How to Fix “Disk Utility Can’t Repair This Disk” Error On Mac

How Tos • Apr 22, 2022

disk error

The macOS Disk Utility app is a multi-purpose utility for employing and operating disk-related activities. It is one of Mac’s most comprehensive system utilities, with many useful features such as fixing a corrupt disk, formatting, cloning disks, erasing, and more.

You can seek help through the “First Aid” function when a problem occurs with the hard disk. However, it’s not always reliable and can show the error “Disk Utility can’t repair the disk”, which can get pretty annoying.

Although it may seem difficult initially, you can quickly resolve this error quite easily. Today I will help you with the solution so that you can fix the error and repair your Mac’s disk.

Factors that cause disk utility issues

Disk Utility doesn’t usually fail. However, if your Mac is dealing with some issues, you will see plenty of errors. Before you learn how to address these issues, you must know why it happens. The possible causes of this issue are as follows:

  • The Disk Utility error can occur if the firmware has become corrupted.
  • Your HDD may have been destroyed or damaged beyond repair.
  • The data stored on the disc may have become corrupted. Using an old macOS version.

Now that you know the factors let’s look at the solutions to fix the “Disk Utility Can’t Repair the Disk Error”.

Before start: backup your data

When you receive the alert from Disk Utility that it can’t fix the disk error, then quickly create your data backup. Generally, the error indicates that the disk isn’t fully functioning and may become corrupt. To make sure you don’t lose your important files and data, it’s always essential to make a backup.

It would help if you have an external HDD for copying and pasting your data onto it to have this done. In addition, you may utilize Time Machine to experience the procedure go more smoothly.

time machine

  • First, use a functional connection between your Mac and external drive. Time Machine displays this prompt automatically right after it is detected. Click on the “Use as Backup Disk” button to continue.
  • If this popup doesn’t show up, you may manually open Time Machine.
  • Begin the process by selecting the disk which you want to backup. Now hold back for a few moments while Time Machine backs up to your important data on the portable HDD. Before making a backup, always make sure the external disc has required free space or not.
  • You should be able to resolve this failed error once you’ve made your data backup successfully. Here are some significant fixes which you can follow.

Need more info, check our guide to Mac backup here.

3 ways to solve “Disk Utility Can’t Repair This Disk” issue

Method 1: Repair the corrupt APFS disk using FSCK command

Step 1: Preparation

Silicon Models: Turn off your Mac and hold the power button for a while until you see the startup options window. Now,  choose the startup disk you want to use, hold the shift key and click the “Continue in Safe Mode” button.

Intel Macs: Restart your Mac, hit the Shift button, and boot into Safe Mode.

If you think it is difficult for you to find a certain component then there’s another mode known as Verbose mode. To use that, press and hold Cmd+V and scan the startup procedure. Reboot into Safe Mode, install the component and try again.


Step 2: Using FSCK command (single-user mode)
  • Select single user mode after rebooting your Mac. If you have an older model of Mac, press and hold both the command and S keys right after you hear the startup sound. If you have the latest M1 Mac, press and hold both the Command +R keys during its reboot and then select Utilities>Terminal
  • Once you’re inside the Terminal, just enter this key “/sbin/fsck –fy”. This command is for diagnosing and repairing a disk. It will automatically scan the disc and try to clear the errors. Make sure to invoke the command right next to the line that says localhost:/ root#
  • The disk can only be read in single-user mode; you must first modify that. To accomplish this, invoke the following and then hit the Enter button.
    “/sbin/mount -uw /” 

If things are working smoothly, you will receive the prompt, “The volume Macintosh HD looks OK.” If not, try entering the command “fsck –fy” many times over until you acquire this response.

Step 3: Finalizing the changes

Finally, after you’ve repaired Macintosh HD, reboot your Mac (normal mode) using the reboot command.

Method 2: Fix APFS volume by reformatting

Apple File System, aka the APFS allots disc space as needed. If a single APFS partition has several volumes, the partition’s extra disk space is shared and can be assigned to any of the particular volumes. Because each volume only occupies a portion of the partition, the available free space can be equal to the size of the partition.

Disk formatting

With Disk Formatting, you’re looking at a process that  will delete all the stored data, files from the drive alongside any harmful entities. You can simply use Apple’s Laptop/Computer Disk Utility to get the job done.

  • Navigate to Applications and the Utilities on your Mac and then run the “Disk Utility” tool on your Mac.
  • As its window opens, you will be able to see the accessible partitions, external sources, and the Macintosh HD. Just select and click on the disk to be formatted.
  • There will be an “Erase” icon; click on it and affirm your selection when the pop-up shows up. The disks partition scheme and file format can also be selected from here.
  • Press the “Erase” icon once more by clicking on it and wait for the disk to be formatted. After a while, reboot your Mac.


Have you formatted your hard drive and lost all of your files?

When we receive the “Disk Utility can’t repair the disk” issue, we try formatting the drive right away without backing up our data which makes us lose all our important data. For this issue, we can use the Wondershare Recoverit. It is software that helps to recover lost data.

You can name it the best data recovery software available right now in the Apple laptops and computers market. No matter how your data has been lost, it can be by deleting, formatting, corrupt storage, etc. this tool will help you recover all your lost data.


Follow these steps to use Wondershare RecoverIt

  • Download And Install this on your Apple laptop or computer
  • After installing, run the Wondershare RecoverIt data recovery software on your Mac. Its main screen displays several options such as HDD, data folders, etc.
  • Press the Start icon after selecting the formatted HDD
  • Recoverit will take a little time to retrieve all types of lost material from the HDD. The procedure will eventually take time to finish. You can also pause this whole process.
  • When the procedure is finished, all of the excerpt files are shown in various categories. You can see retrieved pics, videos, and documents. Choose the files you want to save and click the “Recover” icon.

Method 3: Re-running the First Aid Tool

It might come as a surprising thing to many, but re-running the First Aid tool can help see you and your device out of trouble real quick. In fact, it lists among the recommended fixes from Apple’s end as well. Here is how it needs to be done:

first aid

  • Look for the Applications menu followed by clicking on it.
  • Once done, locate the Disk Utility option and click on the same.
  • As soon as the utility window launches, navigate your way to the concerned storage disk and choose it.
  • Head over to the First Aid tab and hit the Run button. You’ll get to see a message popping up time and time again; make sure you keep those aside and don’t halt the running process.
Restoring backed up files

You can restore your data once you’ve resolved the Disk Utility disk repair error. All of your important files and data would be erased while formatting the disk. However, the good news is that the Time Machine will have your disk’s backup, which you made earlier. You may now use its aid to restore data.

  • To start, plug your Time Machines disk into your Mac.
  • Launch Time Machine App.
  • After launching this application, it will open Time Machine drive. Click the desired folder that contains the data you wish to restore. Move your cursor to the bottom right corner of the display to navigate the timeline to view the information you need.
  • After finding the desired files you are searching for, press “Restore” icon to have it back in its original place.

For some reason, if you did not back up your previous data, recovery software might help you restore your data. This is another solution that we will discuss further in the upcoming section.

Final words

The macOS “Disk Utility can’t repair this disc” problem is a standard and resolvable error. Don’t freak out in this case. Follow the solutions and methods provided in this article. Formatting a disk is a frequent and beneficial method of repairing disc issues and errors.

Although formatted data may be quickly recovered with a recovery software tool, it’s always helpful to back up your essential data daily. This will come in handy in the event of a data loss. The RecoverIt tool and other popular recovery applications can assist if you have lost your data somehow.


Q1. What causes the Disk Utility Error?

It is mostly caused if your firmware has been corrupted, your Hard drive might be destroyed, data stored on the disk is corrupted, or you are using an outdated macOS version.

Q2. What should you do if Disk Utility is unable to fix the disk?

I advise you to fix the disk or partition. If it doesn’t work, you should create a backup of your essential files and try installing the macOS again. It would help if you also reformatted the disc before reinstalling macOS. You may recover the data after reinstalling macOS.

Q3. In what manner can I repair a corrupt HDD on Macintosh?

Several methods are available for repairing a corrupted HDD on a Mac, including utilizing a disk tool. You may also back up your Mac with Time Machine.

Q4. What’s the purpose of the Restore function in Mac’s Disk Utility?

When you restore pictures and data in disk utility, a copy of the backup is used to overwrite the data. In addition, the hard disk is deleted, and the backup will take its place.

Q5. Does the Mac repair disk delete data?

No, because it merely erases the drive, it won’t remove or wipes the data. It can primarily affect the file system and directories.

Q6. Unable to find the Macintosh HD disc utility?

You may locate the Macintosh HD disc utility using the recovery mode and the FSCK commands. Furthermore, it can be resolved by entering safe mode. Finally, you may clear the NVRAM on your Mac.