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How to Format NTFS on Mac [2021 New Guide]

Tracy King

Nov 18, 2021 to NTFS for Mac

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As the NTFS file system isn't well known, you might be wondering, "What is the NTFS file system, and why would I use it?"

We'll explain what NTFS is, how to use it on your Mac, whether there is an NTFS Mac replacement, and the best ways to use the specialized filetype on your Mac in this article.

What is the NTFS file system?

NTFS stands for NT File System. It was initially introduced in Windows NT version 3.1, serving as the operating system's default file system. The majority of the external drives are formatted to NTFS by default as Windows is more extensively used than macOS.

It is not possible to write Mac devices to NTFS natively because Apple has not licensed this proprietary file system. If you want to work with NTFS files, you'll need a third-party NTFS driver for Mac. You can read them on your Mac, but that is unlikely to meet your requirements.

Is it possible to format NTFS on a Mac?

Aside from reading, there are a few things you can do with NTFS files on your Mac. You can change the file type to something else, but this is a time-consuming process! Although this isn't always a good idea, you can also use Terminal to grant yourself NTFS writing permissions. Your best bet is to use third-party drivers and apps, which come in a variety of bundles.

Some drivers are rather expensive and can be compensated. Others provide free access to NTFS for Mac, but free isn't always the best option. There are a few native and third-party ways to work with NTFS on your Mac listed below.

How do I format an NTFS partition on a Mac?

If you want to know how to format a disc on a Mac, you can use the Disk Utility option. The approach outlined below will help you get your new equipment into working order. Continue reading to learn how to format Drive Mac.

NTFS is basically designed for the Windows operating system and is not supported by Mac. In such cases, NTFS 3G, which is compatible with MacFuse is highly recommended. Despite spending money on NTFS apps such as Tuxera or Paragon NTFS, it is easier and faster to install.

The user will read and write to the disc by following these steps:

Step 1. Go to your Mac's Finder window and click on Applications on the left-hand side of the screen.

Step 2. Next, double-click the utility icon, which will appear on the screen alongside other programs you've installed.

Open Disk Utility in Application

Step 3. Select Disk Utility. Select the drive you want to format by selecting the NTFS 3G format from the list that appears. If you choose, you can also rename your drive.

Open Disk Utility

Step 4. Select the drive you wish to format by clicking on it. You select the Erase icon in the center.

Erase NTFS drive

A dialogue box with around four commands will appear at the bottom. Choose which option you want to use to format your hard drive.

How to Access NTFS Drives Without Formatting

For someone who doesn't want to format NTFS drives and needs to directly access the drive data and files, you need another solution. It is to add read and write support to NTFS drives on Mac computers.

Here' we'll show you two solutions for help. 

 #1. Enable Mac Writing Support to NTFS Drives Using Terminal in Big Sur

The second technique entails working more closely with your Mac computer and the software you already have, which is most likely macOS 11.0 Big Sur in this situation. You'll need to do some light coding for this strategy, detailed in the instructional part below.

The coding is incredibly simple, and even people who have never coded before can do it!

To allow Mac NTFS writing discs in Terminal, follow these steps:

1. On Windows, you must first eject the USB drive.

Eject ntfs drive from Windows

2. Create a one-word name for the NTFS drive you want to utilize.

3. Press Command and the Space Bar at the same time to open a Terminal. Enter "Terminal" into the search box. You can also go to Terminal by navigating to Applications, Utilities, and then Terminal.

4. Enter the following command in Terminal: sudo nano /etc/fstab

Open Fstab in macOS Big Sur

Then, in Terminal, type "LABEL=NAME none NTFS rw,auto,nobrowse," replacing "NAME" with the name of your USB flash drive and "NTFS" with the NTFS drive you want to utilize. In this case, the file name will be "Data." The coding is shown below.

Enable Read and Write NTFS Drives in macOS Big Sur

To save this new file, choose the Control key and the letter "O" key, press "Enter," and then shut the GNU using the Control key and the letter "X" key.

5. Reconnect the flash drive to the USB flash drive port after unplugging it.

6. To view the files and the drive, navigate to the folder tab after clicking "Go." In the search box, type "/Volumes." You should now access the NTFS files on the drive and change or utilize them as you see fit.

Go to Volumes to open NTFS drive

To undo or delete whatever changes you've made, launch the nano editor using the same technique described above and delete the lines of code you've entered. This way of undoing the activities may or may not be effective. It depends on the possibility that the code had not been fully logged in or saved.

If you're lucky, it'll remove itself, undoing any code you've done previously.

#2. Enable NTFS Read and Write Support in Big Sur Using EaseUS NTFS For Mac

EaseUS NTFS for Mac makes everything easy for Mac users for reading and writing to an NTFS drive on macOS Big Sur or Catalina. It allows you simply click the Enable Writable button to get everything done.

Step 1. Launch and activate EaseUS NTFS for Mac. Click "I already have a license" to unlock this software.

Activate EaseUS NTFS for Mac

Step 2. Connect an NTFS drive to Mac, EaseUS NTFS for Mac will automatically detect the device. Select your drive and you'll see it's now marked as 'Read-only". Click "Enable Writable" to add read and write rights to the drive.

enable writable write to NTFS drive

Step 3. When the state of NTFS drives turns into "Writable", click "Open". NTFS for Mac will open the NTFS drive on Mac.

Make changes to saved files on NTFS drive

Step 4. Now, you can check, read, write, and even modify saved data on the NTFS device.

Read,write, open, and modify files on NTFS drives

Some of the primary features of EaseUS NTFS for Mac are as follows:

  1. 1. Unmount the NTFS drive safely from your Mac computer; trying to force the ejection will lead to data loss.
  2. 2. Enjoy the fast speed - you won't have to wait longer to save the files between your external drive and your Mac.
  3. 3. Support for Apple M1Chip - EaseUS NTFS for Mac is compatible with Mac devices based on the M1 architecture.
  4. 4. Compatible with Mac OS OS X Big Sur 11 and Mac OS X Sierra 10.12.6.
  5. 5. EaseUS NTFS for macOS has a 7-day trial edition available.