NTFS Write Support On OS X Mountain Lion

If you have noticed, Mac OS X doesn’t support writing onto NTFS disks. But not to worry, you don’t have to install any third party drivers to enable this. Mountain Lion 10.8.3 already has native write support for the NTFS. OSX Mountain Lion does have built-in support for NTFS, and it can read and write. However, Apple does not enable it by default.  

Here is what you should do:

  • Uninstall other 3rd-party NTFS software, like Paragon, Tuxera or NTFS-3G.
  • Edit /etc/fstab (you can do this with “sudo vi /etc/fstab”)
    • Add the following line:
      LABEL=”VOLUME_NAME_WITHOUT_QUOTES” none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse
    • Quit your editor
  • Now, just unmount and re-mount the disk
  • And we are done! You now have read-write support for this disk in OSX

Wait a minute, I don’t see my disk listed in the Finder window!

As of Mountain Lion, the “nobrowse” mount option is required for this to work. This means that the partition will not show up on your desktop. However, you can access it normally through Finder by doing the following:

  • Open Terminal and type “open /Volumes/THE_NAME_OF_YOUR_VOLUME” (without the quotes)
  • The Finder pops up automatically and you can see your disk listed there.

This implementation is definitely better than any 3rd party implementation available.

————————————————————————————————-

144 thoughts on “NTFS Write Support On OS X Mountain Lion

  1. Hello, it doesn’t work for me.
    I have the following flag. and I keep searching. Thank you 4

    E325: ATTENTION
    Found a swap file by the name “/etc/.fstab.swp”
              owned by: root   dated: Tue May  6 13:36:53 2014
             file name: /private/etc/fstab
              modified: YES
             user name: root   host name: mbp-de-valery.home
            process ID: 5528
    While opening file “/etc/fstab”

    (1) Another program may be editing the same file.
        If this is the case, be careful not to end up with two
        different instances of the same file when making changes.
        Quit, or continue with caution.

    (2) An edit session for this file crashed.
        If this is the case, use “:recover” or “vim -r /etc/fstab”
        to recover the changes (see “:help recovery”).
        If you did this already, delete the swap file “/etc/.fstab.swp”
        to avoid this message.

    Swap file “/etc/.fstab.swp” already exists!
    Swap file “/etc/.fstab.swp” already exists! (D)elete it, (Q)uit, (A)bort:
    Swap file “/etc/.fstab.swp” already exists! (D)elete it, (Q)uit, (A)bort:
    — More —

  2. I understand everything until this:
    “Edit /etc/fstab (you can do this with “sudo vi /etc/fstab”)
    – Add the following line:
    LABEL=”VOLUME_NAME_WITHOUT_QUOTES” none ntfs rw,auto,no browse
    – Quit your editor.”
    I’ve just use Mac for 1 day.

    • First you start Terminal. The easiest way is to use Spotlight search by pressing the little magnifying glass icon in the top right corner or you can hold the keys Command + Space. Once you have opened Spotlight search you type Terminal and you press enter.

      If all goes well the Terminal screen opens. Here you can type in “sudo vi /etc/fstab”. You might be asked for you password. Next you press the i key, you will see the name of the file in the bottom left corner change to – – INSERT – -. Type in the following line, LABEL=”VOLUME_NAME_WITHOUT_QUOTES” none ntfs rw,auto,no browse, replacing the VOLUME_NAME_WITHOUT_QUOTES with the name of your hard drive. When this is done you press Escape and then type :wq! followed by enter.

      That’s it 🙂

      • hi i have mac osx 10.9
        as per ur instruction i tried to edit in terminal with the sudo command
        but it asks for password and then i did not understand ur instruction to press I key to see the name of the file.
        which key i have to press and how to finish the editing.

        please help with any image of the following thing or any other help.

        really need this to use my external hdd in windows pc and mac.

        Pramod.

  3. Hey are using WordPress for your blog platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you require any coding
    expertise to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Yeah, I am using WordPress for my blog. Although coding would certainly help, I wouldn’t say it’s required as such. WordPress has a lot of nice features, so you can build a blog without knowing anything about coding.

  4. Hello, it worked for me. BUT : NTFs-3G could not mount dev/disk1s1 at /Volumes/TOSHIBA EXT because the following problem occured:
    Did not receive signal within 15.000000 secondes.
    Exiting…

    This does NOT keep me from writing in my hard drive. I just close it each time.
    But maybe is this why I can’t yet save my system with Time Machine on it yet ?

  5. I have followed all steps and it appeared to have worked, yet when i search for the external drive name to open the files, it cannot be located through finder or terminal? Is there a way to undo the previous steps to view the external drive as read only again?

  6. It should be noted that there cannot be any spaces after the commas otherwise OS X will silently just mount it read-only leaving you to scratch your head. So, be sure to copy as instructed in the article verbatim.

  7. To see the disk in Finder, follow the second step to open the disk via terminal and once you are in the finder do a CMD+up to get to the volume list, you can drag and drop your volume into he favorites bar from there and it shows overtime you mount the drive.

  8. Hi Guys,
    I followed all steps and put the below on Terminal:
    LABEL=VERBATIM HD none ntfs rw,auto,no browse

    It doesn’t give me write access on this drive, may be it doesn’t find this name as whenever I am putting open /Volumes/ then I see this drive listed but when I put open /Volumes/VERBATIM HD then it doesn’t find this.

    Am I missing something here or putting some syntax wrong?

    Please let me know as I would like to access this external drive on Windows 7, Apple OS and my Smart TV.

    Thanks
    Niks

  9. Pingback: NTFS Drive under Mac OS X Yosemite | Lin Chen's Blog

  10. Hi,
    Tried on Yosemite and it works. My question is that from now on can I browse this disk through command line only, as its icon doesn’t show in the Finder?

  11. I followed the directions exactly however it still will not let me write to the NTFS drive. It says I do not have the correct permissions.

  12. Pingback: How-to: Write in NTFS using Mavericks #fix #solution #development | InfoBot

  13. Thanks a lot 😉
    But do i have to open it through terminal everytime?

    Is there any way to make it findable in finder or auto detect like earlier?

    Dhanyawaad!!!

  14. If you want easier access, try this (works on Yosemite):

    1. Open Finder, go to “Go” in the menu bar and then “Go to Folder…”.
    2. Type “/Volumes” and hit enter. You should see your drive in the “Volumes” folder.
    3. Drag the drive to the left bar in the Favorites section.

    Now, you should have immediate access to the root (highest level in the folder structure) of the drive and can unmount it immediately. When you unmount and remount, give it a second and it will re-appear again for quick access and unmounting. I was able to copy files in, open files and save them and so on.

    Hope this helps.

    • FAVORITES are the key to usability, as you can right-click on a drive entry in favorites in finder and have the “unmount” or “eject” command (have in D: “auswerfen” in the right-click list.

      Can confirm that it is working for me after upgrading to El Capitan.

      Perhaps next version of MacOs has native write support, which would imply M$ would have to grant Apple for whatever 10^x $ the right to use and the sources of their NTFS, hm… lets pray for paradise on earth 😉

      So far for everyday use I’m fine with the fstab, but I refrain from using it as backup solution. Backup MacOsX on its hfs, backup Win on its NTFS. Its not so difficult to have a hdd more or at least divide the space of some external HDD in 2 partitions.

      I had a VM running Win8 with USB3 support, and had very stable access to my ntfs hdds there, including some repair if I accidentally plugged them out hot too often 😉

      Thank you !

      AndiSho

  15. I found that I had to enter the label in ALL CAPS, even though the drive name didn’t appear in all caps otherwise. E.g., LABEL=ELEMENTS, but then ls /Volumes/Elements

  16. I found that I had to enter the name in all caps in the fstab file, even though the disk name wasn’t all caps. e.g., LABEL=ELEMENTS, but ls /Volumes/Elements. Also fstab was blank at first.

  17. Pingback: Pingwin je jabłko | Szczeżuja log

  18. The key for the volume name if it has spaces, is to replace the spaces with 40 . That just worked for me on OS X 10.8.5.

  19. not working for me on Yosemite (USB drive, NTFS), tried a bit of everything… fstab with LABEL, with UUID, then mount with rw option… nothing worked, always read only (mount_ntfs gave me some sort of warning when mounting ‘manually’ that the file system was read only)…
    I’m totally lost… after having played a bit, I can now do whatever I want with fstab, the drive is always mounting automatically, which it was not doing before with the fstab entries listed above… really, really strange !!!!!!!!! (and a real pain in the &@* !!!)

  20. getting this result:
    $ diskutil unmount disk2s1 && diskutil mount disk2s1

    Volume on disk2s1 failed to mount
    If the volume is damaged, try the “readOnly” option

  21. On MacOS version 10.10.4
    My WD Elements is a new one, and reading it is not a problem. However it is getting this result:

    $ cat /etc/fstab
    LABEL=Elements none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse

    $ diskutil unmount disk2s1 && diskutil mount disk2s1
    Volume on disk2s1 failed to mount
    If the volume is damaged, try the “readOnly” option

  22. I can’t get this to work in El Capitan 10.11 😦 process goes smooth but no results 😦 still read only and no copy or paste to the drive. The file stab is well protected I couldn’t for example edit and save the file. Permissions wouldn’t let me 😦 Any further help appreciated 🙂

    • You remembered the “sudo” bit, right?

      First of all, your account needs to be an admin account. This ensures that your account has an entry in the /etc/sudoers.

      The sudo means that this runs the vi command as root, so you should have no issues editing and saving the file. (The file no longer exists in El Capitan, by the way 🙂 ).

      If you’re not using an admin account, your will get a permissions error telling you that you’re not in the sudoers file and that the incident will be reported… and it won’t work. You could ask an admin to add you to the sudoers file, but good luck with that in a corporate environment or one where people worry about internal security!

    • Excuse my English please since i am not a native speaker.
      Anyways, I just did mine this morning, took me sometime but finally YAY!
      so you should follow the steps:
      1. open Terminal
      2. type: sudo nano /etc/fstab (follow w/e is required to do, type in the password etc.)
      3. within nano type: LABEL=”driver name” none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse (make sure: LABEL all in capital, and replace “driver name” with YOUR driver name . then Control+o, Enter, Control+x .
      4. Exit Terminal.
      5. Eject your driver and plug it back in.
      6. the rest step will be the same, Go /volumes, drag the driver to the sidebar

      Hope it helps.

      This is my first time on this blog and i am not sure if i log back on to see more comments.

  23. I tried this setup and edited the fstab file. For some reason it works perfectly for my external usb-drives but my internal bootcamp drive refuses to mount. I tried changing LABEL to UUID and use that instead but no avail. I’ve tried all the different alternatives that work for my external NTFS drives but they don’t work for my bootcamp drive. There’s nothing wrong with the drive since I can boot to it with windows. When I press “mount” in diskutility nothing happens, no error message or anything, just nothing. Any ideas?

  24. Works with OS X 10.11.2 as described above and with 10.6.8 (In 10.6.8 it also works with “browse” instead of “nobrowse”! I tried that because I have no finder favorites there.)

      • So i was able to get write permission. But every time i try to mount a new HDD, i have to follow the process with the new drive name. However, when i try and mount the old drive again, its reset to read only permission and i have to redo the process through Terminal.

        Is there a ‘one time fix’ to this? Also, i am unable to drag and drop it to the sidebar. Is there any other way to achieve that?

  25. at first, it worked for me but on the weekend I unmounted(maybe didn’t remove safely) now I cannot see inside of the disk. It says read-write but cannot see the files with finder/terminal.
    I removed /etc/fstab then unmount/mount again but didn’t work. I cannot see the files on a windows machine. I guess now my hard disk is damaged somehow, trying to save my 600GB.

    • hi,
      don’t know if you still need the answer, but the same thing happened to me, and all you need to do is to plug it in a windows computer and it should give an option to repair the disk. i did so and i got all my files back,
      just note that it can take all night.

  26. So i was able to get write permission. But every time i try to mount a new HDD, i have to follow the process with the new drive name. However, when i try and mount the old drive again, its reset to read only permission and i have to redo the process through Terminal.

    Is there a ‘one time fix’ to this? Also, i am unable to drag and drop it to the sidebar. Is there any other way to achieve that?

  27. So i was able to get write permission. But every time i try to mount a new HDD, i have to follow the process with the new drive name. However, when i try and mount the old drive again, its reset to read only permission and i have to redo the process through Terminal.

    Is there a ‘one time fix’ to this? Also, i am unable to drag and drop it to the sidebar. Is there any other way to achieve that?

  28. i dont know if you still reply to comments on this post, but is it possible that this metod of using the disk can damage the files on it? because i’ve used my hdd this way for a while now, and in a course of maybe 6 months more and more of my folders were getting corrupted, and then one day i plugged it in and there were no files at all. so i plugged it in a windows computer, which told me right away that the drive was broken and offered me to repair the disk. it took all night to repair but i got all of my files back. i’ve undid the process and now i’m only using it as read only, which is okay for now, but i’d like to know if this metod of allowing write support could cause the file corruption.
    thanks

  29. The did all the steps and ejected the device and it can’t be found now.

    I searched under /Volumes and it isn’t there.

    Mac Version: 10.12.1

    Device Name: “My Passport” – I used My\040Passport in vi.

  30. macOs Sierra here and it’s working.

    I actually created a “.command” file in the desktop to quickly open HDD with a double click. It contains this line: `open /Volumes/HDD_NAME`. Named it “MY_HDD_NAME.command”. And made it executable by running “cd ~/Desktop && chmod +x HDD_NAME.command” once.

    Now, to open the HDD, I’m double clicking this item in the desktop when I plugged in the HDD.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s