How to Read/Write NTFS Drives on Mac | NTFS for Mac Tools

Last updated: Mar 24, 2023
Summary: This post mainly introduces NTFS compatibility on Mac. NTFS drives are read-only on Mac. If you want to write to NTFS drives on Mac, you need to turn to a third-party NTFS for Mac tool. This post also introduces some top NTFS for Mac software applications for your reference.
  • Does NTFS work on Mac?
  • Why can’t macOS write to NTFS drive?
  • Why Mac doesn’t support NTFS?
  • Can Mac read NTFS USB?
  • How to write to NTFS drives on Mac?

If you connect an external drive (HDD, SSD, USB, etc.) to your Mac computer and find it is read-only, the drive may be formatted with the NTFS file system. NTFS drives are read-only on Mac devices, but you have some ways to make the NTFS disk read and write on Mac. Check the detailed analysis below.

How to Read/Write NTFS Drives on Mac

About NTFS File System

NTFS, developed by Microsoft, is the default file system for modern Windows and Windows Server systems. NTFS replaces the FAT file system as the preferred file system on Windows. Unlike FAT, NTFS supports file encryption, transparent compression, sparse files, file system journaling, shadow copy, and ACLs (access control lists).

NTFS-compatible systems include:

  • Windows NT 3.1 and later, up to Windows 11.
  • Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2, 2016, 2019, 2022.
  • macOS 10.3 and later (read-only).
  • Linux kernel version 2.6 and later.
  • ChromeOS.
If you need an easy-to-use Mac cleaner tool to optimize disk space usage on your Mac, you can try BuhoCleaner.
Free DownloadFor macOS 10.10 and above
100,000+ Satisfied Users Worldwide

How to Read NTFS Drives on Mac

From the above introduction of the NTFS file system, you can see NTFS is read-only on Mac computers. You can easily open an NTFS drive on your Mac and view files on it.

  1. You can connect the NTFS drive to your Mac computer by using a USB-C cable, USB-C to USB-A adapter, Thunderbolt, or Bluetooth.

  2. If the NTFS drive is connected properly, you can see the drive on your desktop. Double-click the drive to open it to read data on it.

If you don’t see the drive on your desktop, you can open Finder on your Mac, find and select the target external drive in the Finder sidebar to view its content.

If you want, you can show external drive on your Mac desktop. Click the Finder menu > Settings > General, and tick the “External disks” option under “Show these items on the desktop”.

Show External Drive on Mac Desktop

How to Copy/Write Files to NTFS Drives on Mac

For APFS, exFAT, or FAT32 drives, it’s easy to move files from Mac to the external drive or vice versa. You can just copy and paste or drag the files to the target location.

However, without a third-party Mac NTFS utility, you can’t copy files to an NTFS drive from Mac or create/edit files on the NTFS drive.

Top 6 NTFS for Mac Software Applications

You can use some professional NTFS for Mac software applications to make NTFS drives read and write on Mac. Check the popular third-party Mac NTFS tools below to help you fully handle external NTFS drives on your Mac computer. Use a preferred Mac NTFS writer tool to write, edit, copy, delete, or move files stored on the NTFS drives on your Mac.

Paragon NTFS for Mac

You can use Paragon NTFS for Mac to install an NTFS driver for Mac to get full read-write access to the NTFS disk. After installing this third-party tool, you can easily write, edit, copy, rename, create, and delete files on the Microsoft NTFS volumes from your Mac. It is easy to use. You can download and install Paragon NTFS for Mac software on your Mac, restart your Mac, and find the connected NTFS volume from Finder to start using it. Compatible systems: macOS Sierra – Ventura. Intel-based Mac devices and ARM-based Mac devices (Apple Silicon M1/-Pro/-Max/-Ultra/M2).

Paragon NTFS for Mac

Tuxera NTFS for Mac

To write to NTFS drives on Mac, you can also try Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera. This tool also provides full read-write support for NTFS file system drives.

With this Mac NTFS driver, you can mount the NTFS-formatted drive on your Mac to open, edit, transfer, add, and write files to the NTFS USB, HDD, etc. It offers fast file transfer speed between the external drive and Mac.

It also comes with a Tuxera Disk Manager that lets you format, create, and repair NTFS drives.

This tool can also work with the dual boot or virtual machine systems.

Supported systems: macOS 10.4-13 (Ventura). PowerPC-, Intel-, and Apple silicon-based Macs.

Tuxera NTFS for Mac

iBoysoft NTFS for Mac

iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is another popular third-party tool that lets you fully access an NTFS volume on your Mac. It helps mount the external NTFS drive in read-write mode. You can then easily create, delete, edit, rename, and write files on the NTFS drive on your Mac. Supported systems: macOS 10.13-13. Apple Silicon M2, M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max.

iBoysoft NTFS for Mac

EaseUS NTFS for Mac

To fix the read-only NTFS drive on Mac, you can also try EaseUS NTFS for Mac. You can install this Mac NTFS driver to make the NTFS disk writable on your Mac without formatting. It lets you easily mount and unmount NTFS drives from the Mac status bar. Supported systems: Up to macOS Ventura. Latest M1/M2-based Mac devices.

EaseUS NTFS for Mac


macFUSE is a free and open-source NTFS Mac utility. It extends the third-party file systems compatibility for your Mac. You can use it to mount NTFS partitions in read-write mode on your Mac. It is a command-line tool and may be more suitable for tech users. Supported systems: macOS 10.9 and later. Apple Intel or Silicon systems.



This free NTFS tool for Mac also provides NTFS read and write support on Mac devices. You can download and install NTFS Tool from GitHub and operate NTFS disks in macOS systems with ease.


5 Tips to Fix Can’t Read or Write to NTFS Drives on Mac

Tip 1. Check if the drive format is supported by Mac. NTFS is originally read-only on Mac. To make it read and write, you can try one of the NTFS for Mac software above.

Tip 2. Make sure the drive is well-connected to your Mac. Change another port or USB cable to try again. Try to connect the disk to another computer to see if it can normally work.

Tip 3. The disk may be corrupted. You can run First Aid in the Disk Utility app to diagnose and fix the problematic hard drive.

  • On your Mac, go to Finder > Applications > Utilities, find and double-click Disk Utility.
  • Click View > Show All Devices.
  • Select the target drive and click First Aid to check and repair the corrupted NTFS drive.
Run First Aid for External Hard Drive with Disk Utility

Tip 4. If the disk is encrypted, you can ask its owner for permission to fix the read-only NTFS drive on Mac.

Tip 5. If the NTFS drive is empty and will only be used on Mac, you can reformat it to APFS/exFAT/FAT32 file format which is fully supported by Mac. You can also use some professional disk partition managers to convert NTFS to exFAT/FAT32/APFS without data loss.

Bottom Line

This post mainly introduces how to read and write to NTFS drives on Mac. Some popular NTFS for Mac applications are also introduced. You can download a preferred NTFS Mac tool to mount the NTFS drive in read-write mode on your Mac and write data onto the drive without formatting it. Additional tips to help you fix can’t read NTFS drives or can’t write to NTFS drives on Mac are also provided. Hope it helps.


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.