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Can I & How to Delete Files from NTFS Drive on Mac

Updated on Thursday, May 16, 2024

iBoysoft author Amanda Wong

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Amanda Wong
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Jessica Shee

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Can I & How to Delete Files from NTFS Drive on Mac

Summary: If you get an NTFS drive and want to delete files from it on Mac, you can read this post to know whether you can and how to delete files from an NTFS drive on Mac. iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is recommended to delete files from NTFS on Mac without formatting.

delete files from ntfs drive on mac

Sometimes, you need to delete files from external hard drives on Mac to free up disk space, avoid data leakage before selling or throwing them away, etc.. There are many ways you can choose to remove unwanted items from the external hard drive on your Mac, but when it comes to an NTFS drive, you find that you can't delete files from NTFS drive on Mac via all these methods worked for other file systems like APFS, HFS+, exFAT, and FAT32. 

Perhaps, there is only a Mac available, and you want to connect the NTFS drive to the Mac and delete files from NTFS, if so, keep reading this post to find the answer.

Can I delete files from NTFS drive on Mac?

By default, the NTFS file system is read-only on Mac, after you connect the NTFS drive to Mac, you can free view the contents on the NTFS drive, however, if you try to drag-drop the files from NTFS to Trash, right-click unwanted files and choose Move to Trash, or use keyboard shortcuts to delete NTFS files, it can't be completed.

But there are some workarounds for you to delete files from NTFS drives on Mac:

Workable solutionsApplicable scenarios
Use NTFS for Mac driver to write NTFS driveIntel&Apple Silicon Macs; support macOS 14 - macOS 10.13
Reformat the NTFS drive on MacDelete all files from the NTFS drive; all Mac models and macOS versions
Create Windows partition via BootCamp AssistantIntel-based Mac only
Run Windows virtual machine on Mac Install Windows via the virtual machine on Intel/Apple Silicon Macs
Enable NTFS write support on Mac via TerminalmacOS 12 and earlier versions

Among these 5 solutions for deleting files from NTFS drives on Mac, BootCamp Assistant, and Terminal commands only work on limited Mac models and macOS versions. Installing Windows via the virtual machine for Mac just for writing to NTFS on Mac is not recommended. Therefore, we pick up the other two methods to delete files from NTFS on Mac with or without reformatting. Let's explore the details.

Delete files from NTFS drive on Mac with NTFS driver for Mac

NTFS driver for Mac enables you to read and write NTFS on Mac with full privileges, thus, you can delete files from NTFS on your Mac. There are free and paid NTFS drivers for Mac you can choose from, but some free ones haven't been updated to support Apple Silicon Mac and some are incompatible with macOS Sonoma.

If you find the previously installed NTFS for Mac not working on macOS Sonoma, you can change to iBoysoft NTFS for Mac, this professional NTFS mounter for Mac always keeps updated to date, is fully compatible with macOS 14 - macOS 10.13, and supports both Intel-based Macs and M1/M2/M3 Macs.

Best NTFS for Mac by iBoysoft

  • Mount your Windows NTFS drives in read-write mode
  • Delete, edit, rename, and write files on NTFS drives on Mac freely without formatting
  • Mount Windows BootCamp partition with complete read-write privileges
  • Compatible with Intel Macs and Apple Silicon Macs
  • Support macOS 14 - macOS 10.13
  • Enable you to format drive to NTFS on Mac

 Read-only & risk-free


Here's how to delete files from NTFS drive on Mac with iBoysoft NTFS for Mac:

  1. Download, install, and open iBoysoft NTFS for Mac on your Mac.
  2. Connect the NTFS drive to Mac, iBoysoft NTFS for Mac automatically mounts the drive.
  3. Access your NTFS drive via iBoysoft NTFS for Mac and delete unwanted files there.open ntfs disk on mac

 Note: For the first time to install iBoysoft NTFS for Mac, it may ask to allow to access the Desktop folder on your Mac, just allow it. Besides, if you can't read and write NTFS drive via iBoysoft NTFS for Mac, a prompt window will ask you to install a standalone iBoysoft driver and enable System Extensions.

Delete all files from NTFS drive on Mac by reformatting

If you want to remove all files from the NTFS drive, you can straightforwardly format the external hard drive on Mac, the formatting process erases all contents on your NTFS drive and gives you a blank disk. Here are the steps:

  1. Connect the NTFS drive to your Mac correctly. 
  2. Open Disk Utility from Finder > Applications > the Utilities folder
  3. Click the View button and choose Show All Devices in Disk Utility. 
  4. Select the NTFS drive from the left list and click the Erase button on the toolbar.format ntfs drive on Mac
  5. Follow the onscreen guide to format the NTFS drive on Mac.

If you want to use the drive for both Mac and Windows, you should choose exFAT and FAT32, if you want to format it for macOS only, you should choose APFS on macOS High Sierra and later, and choose HFS+ for earlier macOS versions. If you want to format the drive to NTFS on Mac, you may find this file system option is not available, you will need third-party software such as iBoysoft NTFS for Mac.