Best Solution To NTFS Read-Only Issue on Mac

Are you facing NTFS Read-only when you connect an external hard disk to your mac? Want to resolve this issue on your own? Then, this article is for you. In this article, I have discussed all the possible ways to solve the NTFS Read-Only issue.




There are a lot of file systems like NTFS, HFS+, and APFS. Accordingly, they have a different structure and logic, properties of speeds, flexibility, security, size, etc., On a Windows system, NTFS will be used whereas in a macOS and OS volume HFS+ and APFS will be used respectively. In common, FAT32 and exFAT are supported in both Windows and Mac operating systems.

As stated in the above paragraph, specific file systems are supported in certain operating systems only. So that, NTFS will be supported only on a Windows operating system. When you try to write or overwrite a hard disk of NTFS format, it denies the action and shows as NTFS Read-Only.

External hard drives are essential for storing and backing up important files for various uses. It becomes a big issue when you can only read from the external hard drive and do not have the access to perform other functions.

New Technology File System (NTFS) drives are read-only drives on Mac laptops. This inconvenience from having only one option to read the NTFS drive can pose a challenge to your activities. This problem is prevalent in the latest Mac introductions.

In order to solve such a problem, this article shows how to use iBoysoft NTFS for Mac alongside other best solutions to the NTFS read-only issue on Mac.




Solutions To NTFS Read-Only Issue

Mac users that use USB flash drives and other external storage devices are well familiar with the read-only problem. This is due to the NTFS file system that these storage devices operate. Mac can only provide a read-only operation when using the NTFS drive on Mac.

If you try to copy or move files from NTFS external drive on Mac, you fast discover that this operation is not possible. Whether for a document or an image, you can only read it. Read operation locks in the files the hard drive contains, so you can only read them. To find a solution to the NTFS read-only issue, here are some practical solutions you can apply.

Most of the Mac users think that the only solution for the NTFS Read-only is linked to formatting the drive. But it’s not true. You can also resolve that NTFS Read-Only without losing the data contained in it.




1. NTFS for Mac Tool

To resolve the issue of Read-only on Mac devices, there is a tool/driver named Microsoft NTFS for Mac. This tool was provided by many major companies. This driver will help you to make the NTFS formatted external hard disks Readable and Writable. In this method, formatting the external hard disk is not necessary. So that, your data is safe.

One of the best companies that provide the Microsoft NTFS for Mac tool is “iBoysoft”. Using this driver, you can easily turn your NTFS Read-Only to Read and Write. This driver enables you to access all the functions of Windows NTFS on Mac. Moreover, it works on all the latest versions of Mac such as macOS 11 to macOS 10.13, and also supports the latest Apple Mac M1. The steps involved in using the iBoysoft Microsoft NTFS for Mac are listed below.

  • Firstly, visit iBoysoft official website and download the driver.
  • Install it on the Mac device and restart the device.
  • After the restarting the device sucessfully. Connect the external flash drive and launch the iBoysoft NTFS for Mac.
  • Then, you will get access to Read and write on the external Hard disk.

2. Using Terminal Window Program

If you are looking for a one-time fix for your NTFS error on your Mac, then this method (Terminal Command-Line) is the right one. Another thing to keep in mind is this is an experimental method allowed by Mac itself. So, try this method at your own risk. Making a single mistake may lead to a complete loss of data in a specific target. Follow the below-listed steps to Solve the NTFS read-only issue using the Terminal method.

  • STEP-1: Go to Finder and search for Terminal. Click on it to launch the Terminal Program.
  • STEP-2: Input Sudo nano/etc/fstab to edit or modify the fstab file.
  • STEP-3: Type “LABEL=VOLUME_NAME none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse” in the editor window and Click “O” by holding CTRL on your keyboard to write. (Make sure to replace the VOLUME NAME with the NTFS drive name)
  • STEP-4: Hit CTRL + O to save the file and then, click on CTRL + X to quit the Terminal program.
  • STEP-5: Disconnect the NTFS drive and reconnect it. That’s it, now the NTFS drive will become read and write.

3. Reformatting External Hard Disk

Reformatting the external Hard Disk is nothing but bypassing the file system. The steps involved in formatting the NTFS to the file system that supports in Mac Operating System are listed below.

  • Launch “Disk Utility” – Go to “Applications>Utilities”.
  • Then, you will find the list of hard disks present on your Mac and choose the hard disk by clicking on it that you want to erase.
  • On the erase window, choose a specific file system. As you want to make the external hard disk as macOS supported, Choose the file system as AFPS, or MS-DOS. If you won;t find these file systems in the list, you can choose FAT, or ExFAT.
  • After choosing the file systems, Click on Erase to start formatting.
  • It takes time to complete the formatting process. After the completion, go to information of the hard disk. There, you will see the “You can only Read” to “You can read and write”.
  • Now, you can write the external hard disk on Mac.

4. Avoid Permissions

If you think that the Read-Only problem is facing by the permissions, then this method will help you a lot. Follow the simple steps to solve the issue.




  • STEP-1: Choose and right click on the external hard disk. Select “Get Info” option from the list.
  • STEP-2: Then, a window will pop-up and on that window, click on the drop down icon of “Sharing & Permissions” option to open the sub-menu of it.
  • STEP-3: Under the options, you will find a lock icon, click on it to Authenticate.
  • STEP-4: Check the “ignore ownership on this volume” option.

5. Rectify and Repair Hard Disk Error

This method is useful when you face the problem of “Read-only” by the incorrect formatting of the hard disk. In this method, your hard disk will be repaired by a feature called First-Aid”. Follow the below steps to use this feature.

  • STEP-1: Go to Applications and click on “Disk Utility”.
  • STEP-2: Select the Hard disk which you want to apply the process.
  • STEP-3: Click on the “First Aid” option available at the top of the window and it asks for confirmation. Click on “Run” to continue the process.

I hope this tutorial helped you to know about the Best Solution To The NTFS Read-Only Issue on Mac. If you want to say anything, let us know through the comment sections. If you like this article, please share it and follow WhatVwant on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for more Technical tips.

Best Solution To The NTFS Read-Only Issue on Mac – FAQs

Can NTFS be used on Mac?

Apple’s macOS can read from Windows-formatting NTFS drives.

What is NTFS for Mac and do I need it?




Microsoft NTFS is one of the primary file systems of Windows. If you work on a Mac computer and need to read or write files from HDD, SSD, or a flash drive formatted under Windows, you need Microsoft NTFS for Mac by iBoysoft software.

Is iBoysoft NTFS for Mac safe?

Yes, iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is absolutely safe to use.

Should I buy NTFS for Mac?

If an NTFS drive is connected to Mac OS locally, such as via IDE, SATA, or USB, you need Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X to be able to write data to the NTFS portion.

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