Three solutions to support NTFS Portable Hard drives on your Macintosh

cannot copy files to external hard drive from macMac OS X do not support writing files into NTFS filesystems by default and you cannot copy files to external hard drive from mac. But Mac do support reading the NTFS drives and copying files from NTFS HDDs. Most of the Mac users don’t know this and will buy portable external hard disks to expand the storage space. If you bought one, don’t worry 3 solutions are for you.

Cannot copy files to external hard drive from mac ?

Solution 1. Format the Hard disk with ExFat file system (Windows and Mac will fully support it)

Solution 2. A Third party utility to support read and write operations on NTFS file system.

Solution 3. Using simple tweaks play on your Mac OS X.

1. Format the Hard disk with ExFat file system

If you go for the first solution, simply backup all the data and connect your external hard disk to your MAC and follow the stepsNTFS support on Mac

  1. Connect your Portable External Hard drive and open “Disk Utility”
  2. Select the External Disk on the left section, and click on the “ERASE” tab and format as ExFAT file system

2. Third party software for NTFS support on Mac

Paragon NTFS support for MacSecond solution is a third party utility that adds NTFS drivers for Mac. Go for “Paragon NTFS for Mac” which is a paid software. Download and install it.

If you are using Seagate external hard disk, the download free copy of “Paragon NTFS” thats comes absolutely free and only works with Seagate branded portable hard disks.  Download Paragon NTFS for Seagate made Portable Hard disks.

3. NTFS write support for MAC using simple OS X Tweaks

Its a bit skill oriented task, so follow it carefully and at your own risk.

First connect your NTFS Drive into the Mac and open “Terminal” application and run the below command to find the UUID of your External NTFS Hard Disk. (My NTFS HDD name is “TOSHIBA”, Edit with your own Mac HDD name)

diskutil info /Volumes/TOSHIBA | grep UUID

Sample output:

Volume UUID:              45125EB1-E1C3-3D21-9484-32DE22FEF0

Now enable read/write support for the Hard drive (based on UUID) run the below command, edit with your own Disk Volume UUID. This command add read write attribute to the /etc/fstab

sudo echo “UUID=<UUID> none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse” >> /etc/fstab


sudo echo “UUID=45125EB1-E1C3-3D21-9484-32DE22FEF0 none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse” >> /etc/fstab

Now you will be able to perform both read and write to that NTFS formatted Hard drive from that Mac. If you got another NTFS hard drive, Follow the steps again to find that HDD’s UUID and enale the rw/wr .