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I plugged in an external drive I have been using in my Windows computer to my MacBook Pro and I do not have write access to it. When going to the info pane, it says "read only access".

What is the best current NTFS driver of OS X? It should be …

  • user-friendly
  • actively maintained (so not something that was last updated 5 years ago)
  • What makes it "best": Highest price? Biggest size? – Izzy Apr 14 '16 at 16:52
  • How user friendly it is. The features it offers. If it is paid or free. It is actively maintained in contrast to some software that was last updated 5 years ago. – Miguel Velez Apr 14 '16 at 17:44
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    Please take a look at What is required for a question to contain "enough information"? Your question should explicitly mention your requirements. All crystal balls have been captured by the NSA a while ago (for telling what the "bad guys" do), so we have none at our disposal. What features do you need? What is your price limit? Remember: The better you describe your needs, the better answers can match them. "Best" is subjective – your "best" might be another one's "worst". – Izzy Apr 14 '16 at 19:25
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I personally use Paragon NTFS for Mac. It costs about 16.95 per license, but I have yet to find a better driver for Mac and it's extremely easy to use. I have yet to have anything bad happen to any of the drive that I hook up to it. They recently added support for OS X 10.11 El Capitan!

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    If the external drive happens to be a Seagate drive you can download a free version of Paragon that will work just with your Seagate drives from their site. – hippietrail May 19 '16 at 2:32
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A. In OS X, enable NTFS write on the drive.

You do not need anything more (ie drivers).

There are some excellent instructions on osxdaily.com.


Michael Dreher points out in the comments of the preceding osxdaily.com link:

(referring to this source code)

We only allow read/write mounts if the "nobrowse" option was also given. This is to discourage end users from mounting read/write, but still allows our utilities (such as an OS install) to make changes to an NTFS volume.
Without the "nobrowse" option, we force a read-only mount. Note that we also check for non-update mounts here. In the case of an update mount, ntfs_remount() will do the appropriate checking for changing the writability of the mount.

if ((vfs_flags(mp) & MNT_DONTBROWSE) == 0 && !vfs_isupdate(mp)) vfs_setflags(mp, MNT_RDONLY);

--

Tested: Solution is confirmed working on everything from Maveriks to El Capitan.

About Yosemite & El Capitan:

De says: September 10, 2014 at 10:10 am

If the other solutions don’t work – the following does a 100%:

mkdir ~/Desktop/Drive // where the drive will be mounted mount // will tell you the internal drive name, something like /dev/disk2s1 sudo umount /dev/disk2s1 sudo mount -t ntfs -o rw,auto,nobrowse /dev/disk2s1 ~/Desktop/Drive Reply

Jo says:
The only solution that worked perfectly, thanks !

gia says:
Excellent solution, works for NTFS in OS X El Capitan and OS X Yosemite

The site I referenced is very rich with all kinds of troubleshooting and debugging scenarios.

I won't try to re-create it. Before starting, reading through the article and the comments, particularly with your version of OS X, would be good to do.

Keep track of your permissions.

Make an NTFS folder (on the NTFS drive) to transfer into that has the least restrictive settings (read/write/update for everyone). Once you've had success you can try out more restrictive options.

Caution: Be very careful with syntax when using fstab.

There is confusion with users of OS X because apple removed their fstab file. You simply need to create one.

  • I've created a fstab files on El Capitan. It works well.

Fastest and "proper" solution.

  • This solution can make all your NTFS drives automount the way you want.

  • This solution can also give you access to the rest of the powerful mounting features of fstab.

  • No 3rd party software.

  • This solution (controlling the fstab file) is very portable. Fstab itself is a very common standard in computing among *NIX machines, from UNIX, OS X, BSD, Linux.. and dates back to Unix V8 at the latest. (+ 31 years).


Additional references:

Fstab file detailed info and explanations (linux flavor).

Fstab wiki info.

man fstab


A2. You could also install OSXfuse via Homebrew.

This is a common third party solution.

Here are instructions on Ask Different

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    I REALLY don't recommend enabling OS X's native drivers. They have corrupted many of my rtfs partitions. They're disabled for a reason. – Wowfunhappy Jun 5 '16 at 13:57
  • Would love to hear something concrete. 1) This is for ntfs 2) I gave the reason: This is to discourage end users from mounting read/write, but still allows our utilities (such as an OS install) to make changes to an NTFS volume. 3) Can you provide a reference or any analysis report of the issue you have? Would love to hear about it, you might be right, but I won't go into superstitions or royalty issues. – BloodyEl Jun 5 '16 at 14:05
  • I meant ntfs, not rtfs (is that even thing?), sorry for the typo. I can only speak to personal experience, so maybe there was something weird about my setup, but it's happened to me enough times that I always tell people not to use it. – Wowfunhappy Jun 5 '16 at 20:01
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How-To Geek has a recent article on writing to NTFS that covers the current OS X version.

Options, summarised from the article, includes:

  1. Paid Third-Party Drivers – The Easiest, But It’ll Cost You
    1. Paragon NTFS for Mac
    2. Tuxera NTFS for Mac
  2. Free Third-Party Drivers – It’s Free, But Takes Some Extra Work
  3. Apple’s Experimental NTFS-Write Support – The Least Stable, Don’t Do This

From experience, if you do not want to mess around with your system, paying some money and get Paragon NTFS is your "best" bet. Plug in your external drive and "it just works".

If you don't want to pay and is willing to "hack" around your system, try out the "Free Third-Party Drivers" or "Apple’s Experimental NTFS-Write Support" options in the article.

  • Are you able to add some of the options, instead of just giving a link to it? That way, if something were to happen to the link, the part about third-party drivers would still be useful. – Chillie May 31 '16 at 15:07
  • @Chillie updated a summary of the options. hope this helps. – kenchew Jun 4 '16 at 12:22

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