Info Before you post: Mac OS X hard drive guide

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Mac OS X is incapable of writing to NTFS without additional software. It can read the files but cannot alter, add or remove any files on the NTFS disk.

Mac OS X server is capable of writing to NTFS without addtional software.

You can workaround this limitation by:

*Using a device formatted as exFAT which can be written to by both Windows and Mac OS X (Snow Leopard and beyond) Recommended

*Using a FAT32 device which can be written to by both Windows and Mac OS X, but this does not address files larger than 4GB, although Fat32 supports a total partition size larger that 4GB.

*Using bootcamp to access NTFS files and transfer them to the desired destination. Windows in bootcamp can access both the HFS+ partitions of Mac OS X and NTFS partitions.

*Using an open source application called MacFUSE designed to allow Mac OS X to read NTFS files, but be warned it requires fair technical expertise.

There are many commercial applications you can find with a Google search. Their results will vary. Before you pay money for them, please read reliable reviews on them.

This thread has been marked for improvement by amdfangirl. Suggestions and comments are appreciated. Contributors will be noted.
One other possibility is to attach the external drive to a PC, share it, and access it as a network drive. These questions often arise from people who want to use an external disk with both PC and Mac.


Jul 31, 2012
Another good program besides MacFuse is Paragon NTFS. I have been using that for years on my Macs and it works like a charm. It adds an NTFS format option in disk utility
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