgrade any Mac with an internal SSD, the Apple File System will automatically convert your drive and its contents (and yes, it will preserve your FileVault encryption if implemented since APFS fully supports FileVault). Like magic it just happens and the upgrade was surprisingly fast.

As far as I can tell (or from what I’ve experienced thus far) there are no “deal killers” by upgrading to macOS High Sierra, but you should be aware of what changing to APFS means.

Here are some things you need to know if you are upgrading:

a) Apple: Prepare for APFS in macOS High Sierra

b) OWC’s blog post: Translating Apple’s New High Sierra & APFS Compatibility Document

c) For those more technically-minded, here is an Apple File System Guide on Apple’s developer site that gets in to more detail.

d) Still on the fence about upgrading to macOS High Sierra or want to know a lot more? Ars Technica has the best in-depth analysis of the new operating system I’ve read yet.

At this point I’ve upgraded my MacBook to macOS High Sierra but not my main, production iMac since I cannot afford any hiccups with it. Still, I’ve seen absolutely nothing yet that would deter me from doing so, but on my main production machines I always wait at least a week to ensure there aren’t any “gotchas” with a new OS release. It’s likely by early next week I will have upgraded my iMac to macOS High Sierra too.

About Steve Borsch

I'm CEO of Marketing Directions, Inc., a trend forecasting, consulting and publishing firm in Minnesota. Prior to that I was Vice President, Strategic Alliances at Lawson Software in St. Paul where I was responsible for all partnerships at this major vendor of enterprise resource planning software products and services. Read more about me here unless you're already weary of me telling you how incredible and awesome I am.

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