How to Install macOS Mojave on HFS+ and Avoid APFS

How to Install macOS Mojave on HFS+ and Avoid APFS

by Ravi Singh
2 comments 6 views

macOS Mojave 10.14.3 is released and most Apple users have already upgraded their Macs. Many Mac and Hackintosh users are looking for a way to install macOS Mojave with HFS+ and avoid APFS conversion during installation on macOS Mojave.

The problem is, unlick High Sierra, the command used to avoid APFS conversion, –converttoapfs isn’t a recognized option in startosinstall

And therefore, in order to avoid APFS conversion, you need to find out an alternative way . Through a little research and common sense, I was able to install macOS Mojave on an HFS+ drive and prevented APFS conversion on my SSD. Interestingly, there are two distinct different ways to install macOS Mojave without APFS conversion and we have discussed each with step by step instruction and screenshots. Video guide will be uploaded soon.

Apple Mac users can also use these methods to avoid APFS conversion and install macOS Mojave 10.14 on HFS+ (macOS Journaled Partition).

Method 1: During macOS Mojave Installation

Both Apple users and Hackintosh users can use this method to prevent APFS conversion during macOS Mojave 10.14 installation. It’s easy and doesn’t take much time. However, you need to create a macOS installer media. Upgrading directly from macOS installer downloaded from App Store is not possible.

So visit this post and create a macOS Mojave installer media,

Before you proceed, please backup all your data using Time Machine backup or Carbon Copy Cloner app.

  1. Now turn off your Mac or PC and connect the macOS installer media
  2. Turn on your PC and continuously press boot option key to enter the boot menu
  3. Mac users turn on your system and hold Option key when your Mac starts
  4. Using arrow key, select macOS Mojave USB installer from the list and press ‘Enter/Return’
  5. Go through normal installation process by formatting the drive via Disk Utility and agreeing Terms and selecting the formatted Drive where you want to install macOS
  6. After sometimes, your Mac or PC reboots. As soon as it reboots, PC users must press the boot option key, usually F12, to enter boot menu and Mac users must press and hold Option key to again enter drive selection mode
  7. Once again, select the USB installer and let it boot. You will see the same installation window. However, this time, you need to go to Utilities and open Terminal App
  8. Now type following command:
  9. ls -l /Volumes
  10. From the volume lists, note down the name of SSD volume where you are installing the macOS
  11. Type
  12. cd /Volumes/SSD_Drive_NAME and press ‘Enter’
  13. Replace SSD_Drive_Namewith the name of your real SSD volume where macOS is being installed
  14. Now type
  15. cd “macos install data”
  16. Vi minstallconfig.xml
  17. Press ‘I’ letter on keyboard and then move the cursor to ‘ConvertToAPFS’. Below this, the value is true, move the cursor to ‘true‘ and use delete key to remove it
  18. Now type ‘false
  19. Press letter ‘I’ and then type :wqto quit vi editorafter saving the edits. In case you messed up things, type :q and Enter to quit without saving and restart again by typing the above-mentioned commands
  20. Once you successfully changed true to false, close the Terminal Window and restart the system
  21. Now this time, from clover boot loader screen, choose the SSD as the boot drive and this will begin the macOS High Sierra or Mojave installation without converting the SSD file system to APFS

If you face any issue, comment down below and we will get back to you ASAP with the right solution.

Method 2: After macOS Mojave Installation

This is one of the easiest but messy process, which required an external drive (SSD or HDD). In this method, you will be installing macOS Mojave 10.14 normally using USB installer with APFS file system but on the external hard drive or SSD. You can read this post on How to install macOS on external drive for more details. After installing Mojave, follow these instructions.

  1. Boot macOS Mojave from the external drive
  2. After initial setup and login, download and install Carbon Copy Cloner app
  3. Open Disk Utility and select the internal drive
  4. Click Erase. Enter the name you wish to give, choose macOS journaled and click ‘Erase’
  5. Run Carbon Copy Cloner app
  6. Choose Source drive as your external Disk and Destination your internal drive
  7. Click start cloning
  8. Wait for a while until the software finished cloning process

Now disconnect external drive and reboot system normally. Go to About Mac>System information and check the file system of your internal drive. You can also use Disk Utility to check the File System that must be HFS+.

So that’s how you avoid APFS conversion of your SSD, fusion drives, hybrid drives, and hard drive during and after macOS Mojave installation.

I hope this post was helpful, please share and subscribe for more such exclusive how to guides. You can also subscribe us on YouTube for video guides if reading is something you don’t prefer.


[email protected] June 6, 2021 - 4:38 pm

Hello, perfect your method 1 to keep HFS +. I’ll move on to Catalina soon. Does this method work for Mac OS 10.15? Thank you.

Ravi Singh June 6, 2021 - 5:39 pm

No, requires APFS.


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