If you own a Mac, you will know that it doesn’t support NTFS partition natively. While you can mount and read a NTFS partition, you can’t write to it. This means that if you dual boot your Mac with Windows, you won’t be able to write and share files to the Windows partition. Luckily, Mac does come with the capability to write to NTFS. All you need to do is to activate the feature.
Enable writing to NTFS partition with the terminal
The following method doesn’t require you to install any third party software, but it requires you to use the terminal to add an entry for each and every NTFS drive.
1. Open Finder and check the name of the NTFS partition (or external disk) at the left pane. Write it down.
2. Open the Terminal (Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal) and type the following command:
sudo nano /etc/fstab
This will open the
fstab file. It should be blank by default.
3. Enter the command:
LABEL=DRIVE_NAME none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse
Replace DRIVE_NAME with the NTFS partition name that you wrote down earlier.
Note: If your DRIVE_NAME is made up of two words separated with a space, for example, “NO NAME”, you have to change the space to “\040”. For example, “NO\040NAME”.
Press “Ctrl + o” to save and “Ctrl + x” to exit (Note that it is the “Ctrl” button, not “Command” button).
4. Unmount and remount your NTFS partition (alternatively, restart your Mac). Open your Finder; you will no longer find your NTFS partition in the left pane. Now, go to the “Go -> Go to Folder” and type in
/Volumes. You should find the NTFS partition listed under the Volumes folder. Open it and you will be able to write to it now.
Note that this trick only applies to a single NTFS partition. If you have multiple USB disks in the NTFS format, you will have to add the entry for each USB disk to the
/etc/fstab file. Alternatively, you can install third-party software to activate the NTFS write functionality system-wide.
Enable writing to NTFS partition with NTFS driver
1. Go to this website and download the NTFS driver for Mac.
2. Extract the archive and double-click to install the “NTFS.mpkg” file. After installation, it will prompt you to restart your Mac.
After the restart, you will be able to write to NTFS partition.
Depending on your preferences, you might want to try any of the methods above. They will work for OS X Lion and all the way up to Mavericks and Yosemite. Do let us know which method is your favorite.