Free Software Applications that Let Mac OS X Write to NTFS Partitions

macbook-proBeing a frequent Mac OS X user, you know that it supports reading NTFS-formatted drives, but not writing to MS Windows formatted NTFS drives; the OS supports HFS file system instead. This is a general consideration; the fact is that OS X supports writing to NTFS, but after enabling the respective feature manually because the feature is not enabled by default.

However, you need to enable the feature for each volume; enabling the feature requires you to edit the hidden fstab file. However, make sure that the NTFS drive has a simple and one-word name. You can do it by clicking ‘Applications’ → ‘Utilities’ folder, opening Terminal program, and then running the below given command:

sudo nano /etc/fstab

Specify password when needed. The command will edit the fstab file.

Next, enter the following in the displayed editor window for fstab file.

LABEL=NAME none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse

In the above line, you need to specify the name of your drive in place of NAME. Note that the name is case-sensitive.

On completion of the process, save the file with the help of Control+O command, and then close it by using Control+X. Now, mount the NTFS drive and reattach it; doing it will not let the system show the drive in Finder. However, if you want to show the drive in hidden volumes directory, run the following command:

open /Volumes

You will find the mounted NTFS volume in the opened folder. Here, you can copy the files to the drive or manage files on the drive. If you use the drive on a frequent basis, either give it an alias at any location on the system or bring it to the sidebar.

However, it is also important to know that this ability in a Mac NTFS driver is not tested exhaustively and imposes some limitations. Sometimes, this may result in abnormal behavior; therefore, make sure you use the driver carefully. Otherwise, the consequences may sink you into many additional issues. It is recommended to use professional tools in case of important information.

Moreover, you may also face other unknown problems while using Apple’s driver to write to Windows NTFS volume on Mac OS X. In this case, consider using an external utility to accomplish the task. You know that there is a wide range of such utilities in market; however, sometimes, it might not suit you economically to go by any such utility.

Well, now to worry, not all these tools are paid. Most applications are also available as free version as well that allow you to make your Mac OS X to write to a NTFS-formatted drive. Go through the following to know about the utilities and choose the one that you think is appropriate for you. Ideally, your choice should depend on particular parameters, such as data security, faster process, effective results, etc.


Tuxera NTFS is one of the highly suggested utilities that is a read/write NTFS application for Mac OS X users. The software performs speedy data transfer as well as pays attention on security of your data with the integration of smart caching layer. Moreover, the application is compatible with all Mac OS X versions from 10.4 onwards. It also provides support for NTFS extended attributes and has compatibility with various encryption and virtualization solutions, such as TrueCrypt, VMware Fusion, etc. The software performs scanning of all files and directories on the drive you have selected, and then carries out the procedure. The utility is also available as a free version; you just need to download and install it to allow your Mac OS X to write to an NTFS formatted volume.

The NTFS-3G is another commercial utility from the same group available free of cost and allows you to read/write on NTFS on Mac OS X in addition to many other widely used operating systems, such as Linux, Solaris, etc. It is compatible with the following Windows OS file systems:

  • Windows XP
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows 2000
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows 7

The application dedicatedly performs the task with its highly advanced features after performing a thorough test. Millions of computer users use the NTFS-3G for reliable and efficient data exchange. Note that you need to install Macfuse driver to allow the utility to work.

Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X

Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X promises efficiency, simplicity, and safety throughout the process. The utility ensures the NTFS transfer rate as that of the native file system HFS. The application is all easy to install and use, and you need not use any special commands to mount NTFS volume, rather you just attach a disk or media with NTFS volume and get access. Moreover, it also allows you to create and repair NTFS drives the same way you do with the native file system HFS/HFS+. I also does not impose any file or partition size restrictions. The software supports all NTFS versions, sparse files, compressed files & folders, and protected files & folders.

With the use of such utilities you can simply eliminate the problems that may hinder the task while using Apple’s driver and this is how you can enjoy Windows drive on Mac OS X.

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