9 Fixes For Could Not Create A Preboot Volume For APFS Install Error

When you try to reinstall the OS, a notification states that it could not create a preboot volume for APFS install. It’s a brand-new error. It is still unfamiliar to many Mac users.

It’s not precisely what you’re looking for. Some users are still trying to fix this problem. They are not likely to understand why it is occurring. The easiest fix would be to follow the steps on this page. 

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to predict whether or not it will happen to you. It’s better to be prepared by learning how to handle any errors that may arise during your macOS reinstall.

This post will demonstrate how to cope with it. 

What Is Preboot Volume on Mac?

could not create a preboot volume for APFS install

The Preboot volume is a new system partition that aids in boot process management. This partition was created after upgrading to macOS High Sierra, allowing you to boot from an APFS disc (a volume named Macintosh HD).

The issue “could not create a preboot volume for APFS install” appears at the end of the installation procedure. So you believe everything is OK and you’re ready to depart. Then, the issue displays when you’ve completed the installation to 100 percent.

Your file system may be updated to APFS or Apple File System, which is why this issue appears. To put it another way, APFS is a brand-new file system. It’s the Apple device’s next-generation file system.

Unfortunately, Apple’s new file system is not supported by macOS 2 or High Sierra. As a result, the error appears: this APFS volume’s container does not appear to have a preboot volume. This does not imply that you must purchase a new Mac. It’s just a question of switching your Mac’s existing file system to APFS.

What Causes the “Could not create a Preboot Volume for APFS Install” Error??

Wrong Format: In most situations, the problem arises because the hard disc on which the OS is being installed is formatted incorrectly. To repair the “Could not create a Preboot Volume for APFS Install” problem on your computer, use the steps below to alter the format of your HDD.

Wrong Installation Technique: You may be installing the OS using a method that isn’t working for you. If that’s the case, try installing it from a bootable USB and see if that resolves the “Could not create a Preboot Volume for APFS Install” issue.

We can now start applying the solutions for this issue now that you’ve been led through most of the causes behind it.

Solutions to Fix Could Not Create A Preboot Volume For APFS Install Error

  1. Delete Partition or Volume
  2. Upgrade to APFS on macOS High Sierra
  3. Change Format to macOS Extended
  4. Create a Blank APFS Container
  5. Delete Your Partition (Volume)
  6. Enter Internet Recovery Mode
  7. Tweak the APFS format 
  8. Tweak the APFS Format (Alternative Method)
  9. Reinstall macOS Using Bootable USB

Let us go through each of them separately:

Solution 1: Delete Partition or Volume

The first option is to delete a volume or partition. This is the best solution for your El Capitan. The steps outlined below will teach you how to accomplish this.

  • Turn off your Mac. Then, to start your Mac, hold down Command+ R + the power button on your keyboard. Hold those keys down until you see the Apple logo appear on your screen.
  • To get rid of the current disc and create a new one, go to Disk Utility. Select Disk Utility from the drop-down menu. After that, select the Continue tab to open a new window.
  • Select the name of your Mac on the left-hand side of the screen after you see the new window on your screen. Then, on the main screen, select the Erase tab. To confirm your activity, a pop-up dialogue box will display.
  • Turn off your Mac. Then restart your computer by hitting Option Command + R + Power on your keyboard. On your screen, you’ll notice a notification that says, “Starting Internet Recovery.”
  • To change partitions, select Disk Utility again once the screen has loaded. By selecting macOS Extended, you may create or reformat a disc. If you must do the latter, be careful to rename the folder Macintosh HD. After closing Disk Utility, go to the OS X utility window and select Reinstall OS X to reinstall OS X.
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Solution 2: Upgrade to APFS on macOS High Sierra

This option will help you repair the “could not create a preboot disc for APFS install” problem using macOS High Sierra. If the box next to Upgrade is ticked, you can do an automated upgrade. You may upgrade manually by following the procedures below if it isn’t.

The instructions outlined below will teach you how to do so:

  • Restart your computer. While doing so, simultaneously hold down the Command + R keys to put your Mac into recovery mode. Then, when the macOS utility window displays on your computer, select  Disk Utility.
  • Select the startup partition on the left-hand sidebar of the Disk Utility window.
  • Then pick Convert to APFS from the Edit menu. To confirm the conversion, a pop-up notice will display.
  • Restart your computer. It should be converted to the APFs scheme at this time. To double-check, use Command + I and look at the Format.

Solution 3: Change Format to macOS Extended

Change Format to macOS Extended

Because the APFS file system is the issue, reverting the disc format to macOS Extended (Journaled) would solve the problem. This is how you do it:

  • To boot into Mac Recovery mode, restart your Mac and immediately hit Command + R until you see the Apple logo.
  • Select Erase after selecting Macintosh HD.
  • Leave the information alone and confirm your action by selecting Erase again.
  • Turn off your Mac. Hold down the power button and the Command+Option,+R keys until the message appears “Starting the Internet Recovery process. This might take some time.”
  • Open Disk Utility, select Macintosh HD, and then select the Delete button (-) to erase the volume.
  • Select View > All Devices from the drop-down menu. Then choose the brand-named hard drive and select Partition.
  • Choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) as the format and GUID Partition Map as the Scheme for the partition Macintosh HD.
  • Apply the changes. Then, switch off Disk Utility and choose Reinstall macOS to try it again.

Solution 4: Create a Blank APFS Container

Create a Blank APFS Container

You can’t construct a preboot volume because you didn’t establish an empty APFS container (the default name is Macintosh HD). To do so, follow these steps:

  • To boot into Internet Recovery Mode, turn off your Mac, select the power button, then hold down Command Option + R until you see the spinning globe.
  • From the macOS utility window, select Disk Utility.
  • Select the primary hard disc with a brand name like 215 GB APPLE SSD SM256E Media from View > See All Devices, then Erase.
  • Name the drive Macintosh HD, format it as APFS, and pick GUID Partition Map as Scheme in the pop-up box.
  • Select Erase once more. Then, after exiting Disk Utility, select Reinstall macOS to install the most recent macOS version that is compatible with your Mac.

When Mac prompts you to select a starting drive on which to save the installation, select Macintosh HD.

If you get a “erase process failed” warning after attempting to delete the disc, make sure you entered Internet Recovery mode. To do this, press Command + Option + R . By choosing it and selecting the Unmount option, you may also unmount the container, Macintosh HD, and other volumes beneath the hard drive. Then repeat the procedure.

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Solution 5: Delete Your Partition (Volume)

This is the most successful technique for resolving the issue “could not build a Preboot Volume for APFS install.” Firstly,

  • Turn your Mac off.
  • Enter Recovery Mode on your Mac. Press and hold the Power button while pressing command + R until the Apple logo appears.
  • The menu of utilities will display.
  • Choose Disk Utility. All of your Mac’s drivers will be visible.
  • Erase the internal drive after selecting it. The drive will be erased as a result of this action.
  • Disk Utility should be closed.
  • You now have two choices:
  • Select the internal disc in Disk Utility and format it as “Mac OS Extended.” You may then reinstall macOS.
  • You may also restart your Mac after turning it off. Press and hold the Option + Command + R buttons together to enter the Internet Recovery Mode. And then choose Disk Utility. You’ll see a disc, which you should reformat as “Mac OS Extended” and rename “Macintosh HD.” Create a new drive and format it as “Mac OS Extended” if you don’t see it. After that, close Disk Utility and select Reinstall macOS.

By deleting this drive, you will be uninstalling the APFS system, which is the source of the problem and error, and you will be able to reinstall macOS.

Solution 6: Enter Internet Recovery Mode

To do so, follow these steps:

Enter Internet Recovery Mode
  • Restart your computer.
  • To put your Mac into Internet Recovery Mode, press Command + R + Alt/Option while your laptop is restarting.
  • You should choose WiFi and then go to Utilities.
  • When you select Reinstall OS, the original operating system should be installed on your machine.

Solution 7: Tweak the APFS format 

Changing the format back to macOS Extended can solve the problem because the APFS format causes this error on the hard disc. To do so, follow the steps below:

  • To boot into Mac Recovery Mode, restart your Mac device and press the “Command + R” keys until the Apple logo displays.
  • You should now see the macOS utility window appear in front of you. Select the Disk Utility option at the bottom of the list.
  • In the left side pane, select the “Macintosh HD” option. The major cause for this mistake is that you should see the APFS Volume + APFS written under Macintosh HD.
  • On the upper middle side of the window, select the “Erase” option. A pop-up notice will display, and you must select the Delete option to erase the disc.
  • Once the disc has been deleted, choose “Done” and shut down your computer.
  • Wait for your computer to shut down completely. Now, press the power button and the “Command + Option + R” buttons until you see the message “Starting Internet Recovery.” This might take some time.
  • In the macOS utility window, go back to the Disk Utility option.
  • In the left side pane, select “Macintosh HD” and then the Volume (-) option (located beside the View tab). A pop-up window will open; locate and choose the “Delete” option.
  • Choose the “See All Devices” option under the “View” tab. Select your primary hard disc and select the “Partition” option in the upper-middle section window.
  • In front of you, a new window will appear. Name the new partition Macintosh HD. Choose “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” as the format and “GUID partition table” as the scheme if necessary, then select the “Apply” button. A pop-up window will open; choose “Partition” and then “Done” after the operation is finished.
  • Finally, close Disk Utility and select “Reinstall macOS” to reinstall Mac OS X.
  • Now, during the reinstallation process, follow the on-screen instructions. After a successful installation, you should be able to address the could not create a preboot volume for the APFS install issue.

Solution 8: Tweak the APFS Format (Alternative Method)

This issue can be caused by a conflict in the APFS hard disc format. You can restore APFS by following the steps outlined below:

  • To begin, turn your computer “OFF” and wait until all of the power capacitors have been depleted. After a few minutes, restart your PC by pressing the “Power” button and pressing the “Command + Option + R” buttons to enter “Internet Recovery Mode.”
  • Look for the “Disk Utility” option in the macOS utility window.
  • Select “See All Devices” from the “View” menu, then find your main hard disc drive from the available list and select “Erase.”
  • Now go to the “Partition” tab and give the new partition the name Macintosh HD. Pick APFS as the format and the “GUID Partition Map” option as the scheme, and select the “Apply” button.
  • After completing the procedures above, quit the “Disk Utility” window. Then choose “Reinstall macOS” to reinstall macOS on your computer.
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Solution 9: Reinstall macOS Using Bootable USB

This problem can be resolved by installing macOS from a bootable USB drive. For a precise method, follow the steps listed below:

  • To begin, go to the Mac app store and access the “macOS High Sierra” beta install program. Now launch the app and wait for it to access macOS High Sierra.
  • Connect the USB drive to your computer and rename it “HighSierra.”
  • Now open the “Finder” window, travel to the “Applications” folder, and then to the “Utilities” folder. Double-select on the “Terminal” program to open it.
  • In the Terminal app, enter the following command: 

For macOS High Sierra Public Beta: 

"sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ Sierra\ Beta.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/HighSierra --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ Sierra\ Beta.app --nointeraction &&say Boot drive created".
  • Enter the admin password by pressing the Return key.
  • After that, when prompted, press “Y” and then the “Return” button.
  • The process of creating a bootable USB will begin right now. Wait for it to finish, then turn off your computer after making the bootable USB.
  • With the bootable USB plugged in, restart your PC and immediately select the “Option” button. Hold the Options button down until the Apple Menu appears in the foreground.
  • Select the last option, Install macOS High Sierra, from the Apple menu.
  • Wait for the next menu to load on the computer. The macOS utility window will appear in front of you after that. Select “Disk Utility” as the last option, wipe the hard drive and create a new partition.
  • After creating the new partition, return to the macOS utility window and choose “Install macOS” from the list.

During the reinstallation process, follow the on-screen directions and wait for it to finish.


That is all there is to it. You don’t have to be concerned about the error “could not build a preboot disc for APFS install” because it can be simply overcome. All you have to do now is upgrade your file system.

Keep in mind that various Mac models have different methods. This may or may not work on yours. I’ve tested on a couple of Macs (and others), and they all have this problem.


What Is An APFS Volume On Mac?

APFS, the successor to Mac OS Extended (HFS+), is tailored for SSD performance. It also has faster speeds, improved data security, and lower power and storage use. It’s utilized in macOS High Sierra and subsequent versions.

How Do I Convert APFS To OSX Extended?

You may convert APFS to OSX Extended or macOS Extended using the built-in application Disk Utility (Journaled). Using Spotlight, locate Disk utility, launch it, pick the in-demand drive, and select Erase to convert the format.
Choose OSX Extended/macOS Extended (Journaled) in the box next to Format and select Erase. You must boot into Recovery mode to operate on the starting disc – Macintosh HD.

What Is Preboot Volume On Mac?

The Preboot volume is a new system partition built to facilitate booting to an APFS disc when upgrading to macOS High Sierra.