Drive format - APFS, *ding* any drawbacks

I’m on Catalina and about to set up 3 new drives:

  • 500 GB SSD for photos library
  • 5 TB 2.5” spinning drive for general data including Plex library
  • 8 TB 3.5” spinning drive for Time Machine

My existing drives are about 4 years old and due replacement on my terms.

I know all of the positives of APFS, any drawbacks I should be aware of?

Slowness for non-SSDs. See:


Can’t be APFS yet, should instead be HFS+.
A recent guide:

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As mentioned, Time Machine drives must be HFS+. On the flip side, bootable clones of APFS drives must be APFS.

Beyond that, it’s up to you. Subject to the restrictions above, my rule of thumb is to use APFS for SSDs and HFS+ for spinning drives.

Thank you everyone. Putting my photos on an SSD compared to a 3.5” HDD has made a massive difference in the speed. And I’m feeling a little more comfortable about my data.


Soon, soon…

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