How To Write To NTFS Drives On Mac?

How to Write to NTFS Drives on Mac?

by Laura Yuan — 4 years ago in Development 4 min. read

A couple of weeks ago, I got really frustrated with the whole Mac and Windows thing. I had purchased an external hard drive with the intention of using it as a backup drive for both Mac and Windows machines. However, when I plugged the disk on my Mac computer, I discovered that I can only view contents on the drive but cannot copy or edit any files. I had no idea what happened, so I search on Google. After reading some technical articles, I concluded the reasons why an external hard drive is read-only on Mac and some helpful solutions to fix this issue. If you are facing the same problem, just keep reading.


Why Can’t you write to NTFS drive?

This mainly results from the cross-platform incompatibility issue between Windows and macOS. To understand that, you need to know about the definition of the file system first. In computing, a file system is a method that an operating system uses to keep track of files on a disk or partition. In other words, it controls how and where data on a storage disk is stored, accessed and managed. There are many types of file systems, such as FAT, exFAT, NTFS, HFS, HFS+, APFS.

Different operating systems use different file systems as their default formats. NTFS is the default file system of Windows, while macOS natively supports HFS, HFS+, APFS. However, supporting the anther file system means massive expense for the OS development and test teams, especially the write support. Therefore, Apple only enables read support, rather than the writing support for NTFS drives. That’s to say, you cannot edit, copy, delete, or transfer files between Mac and NTFS drives.

1. Wondering how to write to NTFS drives on Mac? Go ahead.

2. How to write to NTFS drives on Mac?

3. Luckily, NTFS write access can be enabled on Mac with the following methods.

Related: – Apple introduce 8 core macbook pro

Solution 1: Run Third-party Drivers

There are many third-party NTFS for Mac apps that can help you mount NTFS drives in read-write mode, including paid and free ones. I would highly recommend paid NTFS drive as the free ones may not work as well as the paid ones.

iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is among the popular ones, which is easy to install and use on macOS Catalina and earlier. With this utility, you will be able to seamlessly share NTFS drive between Windows and Mac. The software is not only an NTFS drive but also a disk manager. It can check disk errors, view disk information, unmount a disk and erase disk data without any hassle.

Write to NTFS drives with iBoysoft NTFS for Mac

Step 1: Download, install and launch iBoysoft NTFS for Mac.

Step 2: Connect an NTFS drive to Mac.

Ntfs drive

Step 3: After the NTFS drive has been successfully mounted, you can open it and write to the NTFS drive as you normally do on a Windows computer.

Related: – Apple Negotiated to Buy Intel’s Chip Business

Solution 2: Enable Apple experimental write support

The NTFS write-support is built with the macOS native driver itself, but it’s disabled by default as the stability and performance are not so good. Even so, you can enable the writing support using command lines.

Note: Remember this method is unsupported by Apple officially, so be prepared for some disasters, such as data corruption or subsequence loss. You’d better back up your important data before running the steps. With this in mind, let’s proceed.

Step 1: Go to Finder > Application > Terminal to launch Terminal.

Step 2: In the Terminal window, type in the following command line and press Enter.

sudo nano /etc/fstab

How to Write to NTFS Drives on Mac? 1

This will open the fstab files using the nano text editor. You will need to enter the administrator password.

Step 3: After that, you will see a new window with nothing. Simply paste the following command.

LABEL=DRIVE_NAME none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse


Remember to replace the DRIVE_NAME with your NTFS drive name. Press CTRL + O to save changes and CTRL + X to exit.

Step 4: Restart your Mac. From the Finder menu bar, click Go > Go to Folder and type in /Volumes. Then locate you your NTFS drive and access it.

Resart Mac

I hope the above-mentioned information is much more helpful for you.

Laura Yuan

Laura Yuan is a tech lover who digs IT trends and helps others with practical tips and solutions. Until now, she's been writing and sharing tons of related articles.

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