Best NTFS for Mac Software that Support Writing to NTFS Drive?

Copper Contributor

Hi,

 

I am a long time Windows user and have an external hard drive formatted by NTFS on Windows 11. So I can put large movies files on it. I bought a MacBook Pro M1 recently and unable to write any file to this drive. Nothing happens when I tries to copy content to this NTFS drive.

 

I can't format the drive to FAT32 or exFAT as there are more than 2 TB data on it. What is the best NTFS for Mac app that supports NTFS writing? I tested a few free app unfortunately, they don't support the Apple Silicon Mac.

23 Replies
For old Mac OS X devices, NTFS read and write are not available. Since macOS Big Sur, Apple add NTFS read feature to Mac. However, you can't write to NTFS by default on any Mac. You have to download third-party NTSF for Mac drive in order to copy files to NTFS drive on your M1 Mac.
Buy another drive and format it to exFAT. No 4GB size limitation and native supported by both Windows and Mac. After that, copy the content from NTFS drive to this new one. After that, you can read and write the exFAT on your Mac.
By default, macOS supports reading NTFS file systems, but not writing. You can copy files from an NTFS hard drive to your Mac, but you can't modify or write new files to an NTFS hard drive.

@Tadghgo 

If you don't have important data on your NTFS drive, or you can temporarily migrate your data to another storage device, you can consider reformatting the drive to exFAT. exFAT supports both Windows and macOS and can handle large files and large storage.

 

If you can't format your USB, then you can only use third-party NTFS for Mac tools to read and write NTFS drive on Mac.

Note: Formatting will delete all data, so make sure to back it up beforehand.

@Tadghgo 

If you have a Windows computer, you can set up file sharing on Windows and then access these shared files from your Mac. This method does not directly write NTFS on Mac, but can transfer files over the network.

 

I had an NTFS-formatted hard drive with a bunch of work files stored on it before, and I had just changed to a new MacBook Pro M1. Because of system compatibility issues, I couldn't write data directly to the hard drive, and I felt stuck.

 

I tried several methods and finally found that setting up file sharing on my home Windows machine was the least laborious route. The operation is actually quite simple, just set the required folders to "share" on Windows, so that both Mac and other devices can access these files through the home network. The best part is that this method requires no additional NTFS for Mac software and you don't have to worry about file systems.

@Tadghgo 

You can use cloud services, which are a lifesaver in my workflow. Especially when I started using a MacBook Pro M1 and needed to work with files stored on NTFS drives. Since directly writing to NTFS is a big problem for Macs, I started using cloud services to bridge the gap.

 

It's very simple. I use Google Drive because it is tied to my Gmail account and has enough space. I just upload the files on my hard drive to my Google Drive and then download them from Drive on my Mac. The advantage of this is that I can access these files on any device without worrying about file system compatibility issues.  You can also try some professional NTFS for Mac tool to directly read and write NTFS on Mac, save your time!

It could take too much time to copy the files between two drives. I am looking for a more efficient way to do this. I heard there are third-party NTFS for Mac apps that allow for reading and writing NTFS drive on Mac. I am open to hear the recommendations.
Are you familiar with those 3rd-party NTFS for Mac tool? I did some search and found out this is the only way to write to NTFS drive.

@TadghgomacFuse utility works on Mac if you need to write NTFS drive.

 

macOS FUSE is an open-source software package that allows you to extend macOS's native file handling capabilities. It lets you use various file systems that macOS does not support out of the box, such as NTFS, by mounting them as if they were native file systems.

 

After installation, create a mount point for your NTFS drive (e.g., /Volumes/NTFS):

sudo mkdir /Volumes/NTFS

 

Mount the NTFS drive with write access using NTFS-3G:

sudo ntfs-3g /dev/disk2s1 /Volumes/NTFS -olocal -oallow_other

 

Notice: The writing speed is not as fast as the premium NTFS for Mac app based on the user feedback.

@Tadghgo  Another good NTFS for Mac software is Mounty, is a simple utility for macOS that allows you to write to NTFS-formatted drives without needing to install complex third-party software. NTFS is the file system developed by Microsoft for Windows operating systems, and macOS does not natively support writing to NTFS drives, only reading. Mounty leverages the built-in capabilities of macOS to enable NTFS write support.

 

When you open Mounty, it will automatically detect any connected NTFS drives. You will see a prompt asking if you want to remount the drive in read/write mode. Click on the Yes button. Once the drive is remounted, you will be able to read and write to the NTFS drive. You can access the drive as usual through Finder and perform file operations like copy, move, delete, and create files.

@Tadghgo Paragon NTFS for Mac (49.95 USD) is a specialized software utility designed to provide full read and write access to NTFS-formatted drives on macOS. NTFS is the file system used by Windows operating systems, and macOS natively supports only read access to NTFS drives, limiting users' ability to modify or write files.

 

This NTFS for Mac app bridges this gap by enabling seamless read and write operations, ensuring that Mac users can fully utilize NTFS drives without compatibility issues. The software integrates smoothly with macOS, offering a user-friendly interface and high-performance data transfer rates.

Mounty is not as reliable as other options. Sometimes, it just doesn't work as expected, and you might end up with a corrupted file or two. I've experienced this myself when I was using it to transfer some important files between my Mac and PC. It's frustrating, to say the least. Try other options if you need a best NTFS for Mac software.
I've been using cloud services like Google Drive to access my NTFS files on my Mac. But upload and download files to the cloud can be slow, especially if you're working with large files or a lot of them. I mean, I'm talking about waiting around for 10-15 minutes for a single 2GB file to upload.

@Tadghgo 

NTFS read and write support is available using ntfs-3g from the macOS Terminal, you don't need third-party NTFS for Mac tool.  But you need to install via Homebrew. This is an open source solution, but requires a certain technical background to install and configure. 

@Tadghgo 

If you use a Mac and have a lot of files stored on a hard drive formatted with NTFS, accessing and modifying these files directly on the Mac will be a hassle, because Mac does not support NTFS writes by default. However, there is a clever way to get around this limitation, which is to set up a SAMBA server on your Windows machine and then access these files over the network on the Mac.

 

There are many benefits to doing this: First, you don't need to reformat your hard drive or install third-party NTFS for Mac tools that may affect system stability. Just simply set up sharing on Windows, and your Mac can easily read and write files on the NTFS hard drive. The operation is also very straightforward. Basically, it's just a few steps to set up sharing permissions, and then connect to that network address on the Mac to operate the network shared files like accessing local files.

 

This method is especially suitable for users who need to frequently move large files between Mac and Windows, which not only ensures data integrity, but also avoids file system incompatibility issues. Moreover, if your network environment is stable, the file transfer speed is completely acceptable. In short, the trick of using a SAMBA server to bridge NTFS and Mac is both practical and efficient.

@Tadghgo 

If you have enough space on your hard drive, you can create a new ExFAT partition without formatting the entire drive. ExFAT is supported on both Mac and Windows, so you don't need NTFS for Mac software.

Using a service like Send Anywhere or WeTransfer, you can upload large files directly from your Windows machine to the web and download them on your Mac, without any NTFS for Mac app .
Creating a new ExFAT partition sounds like a great idea, but if you're looking for an best NTFS for Mac app, you should know that ExFAT might not be the best choice. While ExFAT is supported on both Mac and Windows, it's not as widely supported as NTFS. Some older systems or older versions of macOS might not recognize ExFAT partitions.
The macFuse utility - a lifesaver for Mac users who need to work with NTFS drives! I've used it myself when I needed to access an NTFS external hard drive on my Mac, but the writing speed can be slow compared to best NTFS for Mac apps. This might be a deal-breaker if you're working with large files or need to transfer data quickly.