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What is the best, easiest, preferably cheapest way to make Lion write to (external) NTFS-formatted drives in Mac OS X?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 13 down vote accepted

MacFuse is pretty much abandonware, and hasn't been updated since 2009. There is a new project called OSXFuse that is picking up where MacFuse left off and is compatible with Lion:


Also, as of 10/25/2011, the easy download location for the open source NTFS-3G


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The simplest solution would be to use MacFUSE and NTFS-3G for MacFUSE, though as of this post only Tuxera NTFS ( ~$35 USD) and PARAGON Software NTFS for OS X v.9.0 ($19.95 USD) support 10.7. You can grab the source for free from Tuxera for free, however.

As of OS X 10.6 you can natively enable NTFS support, though your mileage may vary. Follow this writeup by Mac OS X Hints if you're interested but I'd use the MacFUSE method over this one. Keep in mind that neither of these methods are fully supported.

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Just to note—I've had some problems with NTFS-3G & Lion lately, which might be because the OS X binary is a bit outdated (2010.10.2 versus 2011.4.12) –  koiyu Aug 8 '11 at 17:08
Paragon NTFS for Mac v9 IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH LION. Double-click the package gives "The operation couldn't be completed" –  user17657 Jan 24 '12 at 3:42
any disadvantages of using Tuxera NTFS for the new macbook pro retina ? –  Render Jul 23 '12 at 13:29

I tested this on Mountain lion and it is free and you don't need to reboot. It uses OS X's native NTFS drivers.

  1. Plug-in your device

  2. Write in Terminal diskutil list and look for IDENTIFIER where TYPE is Windows_NTFS.

    In this case it is disk1s1

  3. Then run the following:

    diskutil unmount /dev/disk1s1
    cd /Volumes
    mkdir Elements
    sudo mount -w -t ntfs -o rw,nobrowse /dev/disk1s1 /Volumes/Elements
    open /Volumes/Elements
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I tried this on 10.8.4 and a 10.8 VM, but I couldn't get it to work. I got an error like Read-only file system when I for example tried to run mkdir /Volumes/HD-HCU2/aa. Is there some reason why you used nobrowse? –  ؘؘؘؘ Jul 27 '13 at 18:57
You are creating the folder on wrong path. You should create the folder under /Volumes. –  Codler Jul 28 '13 at 7:28
nobrowse are needed to make ntfs writable. –  Codler Jul 28 '13 at 7:32
+1, Be aware that this feature is not complete and well-tested. It's not enabled by default for some reason. Worth mentioning that the force-write-enabled driver simply damaged an NTFS volume while I was playing with it. –  fardjad Oct 25 '13 at 21:52
So there is a capability within OS X to mount NTFS for read and write support. But this is disabled. Is there a way to do a 'defaults write' to activate this feature? –  CousinCocaine Aug 5 '14 at 14:42

Can't say that using MacFUSE and NTFS-3G for MacFUSE is the easiest way, but they are free and that's great!:) I've used them for about a year until bought 500GB external Seagate HDD and got Paragon NTFS for Mac driver for free from Seagate site: http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/item/ntfs-driver-for-mac-os-master-dl/. Works stable for a month, no problems happened yet. Anybody knows, will users of Seagate HDDs get free NTFS driver upgrade for new OS X when Apple will release it?

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Before we start. Make sure your external name label is ONE word. That means there is no space in between.

my disk = WRONG

my_disk or my-disk or mydisk = CORRECT


  1. Open Terminal [Command+Space+"terminal"]
  2. Type: sudo nano /etc/fstab
  3. In nano, type: LABEL=my_disk none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse Note: my_disk is your disk name
  4. To save and exit Control+X and Enter and Enter
  5. [optional] For ease of access, we create a sym-link to desktop: In terminal -> sudo ln -s /Volumes ~/Desktop/Volumes


When you don't need it anymore. It is as simple as:

In terminal sudo rm /etc/fstab

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Removing /etc/fstab is only an option if it doesn't contain any other important entries –  patrix Jul 11 '14 at 5:03

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