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What Is the Best Way To Write To Drives Formatted As NTFS?

I’m a new Mac user with Lion. I have several drives formatted as NTFS and would like to understand the best way to manage files on those drives (i.e. read, write, update).
Clifford Caraway

Comments: 5 Responses to “What Is the Best Way To Write To Drives Formatted As NTFS?”

    12 years ago

    Mac OS X does not handle NTFS-formatted drives. I've heard that it can read from them but not write to them. But other sources say it can't do either.
    Don't know myself, because I've never tried.
    It usually isn't an issue as if you want to share a drive between Macs and Windows machines you can just format it as FAT32 which both can read and write to fine. Or, more likely, you don't share a drive between them at all and instead share files over a network. In that case, drive format doesn't matter and each machine handles its own drives.
    But if you really need to be able to read and write to a NTFS drive, the way to do it is to get some third-party software for your Mac. I've never tried any of these, but a search for "ntfs mac lion" comes up with several competing products.

    12 years ago

    I use a app called NTFS for MacOSX and I am very happy with it. It works on the background and only show up in the System Preference panel.

    It makes your Mac format-agnostic working well to write/read in FAT, NFTS and HFS.

    Peter Wellings
    12 years ago

    It's true. OS X (at least Leopard, Snow Leopard and Lion to my knowledge) natively reads NTFS but will not write it. This is a pity since NTFS offers a number of benefits over FAT32, including greater robustness, more sophisticated file security, ACLs, etc.

    There are solutions, of course, but they are not quite perfect...

    Firstly you need an add-in layer to support non-OS-X filesystems, which you can obtain (free) from

    Then you need an NTFS layer to sit on top of OSXFUSE. The one I used to use under Snow Leopard was NTFS-3G, which was freeware. This doesn't work under Lion, so an update is required, which you can find at The wrinkle is that Tuxera have almost completely subsumed the former freeware into a commercial product. You can, it seems, download the free product as source code and build it yourself. Otherwise Tuxera offers the commercial version for the princely price of $32.29 / ā‚¬25. Personally I think this price unreasonable and I am not willing to pay it...

    If anyone knows of any alternative free or low cost solution, please respond.

    Clifford Caraway
    12 years ago

    I'm truly impressed by the response to my question here. Thank you very much! There are several options you guys have provided. I'm going to research these further & I'll certainly post what I learn and use as a solution. Thanks again! :)

    12 years ago

    I'm glad you asked this question Clifford, because recently my sister wanted me to give her family videos. She's a PC user. She brought a drive to copy onto, but it turns out FAT 32 formatted drives do not allow files over 4GB. The movies are 10+GB. I haven't had time to research a solution. Thanks to you, I don't have to stumble around and find a solution.

    I just need her to format her drive for NTFS and NTFS for MacOSX! Thanks to Rogerio too!

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