How to format a drive to NTFS in macOS?

Posted by Katrina to NTFS for Mac on January 10th, 2018

The incompatibilities between Mac and Windows makes data sharing not straightforward. Windows and macOS uses different file systems. Windows uses the NTFS file system for internal drives, whereas Apple replaced HFS+ with APFS in early 2017. By default, Windows can’t read either APFS or HFS drives. macOS can only read files from NTFS drives, but not write to them. Moreover, both of platforms do not allowed to format a drive to each other’s file system.

Recover data from uerased/formatted APFS drive

Recently, many Mac users are looking for a way to format an external hard drive or USB stick to NTFS in macOS, such as changing APFS format to NTFS, so they can use the drive to work with Windows PCs. But the truth is that the Windows NTFS file system can’t be find in Disk Utility’s Format tab. If you also have this need, it is the right place. This article will show you an easy way to format a drive to NTFS in macOS.

How to format a drive to NTFS in macOS?

Fortunately, there are free NTFS drivers for Mac as well as paid ones which can help us format a drive to NTFS in macOS with ease.

Solution 1: Use free NTFS drivers

FUSE for macOS and NTFS-3G are open-source NTFS drivers which extends the file handing capabilities of the macOS. You can apply one of them to format a drive to NTFS in macOS. However, they may need us to do some extra work.

Taking NTFS-3G as example, to make it working you have to install oxfuse, Homebrew, and install xcode, but also need to disabling and re-enabling System Integrity Protection, etc. Compare to paid NTFS drivers, these free tools are not stable and fails to work frequently. Thus, the best solution is to use commercial NTFS for macOS software.

Solution 2: Use commercial NTFS drivers

Paragon NTFS for Mac and Tuxera NTFS for Mac are two of the most famous and fast NTFS driver. With it, you are able to format a drive to NTFS in macOS, write to NTFS drive on Mac, such as viewing, copying, saving, editing, copying, or deleting anything stored on your NTFS drives using your Mac.

Unlike the free NTFS drivers, these two paid ones provide fast, sustained file transfer speeds with the smart caching technology, so you don't need to wait more time for files to save or copy between your USB and Mac. Moreover, both of them have high compatibility and stablity, suppporting the latest macOS Mojave 10.14.

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