How to Recover a Corrupted APFS Encrypted Drive

As a Mac user, I have always felt secure knowing that my data is protected with APFS encryption. However, that sense of security was shattered when I was unable to mount a disk and Disk Utility reported it as corrupted. I couldn’t use Disk Utility’s First Aid as it failed to repair the disk. Here is the story of how I recovered a corrupted encrypted APFS drive.

Trying out Open-Source Solution

I knew about paid solutions for data recovery, but I wanted to try looking for open-source solutions. I found a few candidates, including Afro, a file recovery tool for APFS on GitHub. Unfortunately, none of them worked, and I was left with no viable solution.

Avoiding the $99 fee

There are a handful of apps that can recover files from encrypted APFS drives, but most of them cost around $99. I tried using trials of some of the most popular tools like R-Studio, but I was unable to fit all the files I cared about in the free trial quota.


Right when I was about to give up and pay the $99 fee when I accidentally found a solution. Disk Drill is part of Setapp, a subscription-based service that provides access to a collection of curated apps for Mac users. You can sign up for a free week trial and recover all your files using Disk Drill Pro. With Disk Drill, I was able to recover all my files without any issues.


In conclusion, recovering a corrupted encrypted APFS drive can be a daunting task, but there are viable solutions available. While open-source solutions may seem tempting, they may not always work. Paid solutions can be expensive, but Setapp provides a more affordable option with access to a variety of useful apps, including Disk Drill.

tl;dr Sign up for a Setapp and use Disk Drill to recover your files for free.