Macos Ntfs Driver

by Roderick W. Smith, [email protected]

  1. Macos Ntfs Drivers
  2. Mac Ntfs Drive Read Only
  3. Mac Ntfs Drive Reddit
  4. Mac Ntfs Driver
  5. Mac Ntfs Driver Seagate

Originally written: 4/19/2012; last Web page update:3/13/2021, referencing rEFInd 0.13.2

My guess is the external HD is formatted as NTFS which is a PC format. OS X can read a NTFS drive and copy data on it to your iMac but it cannot write to NTFS. If the drive is going to be only used with a Mac then it needs to be reformatted in Mac OS Extended )Journaled). MacOS does not support write access to Windows-formatted NTFS volumes. NTFS drives remain read-only unless you modify the Kernel extension in macOS through Terminal commands. Our updated NTFS for Mac driver now skips over OSXFUSE. Instead, iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is improved with its independently programmed file system driver. Apple's APFS—Apple provides an EFI driver for its Apple Filesystem (APFS), which is an optional feature of macOS 10.12 ('Sierra') and a mandatory feature of macOS 10.13 ('High Sierra') when using flash storage devices such as SSDs. When updating to macOS 10.13, your firmware should receive an update that includes this driver, so you shouldn't.

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  • (These are available for both OSX to allow it to write NTFS & FAT32 files using Native properties and for Windows 7 & 8 to write to HFS+ & EXFat (linux) drives using the native properties.) They aren't free, but if you do a lot of back and forth it cuts out the excess duplicate data cluttering the drive.
  • Paragon Driver for macOS (10.10 to 10.15) This driver provides write access for Seagate external drives in Mac OS without having to reformat. Supported on Intel based Mac's only.

Macos Ntfs Drivers

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This page is part of the documentation for the rEFInd boot manager. If a Web search has brought you here, you may want to start at the main page.


Macos Ntfs Driver

Although EFI implementations should be able to load drivers prior to rEFInd's launch, in my experience, most EFI implementations offer such poor control over EFI driver loading that they can't be counted on to do this. Thus, if you want to use EFI drivers, rEFInd's ability to do so can be useful. This page tells you why you might want to use drivers, how you can install and use rEFInd's own drivers, where you can go to find other drivers, and provides tips on a few specific drivers.

Why Should You Use EFI Drivers?

EFI supports drivers, which can activate hardware or filesystems in the pre-boot environment. At the moment, EFI drivers are few and far between; but you can or might want to use them for various reasons:

  • You can load a filesystem driver to gain access to files on a filesystem other than FAT (or HFS+ or APFS on Macs or ISO-9660 on some systems). This is most likely to be useful on a Linux installation, since a filesystem driver can enable you to store a Linux kernel with EFI stub loader or for use by ELILO on a Linux-native filesystem if your EFI System Partition (ESP) is getting crowded.
  • You can load a driver for a plug-in disk controller to give the EFI access to its disks. Note that this is not required if you place your boot loader (and perhaps your OS kernel) on another disk, or if the plug-in disk controller includes EFI-capable firmware. It could be handy, perhaps in conjunction with a filesystem driver, to enable the EFI to read a boot loader or kernel from a disk on a plug-in controller, though. I've received one report of the NVMe driver from Clover being useful to boot from an aftermarket NVMe disk on a Mac, for instance.
  • You can load a driver for a plug-in network card to enable the computer to boot from the network, or to access the network without booting an OS.
  • You can load a video card driver to set an appropriate video mode or to support a plug-in card that lacks EFI support in ts own firmware.
  • You can load a mouse or touchscreen driver to enable the mouse or touchscreen to work even if your firmware lacks this support. (Note that you must also explicitly activate rEFInd's mouse or touch support in refind.conf for the driver to be useful.) Note that I've not tested this myself or heard of it working, but in theory it should work, provided you find a compatible driver.

Note that most of these uses are theoretical, at least to me; I don't know of any specific examples of EFI drivers (available as separate files) for most hardware, although the Clover boot loader project provides a few such drivers. I haven't tested these, though. Hardware drivers are often embedded in the firmware of the devices themselves, and should be loaded automatically by the EFI. Chances are good that a few such drivers are available, unknown to me, and more may become available in the future. If you happen to have a device and need support for it under EFI, searching for drivers is certainly worth doing.

To the best of my knowledge, the best reason to want EFI driver support in rEFInd is to provide access to filesystems. EFI filesystem drivers can help to improve your installation and configuration options, particularly if you've found yourself 'boxed in' by awkward installation or bugs, such as a too-small ESP created by an OS installation or the bug that prevents a Linux kernel with EFI stub loader support from booting from the ESP of at least some Macs.

As a side note, using an ISO-9660 driver can theoretically help you keep the size of a custom Linux boot CD/DVD down to a reasonable value. This is because EFI systems normally boot from optical discs by reading a FAT image file in El Torito format and treating that file as an ESP. If you need to store the kernel both in that file and directly in the ISO-9660 filesystem (to maintain bootability on BIOS systems), that can represent an unwanted extra space requirement. Placing rEFInd and an ISO-9660 driver in the FAT image file should enable you to store the kernel on the disc only once. Unfortunately, this doesn't work in practice. When the ISO-9660 driver is loaded from the El Torito image, the driver discovers that the optical disc is in use and refuses to access it. It's possible to use EFI shell commands to give the ISO-9660 driver access to the shell device, but this causes the El Torito access to go away, which means that anything loaded from the El Torito image (such as rEFInd) is likely to malfunction. Also, some EFI implementations include ISO-9660 drivers, so you might not need a separate ISO-9660 driver if you're building a disc for a particular computer.


Installing rEFInd's EFI Drivers

If you install rEFInd via the refind-install script or by installing an RPM or Debian package in a Linux distribution, the script should install the driver that matches the filesystem on which your kernels are stored automatically, with a couple of important caveats:

  • The driver must be included with the rEFInd package. As described in the next section, Selecting an EFI Driver, drivers for ext2fs, ext3fs, ext4fs, ReiserFS, Btrfs, and a few non-native filesystems come with rEFInd. If your kernels reside on XFS, JFS, ZFS, or some other more exotic filesystem, you'll need to track down drivers elsewhere, as described in Finding Additional Drivers, and install them manually.
  • If you run refind-install from macOS, the script installs only the ext4fs driver, and that only if the script finds an existing Linux partition. Thus, if you install rEFInd before installing Linux, chances are refind-install will not install any Linux driver. Also, if you use any filesystem other than ext2/3/4fs to hold your kernel, refind-install won't install the correct driver. If you install rEFInd followed by Linux and want to use rEFInd's driver, you can either re-install rEFInd or install the appropriate driver manually. The refind-install script installs all the available drivers if you pass it the --alldrivers option. (I do not recommend using this feature except for creating general-purpose USB flash drives with rEFInd, since having too many drivers can cause various problems.) See the Installing rEFInd page for details.

rEFInd's filesystem drivers reside in the refind/drivers_arch subdirectory of the rEFInd .zip file, where arch is a CPU architecture code, such as x64 or ia32. If you installed rEFInd using an RPM or Debian package, chances are the relevant files will be stored in /usr/share/refind/refind/drivers_x64/ or a similar location. You can type find /usr/share/ -name 'ext4*' to find the exact location, or use your package manager to list all the files installed from the refind package. The files are named after the filesystems they handle, such as ext4_x64.efi for the x86-64 ext4fs driver.

To install a driver, you must copy it from the package .zip file or from where the rEFInd RPM or Debian package placed it to the drivers or drivers_arch subdirectory of the main rEFInd installation directory. The main rEFInd directory is usually either EFI/refind or EFI/BOOT on the EFI System Partition (ESP). How to identify and access the ESP varies from one OS to another:

  • Under Linux, the ESP is normally mounted at /boot/efi, or sometimes /boot or /efi.
  • On macOS, the ESP is not normally mounted, but the mountesp script that comes with rEFInd will mount it and identify the mount point.
  • Windows also does not normally mount the ESP, but it can be mounted from an Administrator command prompt window by typing mountvol R: /S. (You can change R: to another drive identifier, if you like.)

Be careful to install drivers only for your own architecture. Attempting to load drivers for the wrong CPU type will cause a small delay at best, or may cause the computer to crash at worst. I've placed rEFInd's drivers in directories that are named to minimize this risk, but you should exercise care when copying driver files.

When you reboot after installing drivers, rEFInd should automatically detect and use the drivers you install. There's likely to be an extra delay, typically from one to five seconds, as rEFInd loads the drivers and tells the EFI to detect the filesystems they handle. For this reason, and because of the possibility of drivers harboring bugs, I recommend installing only those drivers that you need. If you like, you can install drivers you don't plan on using to some other directory, such as /drivers on the ESP's root. You can then load these drivers manually with the EFI shell's load command if the need arises in the future. You can then tell the shell to re-assign drive identifiers with map -r:

Mac Ntfs Drive Read Only

Selecting an EFI Driver

rEFInd ships with a small collection of read-only EFI filesystem drivers. These are:

  • Ext2fs—This driver originated with rEFIt. It's useful for reading Linux kernels from a separate /boot partition, or even from a root (/) filesystem, if you use ext2fs on it. Although it's called an 'ext2fs' driver, it also works with ext3fs.
  • Ext4fs—Stefan Agner modified the rEFIt/rEFInd ext2fs driver so that it could handle ext4fs. I'm including this as a separate driver from the ext2fs driver, although the ext4fs version can handle ext2fs and ext3fs, too. Providing both drivers enables easy filesystem separation—for instance, you can use ext2fs on a /boot partition and ext4fs on your root (/) partition, to have the EFI scan only the former. This driver has some limitations and may not work with all ext4 filesystems. Although it supports (as of version 0.10.4) 64-bit pointers, this support is untested on over-16TiB volumes. As of version 0.6.1, this driver supports the meta_bg feature, which can also be used on ext2fs and ext3fs. Thus, it can handle some ext2fs and ext3fs partitions that the ext2fs driver can't handle. Beginning with rEFInd 0.13.0, this driver supports activation of the filesystem-level encryption code, but can not read encrypted files. (The OS can encrypt directories that rEFInd doesn't read, though.) You can learn about your ext2/3/4 filesystem features by typing dumpe2fs /dev/sda2 grep features, changing /dev/sda2 to your filesystem's device.
  • ReiserFS—This driver originated with rEFIt. It can be used in the same way as the ext2fs and ext4fs drivers. Caution: If you use this driver, you should use the notail option in Linux's /etc/fstab file for the partition(s) you want the EFI to read. This is because the driver doesn't properly handle ReiserFS's 'tail-packing' feature, so files can seem to be corrupted in EFI if you use this feature, which is disabled by notail. In my tests, this is the fastest of rEFInd's EFI filesystem drivers, so if you find your kernel load times are slow, you might consider moving your kernel to a ReiserFS /boot partition. (Such problems affect a small subset of EFI-based computers.)
  • Btrfs—Samuel Liao contributed this driver, which is based on the rEFIt/rEFInd driver framework and algorithms from the GRUB 2.0 Btrfs driver. I've tested this driver with simple one-partition filesystems on several installations, and with a filesystem that spans two physical devices on one (although I've made no attempt to ensure that the driver can actually read files that span both devices). Samuel Liao has used the driver with a compressed Btrfs volume. The driver will handle subvolumes, but you may need to add kernel options if you're booting a Linux kernel directly from a filesystem that uses subvolumes. For instance, prior to rEFInd 0.10.0, when booting Ubuntu from Btrfs, also_scan_dirs + @/boot must be set in refind.conf. (The option is set by default beginning with rEFInd 0.10.0.) With any version of rEFInd, [email protected] must be added to the kernel options in refind_linux.conf. If @/boot is not scanned, rEFInd can not locate the kernel; and without the [email protected] kernel option, the boot fails with a message to the effect that the initial RAM disk could not find /sbin/init. The refind-install and mkrlconf scripts should pick up the root flags, assuming the system is booted into the regular installation. These additions make it easier to set up rEFInd to work with Btrfs. Nonetheless, some distributions may have distribution-specific Btrfs peculiarities, so you should be alert to this possibility.
  • ISO-9660—This driver originated with rEFIt's author, but he never released a final version. Its code was improved by Oracle for use in its VirtualBox product, and then further modified by the authors of the Clover boot loader. If your firmware doesn't provide its own ISO-9660 driver, this one can be helpful; however, you may need to install it on your hard disk before you can read an optical disc.
  • HFS+—Oracle wrote this driver, apparently with some code taken from open source Apple examples. It was then further modified by the Clover authors. I expect this driver to have limited appeal to most rEFInd users. Macs don't need it, since Apple's EFI implementation provides its own HFS+ driver, and HFS+ isn't normally used on UEFI-based PCs. Some CDs are mastered with both ISO-9660 and HFS+, or even with HFS+ alone, and it's conceivable that an HFS+ driver would be useful when accessing such discs. Also, one unusual feature of this driver is that it can read files from within an Apple LVM setup, which Apple's own EFI HFS+ driver can't do. The upshot of this feature is that if you load this driver on a Mac that uses Apple's LVM, rEFInd is likely to show two macOS boot options. Ordinarily this is pointless, but it could be helpful if your Recovery HD volume becomes damaged. I'm providing the driver mainly because it compiled cleanly with no extra work, aside from providing a Makefile entry for it.
  • NTFS—Samuel Liao contributed this driver. As of rEFInd 0.11.5, this driver is not built by default; see the Warning sidebar to the right. Note that this driver is not required to boot Windows with rEFInd, since Windows stores its EFI boot loader on the (FAT) ESP, and the BIOS boot process (generally used when dual-booting on a Mac) relies only on the partition's boot sector, which is read without the benefit of this driver. Reasons to use this driver include:
    • If you want to use Windows to write large files, such as RAM disk images, to be read from EFI.
    • If you have a Mac and NTFS data partitions, loading this driver should exclude those data partitions from the boot menu. (rEFInd provides several other means of hiding unwanted boot entries, though.)
    • If you have a Mac that dual-boots with Windows, using this driver should provide NTFS volume names in the boot menu.

All of these drivers rely on filesystem wrapper code written by rEFIt's author, Christoph Phisterer.

Although Linux filesystems are all case-sensitive, these drivers treat them in a case-insensitive way. Symbolic links work; however, rEFInd gnores symbolic links, since many distributions use them in a way that creates redundant or non-functional entries in the rEFInd menu. You should be able to use hard links if you want to use a single kernel file in multiple ways (say for two distributions).

Mac ntfs drive read only

Finding Additional EFI Drivers

As already noted, I know of few EFI drivers for EFI hardware, aside from those that are built into motherboards' EFI implementations. I do, however, know of a few EFI filesystem drivers, in addition to those provided with rEFInd:

Mac Ntfs Drive Reddit

  • Pete Batard's efifs drivers—This project is an EFI driver wrapper around GRUB 2's filesystem drivers. Once compiled, the result is that GRUB 2's drivers become standalone EFI filesystem drivers, loadable independently or by rEFInd. (rEFInd version 0.8.3 or later is required.) The last time I checked (driver version 1.3; February, 2020), several drivers, including NTFS, exFAT, ext2fs, ReiserFS, Btrfs, JFS, and XFS, are usable. The previous time I tested them (version 0.7), some drivers were slow, and they hung on some computers, such as one of my Macs. They may have improved since then, and are likely to improve more in the future. Note that the ext2fs driver from this set works with ext3fs and ext4fs, too. In addition to the main link, you can check the github repository for the source code.
  • The LKL driver project—I have yet to look closely at this project, but I think it's a porting of the Linux kernel's filesystem drivers to EFI. The developer stated on the EFI developers' mailing list that they aren't yet stable, as of November 2016, and as of February of 2021, there appears to have been no development in several years.
  • rEFIt's ext2fs and ReiserFS drivers—You can gain read-only access to ext2fs, ext3fs, and ReiserFS volumes with these drivers, originally written by Christoph Pfisterer. You can use the binaries in the refit-bin-0.14/efi/tools/drivers directory of the binary package directly on a Mac. On a UEFI-based PC, though, you'll need to break the Mac-style 'fat' binary into its 32- and 64-bit components. You can use my thin program for this job. As a practical matter, there's no advantage to using these drivers over rEFInd's drivers, since the latter are updated versions of the former.
  • Clover EFI's ISO-9660, ext2fs, ext4fs, and HFS+ drivers—This project is an offshoot of Tianocore, the main UEFI project, combined with a fork of rEFIt that's independent of rEFInd. Clover is primarily a Hackintosh boot loader, but it includes drivers for ISO-9660, ext2fs, ext4fs, and HFS+; however, building them requires a fair amount of expertise. These drivers are closely related to rEFInd's own drivers; however, Clover has a large number of developers working on it, and some of its drivers (especially the HFS+ driver) have diverged significantly from rEFInd's version.
  • VirtualBox's HFS+ and ISO-9660 drivers—These drivers are available in source code form, and come with VirtualBox binaries. I've not attempted to compile them myself, but I've seen a report that suggests they may include assumptions that require use of MinGW, a GCC-based compiler for Windows (and cross-compiler to build Windows executables under Linux). I don't know of a source for binaries suitable for use on EFI-based computers; if you want to use them, you'll need to figure out how to compile them yourself. As noted earlier, rEFInd's drivers are closely related to these.
  • Ext2Pkg—This driver, which hasn't been updated since 2012, appears to be an ext2fs/ext3fs driver built independently of the driver written by Christoph Pfisterer. The linked-to sites provide access to source code via git but do not provide binaries. When I built binaries, they failed to work. Under VirtualBox, the driver loaded but then hung when I tried to access an ext2 filesystem. On a 32-bit Mac Mini, I got error messages when I tried to access an ext2 filesystem. As I write, the code was last updated in March of 2012. If you check the project and it's been updated more recently, it might be worth trying. Otherwise, I can't recommend this driver. I mention it here only in case it improves in the future.
  • Paragon's UFSD—According to this 2013 blog post, Paragon Software has ported its Universal File System Drivers (UFSD) to EFI, providing 'transparent access to NTFS, HFS+, ExFAT, and ExtFS' (sic). Neither the blog post nor the main UFSD page provides any download links, and it's unclear if the product is (or will be) available for free, on a pay basis, or even at all.
  • Apple's APFS—Apple provides an EFI driver for its Apple Filesystem (APFS), which is an optional feature of macOS 10.12 ('Sierra') and a mandatory feature of macOS 10.13 ('High Sierra') when using flash storage devices such as SSDs. When updating to macOS 10.13, your firmware should receive an update that includes this driver, so you shouldn't need to do anything to use APFS (with one caveat, described shortly). Apple also provides the driver as an EFI binary file, stored at /usr/standalone/i386/apfs.efi in the installed OS. You can load this driver from rEFInd, but doing so is likely to be pointless—on Macs, the driver should be built into the firmware, and on non-Macs, APFS is unlikely to hold files that rEFInd could use. On the off chance that a firmware update failed, though, copying this file to the rEFInd drivers subdirectory may enable you to boot macOS. Note that APFS includes built-in LVM-like features, similar to Btrfs. Under EFI, APFS volumes are identified by directories with UUIDs as filenames. This fact means that rEFInd 0.11.1 needed modifications to locate the macOS boot loader, since its location changed, as viewed from rEFInd. If you had used rEFInd 0.11.0 or earlier, update to macOS 10.13, and find that you can no longer boot macOS, try updating rEFInd to 0.11.1 or later.

The rEFIt, Clover filesystem, and VirtualBox drivers are related, and all of themhave fed into rEFInd's drivers. Specific versions can have their ownquirks, though. For instance, the Clover (and I suspect VirtualBox) driversdon't return volume labels, which causes rEFInd to display loaders on thosevolumes as being on a disk called Unknown. (I fixed that bug forrEFInd's version, and it wasn't present in the original rEFIt drivers.)Most of these drivers also suffer from speed problems on some computers.This is worst with the ext2fs drivers under VirtualBox; on my maincomputer, that combination takes 3 minutes to load a Linux kernel andinitial RAM disk file! Most real computers don't suffer nearly so badly,but some can take an extra five seconds or so to boot a kernel. I've fixedthe worst of the speed problems in rEFInd's drivers as of version 0.7.0; however, I still see occasional reports of speed problems on specific computers.

Although I know of no readily-available hardware drivers, I do know of a couple of non-hardware non-filesystem drivers:

  • CrScreenshot—This driver adds a screenshot capability to any EFI. Note that it's available only as source code that requires the Tianocore EDK2 to build. I have not tested it. (Note also that rEFInd provides its own screen shot capability; pressing F10 takes a screen shot within rEFInd.)
  • RamDiskPkg—This is a rudimentary RAM disk driver. It must be compiled with a RAM disk image; the resulting binary is hard-coded with a fixed RAM disk image. It's therefore useful mostly for developers.
  • Clover's non-filesystem drivers—In addition to its filesystem drivers, Clover includes a number of hardware drivers, such as one for NVMe devices (nvmexpressdxe-64.efi) and two mouse drivers (ps2mousedxe-64.efi and usbmousedxe-64.efi, for PS/2 and USB mice, respectively). I haven't tested these drivers, but I've received a report that the NVMe driver, at least, is useful to enable booting OSes installed on NVMe devices. The easiest way to obtain these drivers is likely to be to download the .iso file, mount it, and copy the drivers from the efi/clover/drivers* directories (there are several, with varying purposes). I recommend caution when testing them, though; using an inappropriate driver could cause a system hang.

The first two of these drivers are useful mainly for developers, but the Clover filesystem drivers could be useful to ordinary people.

Driver availability could increase in the future. If you know ofadditional EFI drivers, please tellme about them, so I can share the information here.

Once you've obtained an EFI driver, you can install it in rEFInd just as you would install rEFInd's own drivers, as described earlier.

copyright © 2012–2021 by Roderick W. Smith

Mac ntfs drive read only

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The NTFS format isn't one that's widely discussed, so you may be wondering: 'what is NTFS format, and why would I use it?'

In this article, we'll tell you what NTFS is, how you can use it on your Mac, whether there's an NTFS Mac alternative, and discuss the best ways to use the niche filetype on your Mac.

What is NTFS?

NTFS stands for NT File System, and was first developed for Windows NT version 3.1, where itw as the default file system for that operating system. Many external drives are formatted to NTFS by default, as Windows is more widely used than macOS.

Because it's a proprietary file system Apple hasn't licensed, your Mac can't write to NTFS natively. When working with NTFS files, you'll need a third party NTFS driver for Mac if you want to work with the files. You can read them on your Mac, but that's likely not going to suit your needs.

NTFS for Mac: How to Work with Windows Drives in macOS

There are a few things you can do with NTFS files on your Mac beyond reading them. You can change the filetype to something else, but that can be tedious work! You can also tinker with Terminal and allow yourself writing privileges to NTFS, but that's not always advisable. Third party drivers and apps are your best bet, and come in several packages.

Some drivers are paid, and can be quite expensive. Others allow you to work with NTFS for Mac free, but free is not always the best option. Below are a few ways you can work with NTFS on your Mac, both native and third party.

Format to FAT32

Your Mac has an app named Disk Utility built into macOS that can help you reformat NTFS files to the FAT32 (file allocation table) format. Before you change the format of your NTFS files, consider what you have in them.

FAT32 isn’t nearly as efficient as NTFS, which can cause data loss for high-quality videos or documents. This happens because disks formatted as FAT are allocated in clusters depending on their size. The breaking up of files means FAT disks need to be updated often; not doing so is a common reason for file quality loss. Larger files are broken into smaller pieces, and FAT disks need to be told often how to discover those disks.

This is one reason backing your Mac up is critical, and why you should have Get Backup Pro. The app allows you to schedule backups as you see fit, and can backup your entire system, or limited to the data you want to ensure gets saved. If you were to reformat a disk to FAT32, the first step you should take is backing your disk up to ensure no data is lost or corrupted.

Another app you should have on hand is Disk Drill for Mac. If you were tinkering with reformatting and corrupted a file you didn’t back up, there's a chance your Mac has a copy of that file somewhere. Disk Drill helps you find it.

Use a third-party app

If you really want a safe way to work directly with NTFS files on your Mac, a third party app is the best bet. One of the best available third party apps for this is iBoysoft NTFS for Mac.

Living in your Mac menu bar, NTFS for Mac lets you quickly and easily work with drives formatted to the NTFS format, even external drives. Can you upgrade directly from yosemite to catalina. You can quickly mount and unmount from the menu bar app, and the app allows full access to NTFS files so you can read, write, copy, delete, and transfer them without worry.

NTFS for Mac is a great option for those who have to work with or on PCs often; you can edit NTFS files on your Mac without fear you will somehow damage them!

Enable NTFS write support in Terminal

Terminal is the direct way you can edit features and settings on your Mac, but it’s a one-way street. Reversing things you do via Terminal can be difficult, and sometimes impossible. But, if you want to take the risk, you can enable NTFS write support in Terminal – just know it’s a highly risky move that could corrupt your drive and files.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open Terminal on your Mac
  2. Connect the drive formatted as NTFS
  3. Enter this command: sudo nano /etc/fstab
  4. Note: This opens a full list of NTFS files your Mac recognizes. In the following step, replace “NAME” with the name of the NTFS drive you’re trying to alter.

  5. Scroll to the end of the list, and enter this command: LABEL=NAME none ntfs rw, auto, nobrowse
  6. Press Control+O on your Mac keyboard
  7. Press Control+X on your keyboard
  8. Open Finder on your Mac
  9. In Finder, select ‘Go’ in the menu bar
  10. From the Go menu, select ‘Go to Folder’
  11. Enter this in the “Go to the Folder” field: /Volumes/NAME
  12. Note: Remember to substitute the NTFS volume name for ‘NAME’ in the step above

  13. Select ‘Go’

This should allow you full read and write access to your NTFS disk on the Mac.

Terminal is scary for many users – which is why you should give MacPilot a shot. It’s a fresh interface for your Mac Terminal that avoids having to know specific commands, and is a far safer alternative to Terminal as it limits you to doing what’s safe. There are roughly 1,2000 hidden Mac features MacPilot can help you quickly and easily discover and activate, all without having to enter a single Terminal command!

Use BootCamp to access NTFS drive

Bootcamp is Apple’s method for allowing you to run Windows on your Mac natively, so using it to access and edit NTFS files is (currently) a safe bet. It downloads everything you need to run Windows on your Mac automatically, but there are a few catches.


It will delete all of your old Time Machine backups, if you’re using Time Machine. This is another great reason to use Get Backup Pro!

Bootcamp is also on its way out. Macs with Apple Silicon running the newest version of macOS, Big Sur, will not have access to Bootcamp. It’s unknown if Apple will simply disallow Bootcamp for all Macs, or just those running Apple Silicon chipsets.

But if you run Bootcamp and boot into Windows on your Mac, you will be able to manage NTFS files.

Move files to the Cloud

Cloud services may not grant you write access to NTFS files, but they do let you duplicate, share, and sync NTFS files. All cloud services can host and share NTFS files, so pick your favorite cloud storage option and give it a try.

Many will even sync to your Mac, allowing you to move files within Finder and have them synced to the cloud without you having to drag and drop anything. Just open the drive you have your NTFS files in, and move them to your cloud storage. Apple’s iCloud even syncs your desktop and Documents folders automatically, making it a far easier process to sync NTFS files to the cloud.


Mac Ntfs Driver

NTFS files are still a fairly niche filetype, but when you need to access them it can be maddening to not have full access. If you try to make changes and mistakenly ruin your Mac’s files, things can be even worse for you.

Mac Ntfs Driver Seagate

Happily, all the apps mentioned today – NTFS for Mac, Get Backup Pro, Disk Drill, and MacPilot – are available for free during a seven day trial of Setapp, the world’s leading suite of productivity apps for your Mac. Along with these four incredible apps, you’ll have unlimited access to the entire Setapp catalog of nearly 200 apps!

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Meantime, prepare for all the awesome things you can do with Setapp.

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