Mac NTFS Support Explanation | Enable Mac to Write to NTFS

Last updated: Jul 28, 2023
Summary: This post mainly explains the Mac NTFS support/compatibility issue. Also, learn how to enable Mac NTFS write support to easily write to NTFS drives on your Mac.

This post gives a Mac NTFS support explanation. Some possible ways to help you enable the NTFS write support on Mac are also provided.

Mac NTFS support

Does Mac Support NTFS?

NTFS is a file system developed by Microsoft. It is the default file system of newer Windows operating systems like Windows 10 and Windows 11.

As for Mac NTFS compatibility, Mac operating systems can smoothly read Windows-formatted NTFS drives. However, Mac doesn’t let users copy, write, edit, or delete files on the NTFS drive. To enable Mac to write to NTFS drives, you may try the 4 ways below.

How to Enable NTFS Write Support on Mac

Way 1. The easiest way to make the NTFS drive writable on Mac is to use a professional NTFS for Mac software program. You may find some good choices online.

Way 2. The second way to enable Mac NTFS write support is to use Terminal commands. You can open the Terminal app via Spotlight. Type the command sudo nano /etc/fstab and press Enter. Then type the command LABEL=NAME none ntfs rw, auto, nobrowse and press Enter. Replace “NAME” in the command with the exact name of the target NTFS drive.

Using Terminal commands to do actions on Mac may be risky. This way is not recommended. If you want to try it, it’s advised you back up data on the NTFS drive before you use Terminal commands to enable the NTFS write support on Mac.

Way 3. You may also try some disk partition managers online to see if they can help you convert the NTFS drive to exFAT or APFS.

Way 4. Reformat the NTFS drive to Mac compatible file system. If the hard drive is new and doesn’t have any data on it yet, you may reformat it to exFAT or APFS which is perfectly compatible with Mac systems. You can open Disk Utility and use the Erase feature to easily format the drive to exFAT or APFS.

format hard drive to exFAT

Mac NTFS Support FAQs

Why can’t I write NTFS on Mac?

Mac only allows you to read NTFS drives but not to write to them. If you want to enable the NTFS write support on Mac, you may try one of the 4 ways above.

How to make NTFS writable on Mac?

The commonest way to make an NTFS drive writable on Mac is to utilize a professional Mac NTFS application. This way helps you install an NTFS driver on your Mac and lets you flawlessly write/copy/edit files on the NTFS drive. Still, it will not cause any data loss on the drive and you don’t need to format the drive.

Why is NTFS for Mac read-only?

macOS isn’t compatible with the way NTFS writes data to drives, so Mac limits the write support for NTFS drives. By default, it only lets you read the files from the NTFS drive.

Bottom Line

This post gives a simple explanation for Mac NTFS support/compatibility. In conclusion, Mac only supports reading NTFS drives but not writing to them. To enable the NTFS write support on Mac, you may try the 4 ways introduced in this post.


Cassie has been writing about technology for her entire career life - over 10 years. She enjoys diving into how Apple products work and then breaking it down in a way that anyone can understand.