Header Ads

Ultimate Guide on How to use NTFS drives on a Mac

There is no denying that Windows OS is widely used than MacOS. This is the reason; manufacturers of USB drives and external hard drives format their devices to NTFS by default. 

NTFS stands for NT file system, originally developed by Windows and is a default file system for Windows OS. Unfortunately, Apple has not licensed for this system and Mac users cannot write to drives that come with NTFS format. Hence, there are a few things you can try to use NTFS drives on Mac and some of them are listed in this article. 

How to use NTFS drives on a Mac

In this piece of writing, there are several solutions you can employ to easily use NTFS drives on your Mac without facing troubles.

Format to FAT32

If there is an NTFS drive you need to use with your Mac, you can use MacOS’s Disk Utility feature to reformat it to FAT32. By doing so, you can easily read and write data on your hard drives and USB sticks across Mac and Windows PCs. Before doing so, you should keep one important thing in your mind that FAT32 is not as effective as NTFS because it only supports file size up to 4GB. This can cause a problem when you need to read or write larger files on your Mac. To learn more about FAT32 and NTFS, you can visit Microsoft support. 

In order to convert your drive from NTFS to FAT32, hit the Spotlight icon at the top right of your screen and click on ‘Disk’ to find out Disk Utility settings. Then insert your USB stick or hard drive and find the device name in Disk Utility settings. Hit the ‘Erase’ button and choose ‘MS-DOS FAT’ under ‘Format’ options. You can also rename your device during the format change process if you want.

Click the ‘Erase’ button to proceed and read the warning cautiously before moving forward with the chosen format. It will remove all the existing data from your drive or USB while changing the device’s format from NTFS to FAT32. After successful completion, the device can be used with both Mac and PC.

Use a third-party solution

Since Windows computers are more widespread than Mac devices, software engineers around the globe are developing more third-party NTFS for Mac apps to resolve the ‘Mac doesn’t support NTFS drives’ issue. The use of such apps is a handy way to use NTFS drives on your Mac if you often need to plug NTFS supported drives into your Mac. However, you should choose a reliable third-party app like Microsoft NTFS for Mac by iBoysoft to prevent any technical and data security issues. Once installed successfully, iBoysoft NTFS for Mac will offer instant NTFS write support on macOS Big Sur and M1 Macs. You can rename, tag, and AirDrop files in Finder. Besides, you can partition and erase a disk into NTFS format in Disk Utility.

Use BootCamp to access the NTFS drive

BootCamp is a solution provided by Apple to allow Mac users to run Windows on their Mac natively. It helps a Mac user access and modify NTFS files conveniently without using a third-party app or converting files into FAT32. BootCamp downloads everything a user needs to run Windows on a Mac but it also deletes recent Time Machine backups if Time Machine was in use. 

It downloads all files or apps you need to run Windows on your Mac automatically, but there are a few catches. Furthermore, a Mac device with Apple Silicon operating with Big Sur will not gain access to BootCamp. 

However, if you are successfully able to run BootCamp on your Mac and turn MacOS into Windows, you will be able to access and manage all your NTFS files effortlessly.

Move your Data to Cloud

If there is a need to access, modify or collaborate on a few NTFS files by using your Mac, then moving all your files to a reliable cloud solution could be a great way to access and write NTFS files. There is a big number of cloud services including iCloud Drive that you can use to upload your files and access them anytime anywhere. The best thing about iCloud Drive is that it offers free 5GB storage and sync all your files immediately across different Apple devices. To reap the benefits of iCloud Drive, just open Window drive in Finder and copy all your files to the iCloud drive. To access and use copied files, sign in to your Mac or any other Apple device and make sure the cloud service is active.