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Older software

If you’ve been browsing our site today, you may notice that our older products are now listed as such. You may also notice that we’re ending support for iDefrag and iPartition on the 31st of March this year. Why? We’re sad that we feel we have to do this, but the fact is that they aren’t working as well as we’d like on the latest versions of the macOS, and there is presently no realistic prospect of improving that situation.

The biggest thing that’s causing trouble, of course, is APFS. Apple, for whatever reason, elected to release its new filesystem — and convert existing machines over to using it — without first publishing the filesystem specification so that utility vendors like us could update our software. Four months after the release of macOS High Sierra, it still hasn’t published the necessary information, and while without seeing the details it’s hard to speculate on how much work it would be to support APFS in our utilities, it’s a good bet that it’s more than six months’ work. In the meantime, in spite of the messages we’ve put on our website, customers continue to purchase the products, realise they don’t work for them, then ask for refunds (or, worse, file chargebacks through their respective banks); this actually costs us money, and also results in a string of less than satisfied customers. We don’t want that, and you, our customers, don’t want that either.

There have also been changes in recent versions of the macOS to tighten up security, which is definitely a good thing for end users, but makes it very awkward to make utility software function in a reasonable manner. We can understand Apple’s motivations here, and indeed we agree with many of the steps they’ve taken, though we note that one or two changes could have been considered more carefully — and that, perhaps, some of them should have been the subject of some discussion with the developer community so that reasonable workarounds could be put in place for those that needed them. This co-operative approach has worked well in the past (for instance with kernel extensions, where Apple got in touch with us directly and provided us with a special developer certificate to avoid breaking things for end users as it locked down the KEXT system), but the recent tightening of System Integrity Protection and lockdown of the recovery partition image doesn’t appear to have been approached this way.

We appreciate that some users with older machines will still find iDefrag and iPartition useful — as will a handful of power users with up-to-date systems who are able to work around the problems High Sierra presents — so they will remain on sale, albeit at a rather lower price point.

If you’ve been a customer of ours during the 14 years over which these products have existed, we’d like to thank you for your business, and for your support. We can’t completely rule out a return to disk utilities at some point in the future, but for now, at least, we’re calling it a day.

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