NTFS, also known as New Technology File System, has changed the way data is recorded and stored. This revolutionary new system developed by Microsoft was embodied since Windows NT 3.1 came out on a global market. Moving to Mac, most users encounter probably the most irritating issue – pervasive incompatibility with Windows software. Unfortunately, default Mac settings negate the ability to manipulate with NTFS files to the fullest. You can open the file itself, but protectionary protocols do not allow users to dig down the file and implement edits. This makes it harder to carry the data over to macOS and use it in the future. Of course, there is a way to solve the snag by formatting NTFS to FAT (an older file system), as somebody would say. However, this method does not fit everybody who does not want to despair the excellent performance of NTFS. Luckily, there are some loopholes using both native and third-parties methods to make the usage of NTFS become a reality on Mac. We will show both free and paid ways to work around this obstacle below.

ntfs usb flash drive mac

1. Try Apple’s Experimental NTFS-Write Support

Apple has been kicking around the idea of making NTFS native for the Mac system. Most people do not know about this feature, because it is disabled by default. Apparently, the word “experimental” means that using this feature will not guarantee a full-blown experience running NTFS format. There are some defects that may corrupt Windows files and lose it completely. This is not as good, as paid options, however, you can still give it a go. You will have to spend some time running manual commands to unleash this feature. We have made the steps below to make this process clearer and easier to do.

  1. Navigate to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Terminal to open the command environment.
  2. Once the console window pops up, copy and paste this command sudo nano /etc/fstab.
  3. Then, you should enter the underneath value, replacing NAME with the label of your NTFS drive:
    LABEL=NAME none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse.
  4. Press Ctrl+O to save the file after finished, and then press Ctrl+X to close the nano window.
  5. Now, you should connect or reconnect your drive to Mac. The drive will not be visible right off the bat. For this, you have to choose Go > Go to Folder and type /Volumes into space to unlock the drive.

Finally, you can use and change NTFS files without limitations, unless something goes wrong. Again, remember that this is a risky thing since you are experimenting with internal settings.
If you want to undo the changes, simply rehearse the first two steps and remove the lines added for the drive.

2. Use FUSE for macOS

FUSE is a free, but risky utility designed to enable the collaboration with NTFS on Mac. The major risk lies in disabling System Integrity Protection to affect some changes. Opting for such a move will make your Mac vulnerable to external impact. In other words, your Mac will no longer be as secure as it is known for. Malware will have an easier path to attack the PC. Either way, if you are ready to sacrifice the security aspect, you can follow the steps presented below. The process will take some manipulations, so take a deep breath and stay patient.

  1. At first, you need to download FUSE for macOS using the default options during the installation.
  2. Plus, it is required to have Apple’s command line developer tools installed. Like we did before, navigate to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
  3. Now, paste the following command xcode-select --install and click install once the pop-up window appears.
  4. Also, you should paste this value /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install) to download and install Homebrew (a necessary package manager).
  5. Then, run the brew install ntfs-3g command to enable NTFS-format in your Mac.

The main process is done, you only need to do a couple of finishing touches.

  1. Write this command sudo mkdir /Volumes/NTFS to mount a point NTFS drive.
  2. Then, you should connect NTFS drive and run this command diskutil list to list out the disk partitions.
  3. You can now see the identifier of your drive in the below corner.
  4. Note it somewhere and paste sudo umount /dev/dissk21 replacing /dev/dissk21 with the drive name.
  5. Run this command sudo /usr/local/bin/ntfs-3g /dev/disk2s1 /Volumes/NTFS -olocal -oallow_other replacing /dev/disk2s1 with the drive name again.

That is the finish point. You can now access your NTFS drive right on the desktop. The next two methods will be related to Paid software, it is way more convenient and does not require monotonous typing as above.

Use special software to mount NTFS drives on Mac

3. Use Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Paragon

paragon microsoft ntfs for mac

Paragon NTFS for Mac might be the easiest and safest option to solve incompatibility you have been worrying about. It frees you off of monotonously repeated typing in Terminal and other additional steps. The only thing you have do is buy a program (19.95$), or use a 10-day free trial, and forget about getting bogged down with the process. Paragon will make everything quick and safe, without corruption and other defects that could be seen in the above-mentioned methods. It as easy as we say, the program is minimalistic, so you will not need additional instructions to make it work. Here is a link for the download.

Download Paragon NTFS for Mac

4. Use Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera

tuxera microsoft ntfs for mac

Tuxera is an alternative to Paragon. It does exactly the same providing fast and flawless usage of NTFS-format data. The only difference is the price label – 31$, which almost half more than Paragon. It also has a more extended trial period – 14 days.

Download Tuxera NTFS for Mac

Summary

People that lurch between Windows and Mac stumble upon many sophisticated problems. Incompatibility has been one of those forcing people to transcend their own limits. Hopefully, our guide helped you satisfy your needs and start using NTFS-format data limitlessly. Also, you can also learn how to run Windows programs on Mac through other guides published on our blog page.