How To Enable NTFS Write And Read Access In Mac OSX Mavericks

Last updated: September 16, 2014

If you’re like me and you’ve just come to the Apple side or you have an external hard drive (client supplied or old drive lying about) formatted in NTFS, then you will have noticed that Mac OS does not support writing (delete, update or move) to the drive and only allows you to browse and read only.

There is a product out there by Paragon which is about $30 and I have used it before and it works incredibly well, but if you can’t justify the spend, there is a free alternative. Mac OS has a secret, it can support writing to an NTFS formatted drive with ease and it works quite well too.

Open up a Terminal window and type: sudo nano /etc/fstab

You should not see a blank screen with cursor, you’re in the Nano text editor. Now the next step is important, you will need to follow the instructions properly.

In the currently open but blank file add the following:

LABEL=DRIVENAME none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse

Replace “DRIVENAME” above with the exact name of your external hard drive. For example, my drive is called “Thrice” so I would add in: LABEL=Thrice none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse

Then press: Control + O to save the file, hit enter and then hit Control + X to exit Nano.

If your drive is connected, eject it and plug the drive back in. You will notice the drive is no longer visible in Finder, but it’s okay, because the drive is now mounted as a readable and writeable volume.

Open up a Finder window and at the top in the menu bar click “Go” and then “Go To Folder” (or you can simply press Command + Shift + G) in the popup field that displays, type: /volumes you should now see your drive in the new window alongside a volume called Macintosh HD

Drag your mounted volume to the Finder sidebar and it will add it as a favourite shortcut which you can access with ease.

This is a hacky solution, but it works. The Paragon application is $30, but it is probably worth the investment as it does not require editing fstab and knowing the name of the drive, it will just work.




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