Can MAC read and write to NTFS drives

The Mac can read FAT32 without a problem. The Mac will read NTFS, but cannot write to it. There is a program called MacFuse, which can read and write to NTFS drives. The Mac’s file format of HFS PLUS is the best way o go. goes into more detail about how to properly do this…


“If you want to share an external drive between a Mac and a Windows machine, you typically format the drive with a FAT32 partition. One problem you’ll run into, however, is that you can run into a file size limit if you’re dealing with really large files. NTFS gets around this limitation, but unfortunately the OS X NTFS driver only supports reading from NTFS partitions.

Thankfully, there’s a NTFS Fuse driver which you can use with the MacFUSE userspace filesystem driver. It supports full read/write capability, so you can use an external disk to swap large files between your Windows and Mac machines.

It’s a bit of a pain to install, but here’s the quick rundown:

Download and install MacFUSELink
Just get the DMG file and run the contained installer.

Download and install Fink. You need this for obtaining and building the NTFS Fuse driver – Link
– run the installer within the DMG file
– drag the FinkCommander application to your Applications folder
Get NTFS Fuse driver. You need to configure Fink to use unstable packages and then install the ntfs-3g Fuse driver. Open a terminal and run the following commands.
– /sw/bin/fink configure
Use defaults, except answer YES to use the unstable tree
– /sw/bin/fink selfupdate
– /sw/bin/fink index
– /sw/bin/fink scanpackages
– /sw/bin/fink install ntfs-3g
Mount your drive
– First, make sure it’s unmounted in disk utility (Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility – select drive – click unmount)
– Make a mount point: mkdir /Volumes/ntfsdrive
– Mount the drive: /sw/bin/ntfs-3g /dev/disk2s1 /Volumes/ntfsdrive
Replace /dev/disk2s1 with your external drive’s device. You can find this in Disk Utility.

The last step is all that you’ll need to repeat in the future to connect to your NTFS drive. After executing the mount command, the drive will appear on your desktop and you should be able to write files to it!”


6 Responses to Can MAC read and write to NTFS drives

  1. anonymous says:

    THe program Paragon NTFS for MAC OS X is a lot easier to use. Just install and you can use NTFS.

  2. Curly Scot says:

    Its actually pretty easy to do if:

    a) you install Fink Commander (just drag it from inside the mounted dmg file to applications) – its the same as using Terminal but a little less cryptic

    b) you have to do an rsync, which means you have to install XCode (from your original Mac Os X install disc or via the Apple site (which needs registration)) – fine but about 2Gb install.

    c) run the update from the Binary->Run in Terminal option

    Follow the final mount instructions above and away you go.

  3. Curly Scot says:

    Ok, scratch that – you can’t use the disk usefully from Finder – I’m off to try out Paragon – thanks anonymous 🙂

  4. lima says:

    this is a recommened option from apple! it is not a program but a driver…
    this is the apple site:

    this is the developer site:

  5. […] transfer files between the two totally different OS's…..possibly. Then again theres this…..…o-ntfs-drives/ Hope this helps. __________________ Full service graphics design, digital vinyl, dtg, dyesub, […]

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