This Volume Is Not Compatible with This Update When Installing macOS Sonoma

Are you facing the 'Volume is not compatible with this update' error during macOS Sonoma installation? Learn how to resolve it by reformatting your external drive with ease.

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Many Mac users may see the problem message "This volume is not compatible with this update," which might disturb the seamless transition to the macOS Sonoma update. The reason is likely a compatibility issue between the previous volume setup and the updated needs.

Users facing this challenge may seek efficient ways to connect their systems easily with Sonoma's improvements. In this detailed guide, we look into the fundamental causes of this compatibility mismatch and direct consumers to a practical solution, ensuring a smooth updating experience.

Recover Data Before Reformatting the External Drive in APFS

As you try to overcome the "This volume is not compatible with this update" error during your macOS Sonoma installation, preparing the basis for a smooth transition is critical. Before beginning the reformatting procedure, we suggest you prepare for probable data loss using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac.

EaseUS software allows you to protect your important files by easily recovering them in the event of formatting or other unexpected data loss circumstances, such as the volume is not mounted on macOS due to " error 0".

The program simplifies external disk reformatting recovery with a simple interface. With compatibility with several file formats, EaseUS can retrieve documents, images, and videos after formatting.

Here are steps to recover a formatted hard drive on a Mac:

Step 1. Search for lost files

Select the disk location to search for lost files (it can be an internal HDD/SSD or a removable storage device) on macOS Sierra, High Sierra, Mojave, Catalina, Big Sur, Monterey, Ventura, and the latest Sonoma. Click the "Search for lost files" button.

Note: Before data recovery, you'd better click "Disk Backup" from the left sidebar to create a backup of your Mac to avoid further data loss. After backing up, the software can recover data from the Mac backup, and your computer can wirte new data again.

Recover Data Step1

Step 2. Go through the scanning results

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac will immediately scan your selected disk volume and display the scanning results.

Recover Data Step2

Step 3. Select the file(s) and recover

In the scan results, select the file(s) to preview and click the "Recover" button to have them back.

Recover Data Step3

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Format the External Drive as APFS in Disk Utility

As you work to overcome the "volume is not compatible with this update" problem during your macOS Sonoma upgrade failed, converting your external drive to APFS (Apple File System) using Disk Utility is crucial.

This crucial operation assures compatibility with the upgrade and facilitates a seamless transition to the desired macOS Sonoma. We've created a thorough step-by-step tutorial to help you accurately erase and format your external drive.

Step 1. Launch "Disk Utility" from Launchpad or Spotlight or go to "Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility".

open Disk Utility

Step 2. Connect and find your external drive on the left side of the Disk Utility interface. Click on the external drive.

Step 3. Select the "Erase" option at the top of the Disk Utility window. Rename the drive if needed.

erase an external HDD

Step 4. Set the format to APFS for the best compatibility (APFS vs Mac OS Extended). Ensure that the scheme is set to GUID Partition Map.

Step 5. Click the "Erase" button in the confirmation box. To ensure the formatting was successful, use Disk Utility to examine the drive's current format.

Step 6. Click the drive's name on the left side to get more information. Make sure the Type section says "APFS Volume".

If your external drive is not shown in Disk Utility, for example, a WD hard drive is not showing up in Disk Utility, click "View" and then "Show all devices" to see all attached drives.

show all devices

This Volume Is Not Compatible With This Update, Why

I formatted the HDD as APFS. When I tried to install Sonoma, I got the error: "This volume is not compatible with this update". From IFIXIT Web

During macOS Sonoma installation, you may get the baffling "This volume is not compatible with this update" issue, disturbing your system upgrade. The major cause of this problem is the external hard drive's file system format. To ensure compatibility and fix this problem, reformat the external hard drive in APFS (Apple File System) format.

This advice is derived from macOS Sonoma, relying on the APFS format for best performance. Adopting APFS allows smooth interaction with the most recent macOS upgrades, enabling your machine to bypass compatibility issues and continue with the installation process.

In the following sections, we'll walk you through the preparation procedures before reformatting and give extensive instructions for using Disk Utility to format the external drive in APFS, guaranteeing a seamless and error-free updating experience.


Strategic solutions are needed to overcome macOS Sonoma update issues like the "This volume is not compatible with this update" problem. We've covered how to reformat your external drive in APFS format using Disk Utility to improve compatibility. This detailed tutorial helps users easily fix this problem and optimize their machine for the newest macOS version.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is the right tool for you; this adaptable program protects your data throughout system changes. The EaseUS experience is seamless and robust while recovering lost files or planning for data emergencies.

This Volume Is Not Compatible With This Update FAQs

Following are some queries "This volume is not compatible with this update" error that users ask:

1. How do we fix the update volume that could not be mounted for the target?

To use Disk Utility to repair a disk, you must first boot into a different volume. Therefore. Boot onto the Recovery volume or use Disk Utility to execute First Aid on all accessible volumes.

If the First Aid process has failed, consider using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac to save the stored data first, and ask for help from specialists to fix the HDD/SSD errors.

2. Why do I have incompatible updates on my Mac?

These incompatible app updates are due to the applications needing updated versions of macOS, which you've not updated in a while. Thus, your current operating system might not support the new updates of some apps.

3. What is the updated volume on a Mac?

In macOS 11.1, the "Update" volume delivers macOS updates. However, this volume only appears if Finder is set to display drives and volumes. We recommend not to save or delete anything from the "Update" disk in order to keep your data safe and secure.

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Updated by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech lives easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. In her spare time, she loves sharing things about her game experience on Facebook or Twitter.

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