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 solution. You can actually 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. 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.

2. 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 actually 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 “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 really 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.

About the author

John

Hi. I am very happy to welcome you my friends. Myself John, and I am a founder & admin of Techsviewer.com. I love to spend time to writing useful tech posts for people and that is the main reason behind the development of the blog. Blogging is my hobby and I am doing it for part time. I am full time worker who is working as an administrator in system & network.

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