I acquired an external hard drive that came preformatted with NTFS. My MAC quietly mounted it read only. After some conversations with google, I discovered that MAC couldn't write NTFS by default, but actually did have the ability to write NTFS on Lion

I think Lion < 10.9.5

So is it possible to use this drive on 10.9.5 without reformatting ? And will it be possible to read the results on (currently existing) OS X variants >= El Capitan (=? 10.11.0)

And if I do need to reformat, what's the least-likely-to-be-broken choice of file systems?

And if 10.9.5 can write to NTFS, how do I enable it? Will option 3 from http://www.howtogeek.com/236055/how-to-write-to-ntfs-drives-on-a-mac/ work on 10.9.5?

  • You can use Mounty app to remount it RW, using the built-in support which is stupidly hidden in macOS (for unknown reasons). Dec 1, 2016 at 13:39

1 Answer 1


I have found these articles:



(pretty much identical)

If you want to reformat the external HDD I guess that the native Apple filesystem would be the most reliable choice, unless you have to use it with other devices... in this case I think FAT32 could be quite "universal".

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