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.

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

  1. The issue I am having is that the only file which exists is /etc/fstab.hd (/etc/fstab is non-existent). Additionally, the Volume I am concerned with has a space in the name “My Book.” So, I am confused which file I save the relevant line in and having difficulty troubleshooting it due to the fact the volume name is not supposed to have quotes. Do I use a slash (“\”) to indicate a space character?:
    LABEL=”VOLUME_NAME_WITHOUT_QUOTES” none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse
    becomes
    LABEL=”My\ Book” none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse

    or should it be (since according to your text it should be without quotes?:

    LABEL=My\ Book none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse

    Sorry if this message could have been made more comprehensible. I wrote it as verbosely and concisely as possible.

    Thank you ahead of time

    • Thank you very much! I finally got it to work well without any 3rd party software :-).

      @That One: I noticed that \etc\fstab was missing as well, but I created a new file and that worked fine. To solve the problem with a space in the name you can replace the space with 40. I had the same problem, but with this solution it works.

      LABEL=My40Book none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse

      All the best,
      Arnoud Roeland

  2. Mountain Lion seems to have replaced fstab with vifs, hence why the file /etc/fstab doesn’t already exist. Creating /etc/fstab, or /private/etc/fstab, or using vifs to do it (beware of issues with Vim plugins though) should work though.

    • the cmd+T seems not to be persitent. I prefer to make a symlink in the Terminal by using the comand ln -s /Volumes/BOOTCAMP /Users/YourName/Desktop/BOOTCAMP

  3. Hi, thanks for sharing this tip however please forgive my noob question:

    what exactly is the command you used to mount the disk?

    I’ve tried:

    sudo mount -w -t ntfs /dev/disk1s1 /Volumes/mydisk

    but this still mounts my drive read only

    thanks for any help

  4. Rather than the open command, or having to manually browse, do the following:

    1) Open Finder
    2) Click on the “Go” menu
    3) Choose “Go to Folder”
    4) Type in “/Volumes” and press OK
    5) Press Control-T or drag “Volumes” to the Sidebar (Favorites)

    Now “Volumes” is always listed there. Anytime you mount a volume you can just click there to get to it without adding things over and over.

  5. Pingback: Solving The “Read Only” External Hard Drive Problem On Your Mac ← SIMPLYGRAY

  6. So what do you do if you have more than one external drive you utilize? Can we concatenate this to one line in fstab or do we need separate lines for each drive?

  7. I have tried, but nothing changed, i still cant write my NTFS hard drive.
    Any suggestion? I am using osx 10.8.4 and both fstab and vfis dont exist, I have to create new file.

    • Same here. 10.8.4 and I’m unable to cpy file to it. When I connect my ex drive it pops up in finder, but I don’t see on desktop.

      • Is the volume called Untitled? (Perhaps you didn’t use a usb with Boot Camp Support Software?) That means the true name is an empty string, which seems to be problematic. Change it in Windows to something else.

      • It works on 10.8.4! Try to remove a space in volume name.
        Or check the volume name registry – first time I have tried to make this trick, my text editor was changed the volume name to uppercase (was Store, editor turn it to STORE – you need to return Store).

  8. hi, using mountain lion and am a complete noob, can someone please explain the first step and where i enter this bit here :Edit /etc/fstab (you can do this with “sudo vi /etc/fstab”
    please help? thanks

    • Vi is not for noobs, use nano instead. Run the application Terminal.app, write sudo nano /etc/fstab, enter your password, enter the line (LABEL=…), save (Ctrl-O), exit nano (Ctrl-X). Reboot. Oh and to find out the name of your volume you can, for example, check in disk utility, the name is probably BOOTCAMP.

  9. No worky. Tried lots of times and ways. 10.8. Eventually used Paragon trial. Worked, despite having a scarily old website.

  10. My external drive had been named as “My Book”;and I used

    LABEL=My40Book none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse

    The disk still appears as read.Its NTFS.Any ideas pls???

    • Works just fine on 10.8.4.
      The only issue is that the disk does not appear in the finder, but mounts correctly. So you have to access it in fined with “Go > Folder”.

      • The disk still appeared as Read-Only for me. I was accessing it via the Terminal after re-mounting the volume. Perhaps it’s related to the type of disk / manufacturer / etc.? Either way – I’m going to use FUSE for OSX & NTFS-3G — if only for the consistent experience within Finder.

      • Make sure you reall yare editing “/etc/fstab” and not “/etc/fstab.hd”, also do not use quotes and make sure that you spelled the disk name right with correct capitalization. If all this is ok, you should be alright.

    • It was not working for me as well for 10.8.4. But once I changed the name from two words to one word. It picked it without any problem.
      Thank you.

  11. I’ve created an /etc/fstab file and when I run the mount -a command, it’s giving me an error about the mount point: “mount: realpath /dev/none: No such file or directory”. So if I edit /etc/fstab to make the second parameter disk1s1 (instead of “none”), then I get an error from mount_ntfs: “mount_ntfs: /dev/disk1s1: not a directory”.

    Any ideas? I’m running 10.8.3. Thanks in advance.

    • This method finally worked for my WD with label Matts Passport. My /etc/fstab file now has:
      LABEL=Matts40Passport none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse

      and as mentioned above the disk now doesn’t appear in Finder so I use Go > Go to Folder… then type “/Volumes/Matts Passport” without the quotes and he presto I can write to my NTFS disk!

      • Oops! the \ 0 4 0 (without spaces) got stripped out. So it should read:

        ‘LABEL=Matts40Passport none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse’

        Without the single quotes.

  12. Can someone explain the /etc/fstab entry?

    Specifically, I need to better understand the second parameter “none” in the entry:

    LABEL=”VOLUME_NAME_WITHOUT_QUOTES” none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse

    I’ve done the substitution for Volume_Name and that appears to be a non-issue (I removed spaces from my device’s name). But I get an error about not finding “none”.

    Any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated.

  13. Just for those who tried to connect to a Western Digital Elements disk: first connect it to a windows machine to see the drive label is “Elements” and possibly change this.
    Then the line in /etc/fstab should be
    LABEL=Elements none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse

    If you connect it in OSX, it shows as “My Passport” and all the suggestions mentioned above simply wont work. (I tried with underscores/40, 040 etc as spacer and with and without quotes, rebooting/mounting etc etc very frustrating!!!)
    hope this helps…

  14. Pingback: NTFS Write support on OS X 10.8.4 Mountain Lion | ComputechTips

  15. Great! I was tired of loading bootcamp and copying from Windows XP using HFSExplorer. This is much faster. (using Mountain Lion 10.8.4)

  16. I used to boot into bootcamp (XP) and use HFSExplorer to copy to an external NTFS drive.
    This works great and is much faster! (tried with Mountain Lion 10.8.4)

  17. hi, i’m on a new macbook air with 10.8.4 and i’m trying to add ntfs write support to the “built in” BOOTCAMP drive. it all works fine, except that the drive is nowhere to be found after a reboot. not in /volumes, directly from terminal “open /volumes/BOOTCAMP” and not under the startup disks in system preferences. after going back and deleting the LABEL=BOOTCAMP line from fstab the bootcamp drive re-appeared (as expected)
    anyone has an idea what it could be?

  18. Pingback: Built-In NTFS Support - Mac-Forums Discussions for Apple Products & Services

  19. I had this working. For what ever reason the drive is now only seen read-only. Anyone have any ideas? I have unmounted and mounted many times. The only thing I can think of is that attaching the drive to a Windows 7 machine somehow touched a file that is now locking it read-only. Very frustrating.

  20. 10.8.4 SPLENDID & SIMPLE !!

    My HD was in 3 partitions. Renamed each of them to remove the spaces.
    So now my 3 names were coredrive, designdrive, personaldrive

    Opened: Terminal
    In Terminal: Changed to a directory of my choice
    In Terminal: Typed (without quotes) “sudo nano fstab”
    In Terminal: Typed (without quotes) “LABEL=coredrive none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse”
    In Terminal: Typed (without quotes) “LABEL=personaldrive none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse”
    In Terminal: Typed (without quotes) “LABEL=designdrive none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse”
    In Terminal: Pressed ctrl+O to save, and entered filename(without quotes) “fstab”
    In Terminal: Pressed ctrl+X to exit
    Closed Terminal.
    Copied created file
    Opened Finder, In “Go” section of the menu selected Go to folder and eneterd “/etc”
    Pasted File
    Plugged in the Drive
    Opened Finder, In “Go” section of the menu selected Go to folder and eneterd “/VOLUMES”
    Dragged and Dropped my HD icons into the sidebar.

    DONE!

  21. 10.8.4 SPLENDID & SIMPLE !!

    My HD was in 3 partitions. Renamed each of them to remove the spaces.
    So now my 3 names were coredrive, designdrive, personaldrive

    Opened: Terminal
    In Terminal: Changed to a directory of my choice
    In Terminal: Typed (without quotes) “sudo nano fstab”
    In Terminal: Typed (without quotes) “LABEL=coredrive none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse”
    In Terminal: Typed (without quotes) “LABEL=personaldrive none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse”
    In Terminal: Typed (without quotes) “LABEL=designdrive none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse”
    In Terminal: Pressed ctrl+O to save, and entered filename(without quotes) “fstab”
    In Terminal: Pressed ctrl+X to exit
    Closed Terminal.
    Copied created file
    Opened Finder, In “Go” section of the menu selected Go to folder and eneterd “/etc”
    Pasted File
    Plugged in the Drive
    Opened Finder, In “Go” section of the menu selected Go to folder and eneterd “/VOLUMES”
    Dragged and Dropped my HD icons into the sidebar.

    DONE!

  22. Sounds awesome but not working for me on 10.8.5… the drive label in Finder is “Iomega HDD”, so I created fstab and tried this:
    LABEL=Iomega40HDD none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse
    …but no joy, it just re-appears in finder and is still read only. So I tried this:
    LABEL=IomegaHDD none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse
    and that didn’t work only…

    Any other suggestions welcome!

    • I am a newbie to Mac, and have encountered this trouble (copy file to NTFS formatted external drive). I am using OS X 10.8.5. After reading all the comments above, I still cannot get it work. One thing not clear is that how to remount the drive again. I’ve tried many alternatives, all are failed. Finally, I am able to get it work by installing the following software:
      NTFS-FREE: http://sourceforge.net/projects/ntfsfree/?source=pdlp

  23. Pingback: Cons of FAT format external HD, for use on Mac and Windows? - www.hardwarezone.com.sg

  24. Pingback: Enable NTFS write support on Mac OSX without installing anything | nachtfische tech

    • Im on Mavericks and this trick works Great! Thanks so much! 😀 anyway I have an idea for everyone… Istead LABEL=ECCECC you can try to use the UUID of your hdd!

      UUID=NUMER none ntfs eccecc

      Use utility disk to see your UUID 😉 try it! Hope work

      • hii
        I am on mevrick… and i am a newbie to MAC

        I tried the trick. Its working partially as i have a EHDD with 2 NTFS partitions
        so What i wrote is
        LABEL=Ma$ti none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse
        LABEL=Untitled none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse

        but what i see is 1st volume i.e. Ma$ti is working fine but no change with 2nd volume

        2ndly when i removed 1st line.. still i cant see the 2nd volume working with write permissions…

        3rdly i could not find UUID in Disk Utility…

        Please Help me

  25. hi guys,

    It worked for me, I’m on 10.8.5.
    mount & unmount in the sense, Just plug & unplug your HD from the SLOT.

    so far as the /etc/fstab is concerned just use
    sudo vi /etc/fstab and place the above entry like this

    LABLE=Marlakunta none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse
    save the file, unplug the HD & PLUG it back.
    go to the finder, you will discover that the HD is in Read write mode.

    Btw, i downloaded Mavericks, how do you feel about this new OS?

    Thanks
    Sai

  26. Pingback: Giving Your Mac OS X Ability To Writes & Reads NTFS Hard Drives - Mac Programs

  27. Totally worked. I used the UUID=number format as I couldn’t get the LABEL=/Volume/Name Of Volume to work. Thank you

  28. Sir Prateek Joshi

    after i did as you said, then my dual bootcamp window 7 can’t load anymore.
    please help me everyone…

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