Fix Can’t Copy or Write Files to NTFS Drives on Mac – 6 Tips

Cassie Xie
Last updated: Dec 29, 2023
Summary: This post offers 6 solutions to help you fix can’t copy or write files to NTFS drives from Mac.
  • Why is my Mac unable to copy to NTFS?
  • How to copy files from Mac to NTFS drive?
  • How do I make my NTFS drive writable on a Mac?
  • Why can’t I paste to NTFS from Mac?

If you have similar problems, you can check the 6 tips below to fix can’t copy or write to NTFS drive on Mac.

can’t write to NTFS drive on Mac

Fix 1. Use an NTFS for Mac Application

NTFS is the default file system of Windows and it is developed by Microsoft. You can easily connect and use the NTFS drive on your Windows computer.

However, if you connect the NTFS drive to your Mac, you may find that you can’t copy files to the NTFS drive from your Mac, nor write files to it.

The fact is that Mac offers limited support for NTFS drives on Mac, namely, NTFS drive is read-only on Mac.

If you want to copy files from an NTFS drive to Mac or copy files from Mac to an external NTFS drive, you need to install an NTFS for Mac software program.

BuhoNTFS, an easy-to-use free NTFS for Mac software application, lets you easily read and write to NTFS drives on Mac.

For macOS 10.13 and above
  1. Download and install BuhoNTFS from its official website.
  2. Connect the NTFS drive to your Mac computer.
  3. Launch BuhoNTFS. Select the NTFS drive from the left panel. Tick "Allow Read & Write permission".
  4. Then you can click Open to open the NTFS drive to easily copy files between your Mac and the NTFS drive. You can also add, delete, rename, read, and write files on the NTFS drive.

Fix 2. Check the Hardware Connections

If you use a USB-C to USB adapter to connect the NTFS drive to your Mac, you can change to another USB port to have a try.

You can also connect the adapter to another Mac computer to see if it works.

Still, you can also change another USB-C to USB adapter to see if it helps fix can’t copy/write files to NTFS from Mac.

Restart your Mac computer and make sure the NTFS drive is well connected.

Fix 3. Make the NTFS Drive Writable on Mac with Terminal

You can also use Mac Terminal to enable the write support or NTFS drives on your Mac. But this way is not recommended by Apple since it may cause disk corruption.

  1. Connect the NTFS drive to your Mac computer.
  2. Click the Spotlight Search icon at the top-right, type terminal in the search box, and choose the Terminal app to open it.
  3. Type the command sudo nano /etc/fstab in the Terminal window and press the Return key.
  4. Type the command LABEL=NAME none ntfs rw, auto, nobrowse at the end of the list. Replace “NAME” in the command with the name of the external NTFS drive. Press Return.
  5. Then open Finder and click Go > Go to Folder, type /volumes, and find the target NTFS drive to open it. You can smoothly copy and paste files from Mac to NTFS or vice versa. You can also create and edit files on the NTFS drive from your Mac.

Fix 4. Convert NTFS to FAT with a Disk Partition Manager

To fix can’t copy or write files to the NTFS drive from Mac, you can also use a professional Disk Partition Manager program to convert NTFS to exFAT or FAT32 without losing data. You can find a preferred tool online. Mac systems fully support exFAT and FAT32 format drives.

Fix 5. The NTFS Drive May Be Corrupted

  1. Click the Spotlight Search icon, type disk utility, and select Disk Utility to open Mac Disk Utility.
  2. Select the target NTFS drive from the left panel.
  3. Click the First Aid button and click Run to check and repair the corrupted disk.
repair corrupted hard dive

Fix 6. Reformat the NTFS Drive to exFAT or FAT32

If you still can’t copy files to NTFS from Mac, you can try to reformat the NTFS drive to exFAT or FAT32 format which is perfectly supported by Mac. You must copy all needed data on the NTFS drive to another device before you format it.

  1. Follow the same operative above to open Disk Utility on Mac.
  2. Select the external NTFS drive and click Erase.
  3. Enter a name for the drive and choose exFAT or FAT32 to format the drive to FAT32 or exFAT.
format NTFS drive to exFAT

In conclusion, this post provides 6 tips to help you fix can’t copy or write files to NTFS drive on your Mac. Hope it helps.

Cassie has been writing about technology for her entire career life - over 5 years. She enjoys diving into how Apple products work and then breaking it down in a way anyone can understand.