APFS Format on a Samsung T5 SSD

I’ve just got hold of a really rather nice 500GB Samsung T5 SSD.
This little external drive has USB 3.1, a great form-factor and is nice and fast.
It comes formatted in some FAT format and I wanted to move over to an Apple format - strangely there isn’t an option to make it APFS.
Can I format external SSDs as APFS? (I have the option with an external HD)
Does anyone know how to reveal the APFS option for an external SSD?

Same here. It wasn’t an option. I thought it would have been.

Andrew

It can be done. I have done it. But I do not have access to it right now guiding you through the process.

Key is that disk utility hides some devices on default and you must change the partitioning of the device to GUID. That is necessary to have APFS available setting up a new container. Have a look at this article (instructions for Carbon Copy Cloner, but it can be used for almost every other use case):
https://bombich.com/kb/ccc5/preparing-your-backup-disk-backup-os-x

An excerpt:

Disk Utility in High Sierra offers a very simplified view of your devices by default. Unfortunately, this hides the devices that you need to select to modify the partitioning of your backup disk. Before doing anything else in Disk Utility, choose Show All Devices from the View menu, or from the View popup button in Disk Utility’s toolbar.

(…) Click to select the disk that you would like to use for your backup. (…)

Click on the Erase button in Disk Utility’s toolbar, then configure the name, format, and partitioning scheme of your backup disk. You can set the name to whatever you like, but set the Scheme to GUID Partition Map.
(…)
Starting in macOS High Sierra, both APFS and Mac OS Extended (Journaled) are acceptable formats for a backup of macOS 10.13. Mirroring Apple’s recommendations, we recommend that you choose APFS if your destination device is a Flash storage-based device (e.g. an SSD) and will be used to back up 10.13 or higher. (…)

There is a downside to going down the APFS route: If my Samsung T5 (APFS) is connected, sometimes my iMac will not show the Apple logo when starting up or the logo will come after quite a long time. It might be an APFS issue, it might be a Samsung issue, it might be an issue because there is an APFS container with a clone backup of my iMac on it. I did not have the issue when I used Mac OS Journaled on my external SSD.

Keep in mind that you will use all Samsung proprietary stuff on the SSD (encryption stuff and so on). For me, it was a no-brainer to get rid of it.

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I was able to format following your instructions. Thank you.

Can you tell me why the drive, when I have it selected and I click the info ‘i’ in the top right corner of disc utility, shows a ‘No’ where it says Solid State? Is this not important, or should it not say Yes, as it is an SSD.
thanks

just picked up a bargain t5 and couldn’t get it to format apfs - thanks for this :slight_smile:

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I have two T5’s (500 Gb and 1 TB) hanging off my entry level 2018 Mac mini. I was able to reformat the smaller one into APFS, but I couldn’t get the larger one to erase in Disk Utility. I kept getting an error message that the operation couldn’t be completed. Not sure what I’m going to do, I might try to get a warranty replacement.

It is a pain when something like that happens. The easiest way may be getting a replacement.

Something different to try would be to do something crazy:

When I changed my NAS from QNAP to Synology, I had difficulties to wipe the hard drives and to get them recognized in the Synology NAS. Neither my Mac nor the Synology NAS recognized the hard drives correctly.

I attached the hard drives to a PC and used the Windows disk management tool to wipe the disks including their file system.

It worked like a charm. If you have access to a PC, it might be worth a try to delete everything (including partitions) from the SSD including the file system.

I have 2 T5’s and just checked the one that is currently plugged in. Both the volume and the device say “Solid state no” in the info panel. Interesting…