I have a MacBook Air with mac OS Version 10.13.4 and I am not able to write to external disks formatted in format "Windows NT File System (NTFS)".

It is definitely not an issue with the drive as I am able to write to the drive on Windows and Linux systems following these guidelines:

  1. Plug the drive into a free USB slot.

What are the corresponding instructions for a Mac? I am able to read from the external drive, but not to write. What are the precise, clear and direct instructions to be able to write to an external disk? (Disk, not sick)...

2 Answers 2


MacOS does not natively write to NTFS. Although it has write drivers installed, which can be activated via the command line following this set of instructions, this is complicated. Most users install a third-party driver such as OSX Fuse or Tuxera to write to NTFS. The only file systems that natively support read and write on MacOS, Windows, and Linux are ExFAT and FAT32.

  • That is partially incorrect. Apple includes drivers but you must turn them on. Please add this to your answer.
    – JBis
    Apr 22, 2018 at 15:22
  • @Josh my understanding was that Apple includes READ drivers, but not WRITE drivers. The read drivers are on automatically, but you need to use a third party driver like mentioned above to write. Is this incorrect, and if so, where can I find more information about it?
    – NoahL
    Apr 22, 2018 at 15:25
  • OSX Fuse does not seem to work. I installed it, restarted the mac, but still cannot write on the external disk
    – Alex
    Apr 22, 2018 at 15:42
  • The help in the link also does not help - I do not get a UUID (with DRIVENAME replaced accordingly...). The diskutil does not list a UUID...
    – Alex
    Apr 22, 2018 at 15:45

MacOS does not allow the user to write to NTFS formatted disks. You could use ExFAT, which is the one I am using (It is supported in any desktop platform).

  • Is such a format also supported by TV sets? I mean, can I connect a disk formatted in such a way to a TV to watch a movie?
    – Alex
    Apr 23, 2018 at 4:38
  • Almost all the TVs support NTFS or/and FAT32 but not ExFat. You could use FAT32 if you need the fullest compatibility with any device. However, you could not add more than 4GB single file to FAT32 formatted disks. Apr 23, 2018 at 4:53
  • I would have to format the whole disk and rewrite the whole content. I will stick to the following solution: 1. Put files on a USB stick. 2. Use a computer that works (i.e. anything without an apple logo on it). 3. Copy the files to the hard drive.
    – Alex
    Apr 23, 2018 at 11:45

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