How To

How to Write to NTFS Drives in macOS Mojave

Written by John

The new macOS 10.14 Mojave is here with us, and this new OS is packed with very useful features. From the desktop stacks to the new dark mode there is plenty to be happy about. However, this OS still does not support the NTFS file format that is common among Windows users. Is this to say that you cannot use an NTFS drive on your Mac?

Natively, you can read data on an NTFS drive on a Mac computer, but you cannot write to it. This means you cannot create new documents in it and you cannot edit existing ones. This can be very inconveniencing to say the least, but there is a solution. You can write to NTFS Drives in macOS Mojave using various methods. In this article, we look at what these options are and what the best one is. Use any of these methods, and you will be able to open files copied from Windows PCs with ease and also create new files to be stored on the NTFS drive. You can also edit, delete, copy and do other manipulations to these documents. With these solutions transferring data to and from your or a friends Windows will be super easy and relatively fast.

1. Third Party NTFS Drivers

There are many third party applications (not developed by Apple or NTFS makers Microsoft) that allow Mac users to read and write to NTFS drives but the one that supports the Mojave is the Paragon NTFS for Mac.

NTFS for macOS Mojave

The Paragon NTFS for macOS Mojave has an intuitive design that makes it very easy to use. It is just like Apple’s Disk Utility, and if you have used this before, the Paragon interface will look very familiar. If not, all it takes is a few minutes, and you will be able to do all the activities you want with the aid of the simple interface.

There is an automount feature which mounts all supported files automatically during startup. This means you do not have to manually mount your NTFS drive every time you want to use it. Once mounted, you will be able to manipulate files as you wish. Whether it is an NTFS formatted hard drive, solid state drive or flash drive, you will get full read and write to NTFS drives access. You will be able to open, edit, copy, move, delete and create files as you wish.

NTFS Drives Menu in Mojave

Getting access to an NTFS drive on macOS Mojave is not enough. Getting that access at fast speeds is the ideal thing that should happen. Paragon gives just that! With it, you not only enable Mac writing to NTFS but do so at blazing speeds. The speed is faster than the write speed natively supported by macOS Mojave on NTFS drives.

Volume management is one of the important features of the Paragon NTFS. This app checks the drives in the Mac and repairs any issues it may pick up during this checkup. Formatting drives are also easy with this app.

Even if you are running the macOS Mojave on a computer natively run by another operating system, you can still use the Paragon to get NTFS drive full access. This is made possible by this application’s extensive support for other software including virtualization programs.

Paragon NTFS for Mac is available for a FREE download here.

2. Enable Mac Writing to NTFS Using Terminal

It is true that macOS run computers cannot write to NTFS files by default, but this function can be switched on in the terminal. This is the hardest method, and at the end of the process success is not always guaranteed. How can use Terminal to activate NTFS write on macOS Mojave? Follow the steps below:

Step 1: In a Windows PC, give the drive a 1-word name. At the right of the taskbar, look for the “safely remove hardware” icon. Right click on this and select “Eject”. Remove the file and plug into the Mac.

NTFS Drive

Step 2: Power the computer run by macOS Mojave and press “Command” and “space” keys at the same time. Type “Terminal” and then press “Enter” on the keyboard. This opens the Terminal. Alternatively, navigate to “Applications” then “Utilities” then “Terminal” then type “Open Terminal”.

Open Terminal in macOS 10.14 Mojave

Step 3: In the now open Terminal, type in the command below:
Sudo nano /etc/fstab

Step 4: Press “Enter” then type in the following command: (the NAME should be replaced with the name of your drive)
LABEL=NAME none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse

Step 5: Press “CTRL+O”. This saves the file. Press “Enter”. To close the Terminal, press “CTRL+X”.

Step 6: Unplug the NTFS and reconnect it.

Step 7: Now, to access it, click on “Go” then “Go to folder”. In the box that appears type “/volumes”. Click on the “Go” button.

This opens the NTFS drive and you can manipulate it as you wish.

Read and Write NTFS Drives on macOS Mojave

To undo this changes simple delete the lines added to the nano editor.

3. Change Drive Format to exFAT

The macOS 10.14 Mojave does support exFAT file format and since Windows does too, converting an NTFS drive to exFAT may solve the problem of accessing the files it contains on both platforms. This method is very simple and can be done on any macOS run device. When done the drive can be read and written to on Mac and Windows without any problems.

Format to exFAT with Disk Utility

To use this method of write to NTFS drives on macOS follow the following steps:
Step 1: Find Disk Utility with Spotlight and open it.
Step 2: Choose the drive you would like to work on and select the “Erase” tab in Disk Utility. (A drive must be empty when the format is changed)
Step 3: In the drop down box, select “EXFAT” and click “erase”. Follow the prompts given, and the process will be over in a few minutes.

The main disadvantage of using this method is that you will lose all the data in the drive, so it is advisable to backup all contents before trying this method.

Bottom line

There are many reasons why you may want to gain access to an NTFS drive. Whether it is because you need to share files with a friend who uses Windows or you have a new Mac and need to transfer your old files in your Windows PC, having full access is necessary. It is not enough to have read access. To write to NTFS drives in macOS Mojave, there are several options. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. For instance, using Terminal is free, but it is a technical process that may not always work. On the other hand, converting the drive format to exFAT is simple, but you will lose all the data, and in case you forget to backup first, it will be gone forever. Also, the number of supported characters and files is not the same as in NTFS.

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