NTFS is the proprietary file system by Microsoft and the default file systemforinternal hard disk on Windows desktops and laptops.Windows computers still take the most market share of personal computers, so many hard drive manufacturers initialize their disks with Windows NTFS drives.

However, people who are not familiar with file system may not know that NTFS is not fully supported in macOS. When they try to use their newly bought external hard drive on a Mac computer, only to find that the drive is read-only. That is to say, you can’t write to any data to the disk such as saving files, renaming files, deleting files or editing files.

What can you do to solve the NTFS drive read only on Mac problem? Find the answer in the article.

How to make read-only NTFS writable?

There are three ways to use NTFS drives on Mac with full read and write access:

  • Enable native NTFS write support in macOS
  • Install NTFS for Mac software
  • Format the external NTFS drive

Method 1: Enable native NTFS write support in macOS

The native NTFS write support is disabled by default because the ability is experimental and many people reported file or disk corruption. The detailed steps can be found below but the attempt is at your own risk.

As NTFS is proprietary, Apple would need a special license to use it fully on the Macs they sell. Instead of doing this, macOS has been designed to read NTFS-formatted drives but not write to them. Dave Hall on Ntfs Driver For Mac Os Toshiba REPACK. 7e196a1c1b Sep 20, 2016 — An NTFS driver for Mac® is included as well so you can use the Canvio Connect II on both Windows PC and Apple Macintosh platforms. Jul 27, 2021 Most free NTFS drivers are for macOS Mojave edition, macOS High Sierra, and earlier, and few are compatible with the latest macOS Big Sur. But you have a better choice, cost-effective NTFS for Mac alternatives like iBoysoft NTFS for Mac, so that you can get enough reliability, stability, compatibility, and simplicity from that app. Sep 26, 2021 Macos Ntfs Driver Paragon HFS+ does cost $20, but it also offers a 10-day free trial. If you just need to recover files from a drive, 10 days is plenty of time to install this file system driver, copy your files over, and uninstall it.

Step 1: Open Terminal.

Step 2: Type in the command sudonano /etc/fstab and hit Enter.

Step 3: Type in the login Password (no password will show up during typing) and hit Enter.

Step 4: Type in LABEL=DISK_NAME none ntfsrw, auto,nobrowse for each disk you connect to the Mac and hit Enter. Remember to replace the DISK_NAME with the name of your disk.

Step 5: Press Control + X to finishing editing.

Step 6: Eject the NTFS drive safely and reattach it back to the Mac.

Step 7: Click Go at the top menu bar on the desktop and choose Go to Folder.

Step 8: Type in /Volumes and click Go.

Step 9: Find the NTFS disk and drag it to the sidebar of the Finder.

Step 10: Read and write to the NTFS drive.

When you input the command lines, be careful with the capital letters and the space in the command lines. The best practice is to copy and paste the command line to he Terminal or watch a video tutorial. If you need to disable the NTFS write support, you need to delete the command line in step 4 and hit Enter to save the deletion.

Method 2: Install NTFS for Mac software

Installing an NTFS driver is much easier than enabling the native macOS NTFS write support. After the installation, the driver will mount the Microsoft NTFS disk in read-write mode automatically. Among all best free NTFS for Mac software, Mounty for NTFS is recommended.

The installation and use of Mounty for NTFS is very simple and easy. You just need to follow the onscreen instructions. The software will be added to the menu bar, so you won’t be noticing its existence when you are using the NTFS disk on Mac.

If you look for NTFS drivers with better security and faster speed, commercial drivers are good options too. For a lifetime use, a paid driver costs less than 20 dollars.

Method 3: Format the NTFS drives

People who owns an NTFS drive with a lot of important files won’t like this method. For instance, if you have a 4TB external hard drive with 2TB data on it. First of all, you will need another storage device with at least 2TB capacity to back up all files. Then it may take you an hour in total to back up, format and move files back to the drive.

However, if you have a brand-new NTFS-formatted NTFS disk or you don’t worry about data loss, formatting the disk is the right option.

Macos Ntfs Driver

Here is how to format a disk on Mac:

Step 1: Open Disk Utility. If you don’t know where Disk Utility is, use the magnifying icon at the top right corner of your desktop to search for it.

Step 2: Select the NTFS drive or the NTFS volume from the left sidebar.

Step 3: Click Erase.

Step 4: Give it a name and choose exFAT or FAT as the file system because they are both universal file systems for PC and Mac.

Step 5: Click Erase to confirm.


When files become read-only suddenly on a Mac, it probably results from incompatible NTFS file system. To solve the read-only NTFS drive issue, you can use command lines to force macOS to write to NTFS drives, install an NTFS mounter, or format the NTFS disk.

When you are using an NTFS drives on macOS Big Sur, are you not able to write to it? Are you not able to rename, edit, delete, and create files on the NTFS-formatted drive on the latest Mac operating system? Actually, the NTFS read-only issue is very common for Mac users, but it can be resolved very easily. Plus, you won’t have to format the drive. This post will offer you three ways to have read & write access to NTFS drives on macOS Big Sur.

Macos Ntfs Driver

1. Using free NTFS driver for Mac

You can make use of free NTFS drivers for Mac in order to be able to read and write NTFS drives on Mac. One such driver is FUSE. Here is the step by step guide.

Step 1: Download Xcode and install it

  • Go to Finder, click on ‘Applications’, followed by ‘Utilities’ and then ‘Terminal’. Next run this command line : xcode-select –install
  • You will then get a prompt and you have to click on ‘install’.

Step 2: Download Homebrew and install

  • Enter the following command line in the terminal window and run it.
  • Press enter to install. You will get a prompt for the password

Step 3: Download FUSE for macOS and install it.

  • During installation use the default options.

Step 4: Install NTFS-3G

  • Run the following in the terminal window and press Enter

brew install homebrew/fuse/ntfs-3g.

Step 5: Get SIP disabled

SIP or System Integrity Protection is meant to safeguard your OS from any kind of unauthorized changes. So, here is what you have to do to disable it,

  • Restart your device and press the Command + R keys at the same time till the Apple logo appears.
  • Go to the Utilities menu and open Terminal.
  • Run : csrutil disable
  • Press the Enter key and reboot your Mac.

Step 6: NTFS on Mac can now be edited

  • Go to Finder, click on Applications, then Utilities and finally Terminal
  • Run this:
  • Press the Enter key

Apart from FUSE for MacOS, there are other free NTFS drivers for your Mac device. However, you would need to put in some extra effort to get going.

In case this is difficult for you, there are 2 more methods. So, don’t lose heart just yet.

Macos Ntfs Driver

2. Use commercial NTFS drivers for Mac that are user-friendly

There are commercial NTFS drivers for Mac that are less complicated. However, you will have to shell out some money for them but they are easy to use and can save a lot of time! The list includes iBoysoft NTFS for Mac and NTFS Assistant.

Mac Ntfs Driver Western Digital

iBoysoft NTFS for Mac

iBoysoft NTFS for Mac offers complete read-write support. It lets you rename, edit, delete, copy, paste, move or create files on NTFS drives on Mac with ease. It also offers high-speed file transferring. The experience you get is quite seamless and you won’t feel any difference. It is just like using drive with a format supported by macOS.

Mac Ntfs Drive Write

Here is how to go about it,

Macos Ntfs Drivers

Step 1: Download iBoysoft NTFS for Mac on your Mac device and install it.

Step 2: Connect the Mac computer with the NTFS drive.

Step 3: Upon getting the NTFS drive mounted, you can get started with the read-write actions.

3. Use command line to enable NTFS write support

The Mac OS has an experimental NTFS write support but you have to enable it to use it. By default it is disabled. You have to run command lines to do so. This is true but Apple has not made this official yet. This is because doing so can lead to the corruption of the disk or even permanent data loss. Therefore, this particular solution is risky and should be given a miss! It is not recommended but it is possible!

The Final Word

Os X Ntfs Driver

With this, we come to the end of all the solutions to get read & write access to NTFS drives on macOS. You have seen that you can use free NTFS drivers and commercially available drivers to help you get the read & write access.

They make it possible for you to rename, edit, delete, copy, paste, move or create files on the NTFS-formatted drive on Mac. The drivers would resolve the problem you have with sharing files between Mac and Windows with an NTFS drive.

The NTFS drivers that are totally free of cost require time, patience and effort from your end whereas the commercial ones are easy to use but require you to pay a small amount for the convenience offered. Also the paid ones like iBoysoft NTFS for Mac are more reliable than the free drivers. Choosing NTFS driver is totally up to you. If you have all the time in the world, you can go in for the free NTFS drivers and if you don’t, go in for iBoysoft NTFS for Mac.