NTFS (short of new technology file system) is a default file system for Windows. It was first introduced in Windows NT and over the years it has only got better. It supports all the modern features like encryption, journaling (reduce data loss), file permission, compression etc etc.

Since Windows is still the most popular desktop OS, most external HDD comes preformatted with NTFS. This means you can use them on Windows with no problem.


The NTFS-3G driver is a freely and commercially available and supported read/write NTFS driver for Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, NetBSD, Solaris, Haiku, and other operating systems. There is only limited support for checking and repairing NTFS file systems at this time. The best way to repair a damaged NTFS volume is using chkdsk in Windows. If you install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X, you will find that it includes a utility called ntfsfix, which can repair some fundamental inconsistencies of NTFS. NTFS (NT File System) is a proprietary journaling file system developed by Microsoft. Starting with Windows NT 3.1, it is the default file system of the Windows NT family. NTFS has several technical improvements over the file systems that it superseded – File Allocation Table (FAT) and High Performance File System (HPFS) – such as improved support for metadata and advanced data. The NTFS partition might be marked as 'dirty' and the Apple NTFS driver cannot recover from that situation. Mounty will not delete anything by itself, please try to restore your files on a Windows PC using usual recovery s/w, i.e. Chkdsk command line utility or professional tools like GetDataBack for Windows.

But on MAC, NTFS volume becomes read only i.e. you can only copy data from external HDD to your MAC but not the other way around.

Now you can always format your hard drive to FAT32/exFAT and make it compatible on both platforms or even use samba server to share file between MAC and Windows.

But, if you are going to use your external drive mostly on Windows, then it does make sense to keep NTFS and sometimes when you want to use it on MAC, use a software.

So here are three workarounds, on how to use an NTFS volume with MAC

Use NTFS Drive on MAC

#1 Terminal


Now you may not know, but modern MAC OS support NTFS volume (both read and write) However, this feature is disabled by default. Why? We will come to that later,

If you want to enable the support for NTFS, you can easily do it by editing a small file.

1. Simply insert your hard drive, in your MAC note down its drive name.

2. Now press cmd + space to launch spotlights then type in terminal and hit enter.

3. In terminal copy paste the following command.

sudo nano /etc/fstab

With this command, you are telling the super user to open the fstab file using the nano text editor. You will have to enter the login password.

4. Next, a new window will open, though you won’t see anything on it. Simply paste the following command.


Ntfs Driver For Mac

LABEL=DRIVE_NAME none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse

Replace the drive name with the hard drive name. And save changes. To do that, first type CTRL + o (o for orange) to write data and CTRL + x to exit. And that’s it.

5. Restart your MAC and under finder, go to the “Go -> Go to Folder” and type in /Volumes. You will your NTFS drive.

Ntfs For Mac Nnm

Verdict: This is the most simple method. However, I don’t prefer it, neither it’s recommended by apple (and that’s why it’s hidden) because it’s experimental and people who have tried this, reported an error. Also, since there are other solutions, why to take the risk.

#2 NTFS -3g (recommended)

This is the most popular method, and also the one I am using right now. Instead of tinkering the core system settings via terminal, you can install a free software like NTFs-3g.

The development of NTFS 3g has been stopped from a long time. But, you can still get it work by installing few extra packages.

Well precisely, you have to install 3 program one by one. I have this guide on MACbreaker, and here is the summary of the process, for details check out the original article.

First, start with fuse for OS X — this provides a framework for NTFS support.

Download it from here and install it like you normally do. Under the installation type make sure to check the “MacFUSE Compatibility Layer”. Once done restart the system.

Second install the NTFS 3g. This is the actual software that will be responsible for providing write support to your file.

Finally, install fuse Wait. Since NTFS-3g has not been updated from 2010, you will see an error like this, when the system boots up. So it will remove that.

So basically you download all this 3 software and install them one by one in the same order. It’s recommended you restart your system after every install. And once you’re done, plug in your hard drive and now you can use it both read and write access.


Verdict: The good part is it’s free, safe and stable. Using it for a while, never had any problem. And the bad part is, you have to install three different packages thus making it impractical if you want to try it on your friends computer.

#3 Paragon or Textra (Paid)

It’s similar to NTFS-3g, but you only have to install one software. Also, since this is paid version, bugs are fixed regularly and software is more stable than NTFS-3g.

But this stability do come with a price. Paragon ($19) and Textra ($24) are expensive and comes with a license for a single computer. Though there is a trial version which you can try for free.

Verdict: Me personally, I didn’t try their service as I had no problem with NTFS-3g. However judging from the reviews online, for professional use these are better.


For general use, NTFS-3g is a good solution. NTFS is the most stable file system for windows and with drivers like NTFS-3g you can get it work easily on MAC.

Ntfs For Mac And Pc

However, if you work with multiple MAC computers then it’s not a good idea to install NTFS-3g on your friends computer. Neither is paying each time or using a terminal. So in such cases, you may want to look towards another file system like exFAT — which is like NTFS but work with both MAC and Windows.

Microsoft NTFS is one of the primary Windows file systems. If you work on a Mac computer and need to read or write files from HDD, SSD or a flash drive formatted under Windows, you need Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Paragon Software.

Write, edit, copy, move and delete files on Microsoft NTFS volumes from your Mac. The solution is fast, seamless, and easy to use. Mount, unmount, verify, format or set any of your Microsoft NTFS volumes as a startup drive.

How it works

Just as simple as that

Download and install Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Paragon Software onto your Mac

Ntfs For Mac Free

Microsoft NTFS volumes connected to your Mac are available and ready to use

Using Ntfs On Mac

Use cases

Read and write NTFS-formatted data

The truth is: you can't read or write data from Microsoft-formatted from macOS. If you employ Microsoft-based drives and would like to access data from NTFS-formatted storages on Mac, you need Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Paragon Software.

NTFS for Mac grants you with access to write, copy, edit, move or delete files on Microsoft NTFS-formatted drives from your Mac:

  • Mount, unmount, verify, format or set any of Microsoft NTFS volumes as a startup drive
  • Mount in read-only if you need to access sensitive data without modifying any files
  • Managed through the Windows system tray or from Windows CMD
  • Automatic or manual mount option
  • Quick restart of your Mac from the menu bar in Windows
  • Intuitive, Apple user friendly interface
Current Version
  • Download NTFS for Mac by Paragon Software
  • Download NTFS for Mac by Paragon Software User Manual
Need help?
  • Contact Support or file a support ticket
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