Written byHenrique Vieira
7 Best NTFS for Mac Free Software - 2023 Updated Checklist
Summary: This post introduces and compares the best 7 NTFS drivers that can help you have full read and write access to Windows NTFS drives on Mac, M1/M2/M3 Mac. iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is ideal and you can free download it now.
This post compares 7 Microsoft NTFS for Mac software, including freeware and paid apps. A third-party NTFS driver will help you read NTFS drive on Mac and enable Mac NTFS writing support, solving your Mac external hard drive read-only problem.
How we picked and tested Microsoft NTFS for Mac apps:
To test and compare the 7 top-rated Mac NTFS driver tools, we created a virtual machine with macOS Ventura and other 6 clones to make sure all apps were installed and operated in the same system environment.
Then we connected an NTFS drive and tried to move 400 files that contain different file types (documents, audio, images, videos, etc.) into the NTFS drive to test if the drive was successfully mounted in read-write mode. Then we conducted a few same write operations to the NTFS drive to test if the most common NTFS write functionalities were supported.
iBoysoft NTFS for Mac, Paragon NTFS for Mac, and Tuxera NTFS for Mac were also tested on a 2020 MacBook Air 13.3" to compare their performance and compatibility with Apple Silicon M1/M2 Mac.
Mac NTFS reading and writing software Review Summary
|🔢 Number of tested tools||10|
|⌛ Overall test time||2 weeks|
|💻 Device we tested on||2017 MacBook Air 13.3", 2020 MacBook Air 13.3"|
|💻 macOS version we tested on||12.2.1 Monterey, 13.0 Ventura|
|💰 Average cost||$0|
Table of Contents:
- 1. iBoysoft NTFS for Mac
- 2. Mounty for NTFS
- 3. NTFS-3G
- 4. FUSE for macOS
- 5. SL-NTFS
- 6. Paragon NTFS for Mac
- 7. Tuxera NTFS for Mac
- 8. FAQs
Let's share these wonderful NTFS for Mac Free software with others!
iBoysoft NTFS for Mac
iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is the ultimate Microsoft NTFS solution to mount Microsoft NTFS drives in read-write mode on your Mac including all Mac models such as MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro, and Mac Studio. Now it can run on macOS 14 Sonoma and 13 Ventura.
#NTFS for M1 Mac #NTFS for M2 Mac #NTFS for Mac Sonoma
- Support macOS from High Sierra to Sonoma
- Fully compatible with Apple M1, M2 and M3 Mac
- Repair NTFS file system errors
- Erase NTFS volume for data cleanup
- Format drive to NTFS
- No support by phone
How to use iBoysoft NTFS for Mac for free
1. Free download this software, install and launch on your Mac.
2. Connect the read-only Microsoft NTFS drive to your Mac.
3. It will automatically mount all NTFS partitions in read-write mode. Then you can write, delete, modify, and copy files to the NTFS drive on Mac smoothly.
Compared with other Microsoft NTFS driver software, iBoysoft NTFS for Mac tops the list. After a free download and a simple installation process, it allows users to use the NTFS drive and manage Mac NTFS files directly.
This small menu bar utility uses an intuitive interface, showing a list of detected NTFS volumes and disk management tools. NTFS drive for Mac computer by iBoysoft makes it simple, fast, and efficient to write to NTFS drives on M1 Mac, M2 Mac and Mac based on Intel chip.
With NTFS driver for Mac software, users can copy and modify files on NTFS drives for free. It enables you to write or edit to your WD My Passport drive simply, as long as you install this iBoysoft WD NTFS driver for Mac.
Additional features: iBoysoft's tool is highlighted with simple disk management foreground, including one-click to open volume, clean NTFS partition, repair NTFS file system corruption, unmount NTFS disk, erase other disks to the Microsoft NTFS, etc.
Sum-up: User-friendly interface, plug-and-play usability, easy-to-use, and technical support make iBoysoft's NTFS driver the top NTFS driver.
Editor's Review: We find iBoysoft NTFS for Mac very impressive in our testing. Firstly, it performs very fast while transferring files from Mac computers to Microsoft-formatted external drives. Secondly, it adds additional disk management features, making it possible to reformat, check and repair an NTFS drive without any hassle. What struck us most is that the software works in full auto mode and you can't even feel its existence. - CravingTech.com
Surprised by the excellent Microsoft NTFS drivers? Share with your friends and families right now!
Mounty for NTFS
Mounty for NTFS is another NTFS driver for Mac free software that helps write NTFS drives on your Mac.
Apple has changed the entire mount process since macOS Ventura. It removed the previous kernel-based architecture - /System/Library/Extensions/ntfs.kext. It means free NTFS drivers for Mac including Mounty for NTFS and Terminal command NTFS write will not function on macOS 13 Ventura and macOS 14 Sonoma anymore.
To make Mounty for NTFS work again on macOS Ventura and Sonoma, you need two additional pieces of software to use with Mounty 2: FUSE for macOS and NTFS-3G for Mac, so the installation is now a bit more complex.
- 100% Free
- Runs on Apple Silicon M1/M2 Mac
- Support Mac OS X Maverick to macOS 14 Sonoma
- Fast and free download the full version
- The installation is more complex on macOS Sonoma and Ventura
- Rather than slow write speed
- Unstable and data-risky
- No technical support
- Not show volumes in Finder
Mounty for NTFS is a free program accessed from both a DMG installer and Homebrew. It's exclusively prepared for remounting NTFS formatted hard drives in read-write mode on Mac computers. This freeware makes it easy to share files between Windows and macOS platforms.
Mounty for NTFS comes with a frugal appearance. It is very easy to install and launch Mounty, and this utility will be a menu bar utility with a plain interface, only showing the list of remounted NTFS drives. This free NTFS reading and writing software works in a flow of Mac mounting NTFS drives in read-only mode first, and a notification pops up when it's ready, then remounting the disk with write access in the Finder window.
As an NTFS reader and writer freeware, it is common to encounter issues such as missing files and uneditable files.
Other Highlights: Mounty for NTFS won't install a third-party driver but makes use of the mechanisms built in macOS - native Mac NTFS free write support.
Sum-up: Though Mounty for NTFS is free and simple, you need to bear the risk of data loss, disk failure, and slow transfer speed. Anyhow, it's good enough for freeware.
Editor's Review: It uses the built-in capability of OS X and will not install any additional drivers. This makes Mounty a small and handy utility for your daily file-sharing workflow. - MacUpdate.com
NTFS-3G is a completely free NTFS for Mac program by Tuxera to read and write NTFS drives on macOS, Linux, Android, FreeBSD, and other operating systems.
#Open source#Freeware#Command line operation
- Support macOS 10.12 - macOS Sonoma 14
- Complicated installation
- Command-line based
- Noticeably slow write speed
- No technical support
Set aside its advantage of being free, NTFS-3G receives many complaints because of its poor performance and poor usability. It is basically a code source and requires extensive knowledge of command lines, FUSE for macOS, Homebrew, or Xcode to be able to compile the code, which makes the installation process unfriendly.
Editor's Review: NTFS-3G for Mac adds drivers to your OS X installation that allows you to read and write to NTFS-formatted thumb and external hard drives as if you're using a Windows machine. The software comes free of charge and features several advanced options such as caching and filename normalization. Overall, it performs well, with speeds approaching those you would get in Windows. - download.cnet.com
FUSE for macOS
FUSE for macOS (OSXFUSE) allows you to extend Mac's native file management capabilities through a third-party universal file system including SSHFS, NTFS-3G, EXT, and OXFS. Installing this Mac NTFS free driver package is actually installing a compatibility layer to macOS, allowing users to use any fully functional file system written atop it to work with NTFS files.
- Free tool
- Support macOS from OS X 10.9 to macOS 14 Sonoma
- Fully compatible with Apple Silicon M1/M2 Mac
- Available in multiple languages
- Can't auto-mount NTFS partitions
- Complicated to use
- No technical support
FUSE for macOS is more cumbersome and less secure to mount NTFS partitions in read-write mode as every time you need to manually mount the NTFS partitions to write NTFS drives on Mac. This NTFS driver for Mac free resource also requires familiarity with Xcode and command lines to install a universal file system on it.
Sum-up: A lot of feedback from forums and the official page shows there are some compatibility issues with this free NTFS support tool. It also requires a tech background in command lines. It's recommended for developers who are aware of the risks and benefits well.
User's Comment: It was sometimes necessary for older mac OSX to have access to other file systems. there were (older) applications that needed this. Nowadays you normally do not have a need for it. Modern OSX does not like it very much. I would advise you to uninstall it. If you still have an app that protests after de uninstall, you can use a modern version of that app or replace it with another app. - discussions.apple.com
SL-NTFS represents Snow Leopard NTFS and it is just a free interface on Apple Mac computer to enable NTFS writing. It is a very basic Microsoft NTFS for Mac tool that can only enable write access and mount/unmount NTFS disks.
#Free app#OS X
- Write NTFS drives free
- Writable access to an NTFS volume
- Simple to install with a small file size
- Not supported on macOS Sonoma to Catalina and Apple silicon
- Not support large files and volumes
- Failure in writing to NTFS external HDDs
- Conflict with other NTFS support software
- No maintenance since 2010
- No technical support
Generally speaking, the usage and installation of SL-NTFS are relatively simple. Once the archive is unzipped and launched, all internal and external NTFS volumes will be listed with the status of reading and writing. Then, just tick the box under “Write permission” to enable Mac NTFS free write access.
Sum-up: SL-NTFS is the least recommended free app that supports NTFS reading and writing because of its poor compatibility and untrusted performance. For one-time use, you may have a try.
Editor's Review: This is basically an interface that allows you to configure Apple's NTFS driver. The app is free of charge and the installation is super easy. - techsviewer.com
Paragon NTFS for Mac
Paragon NTFS driver is a file system driver, which allows macOS to write to Windows NTFS-formatted hard drives, SSD, USB thumb drives, etc. It claims to grant full read-write access to Microsoft NTFS on a Mac computer.
#10-day free trial#NTFS for M1 Mac#NTFS for M2 Mac#Ventura#Sonoma
- 10-day free trial
- Support macOS High Sierra 13 to macOS Sonoma 14
- Repair NTFS file system errors
- Fast read/write access
- Friendly and modern UI
- Advertising updates and notifications
- Extremely hard to uninstall
- Charge for upgrading
- Loss of users' login account and password
This tool works well in mounting an NTFS volume in the read-write mode most of the time. Like most products that support NTFS writing, you need to download, install, and connect NTFS formatted disks to your Mac to make it effective. It's a commercial NTFS driver but you can try it free for ten days. However, after that trial period, it's a different story to uninstall it from your Mac.
Sum-up: Microsoft NTFS support by Paragon allows users to write, edit, copy, move, and delete files on Microsoft NTFS volumes from their Mac. But it's not recommended if you are just a bonus hunter who wants to try a free product. You nearly are unable to uninstall it from your Mac after a 10-day trial period. Read the full review.
Editor's Review: I was impressed with Paragon's NTFS driver. It's an easy and brief install procedure that provides much-needed support for writing to NTFS volumes from Mac OS X. There is a range of usage scenarios, from switchers to Boot Campers and those who need to share drives between Windows and OS X computers. - MakeUseOf.com
Tuxera NTFS for Mac
Tuxera NTFS driver for Mac is a commercial Microsoft NTFS implementation for macOS built on the base of NTFS-3G.
#15-day free trial#NTFS for M1 Mac#Sonoma#Monterey
- Free trial for 15 days
- Support macOS 14 Sonoma - Mac OS X 10.4
- Fully compatible with Apple Silicon M1/M2 Mac
- Prone to corrupt users' data
- Commercial Windows NTFS add-on driver
- Slower data transfer rate
Speaking of its performance, the Tuxera NTFS driver for macOS does the same work as other free NTFS for Mac alternatives, helping open, copy, move, and delete files on Windows drives with NTFS format. But a big notice is that it's more likely to corrupt data when you transfer files between Windows PC and Mac using an NTFS flash drive.
Sum-up: Though not completely free, you can try Tuxera with a generous 15-day trial before paying for a lifetime license key. However, you should always back files up in case of data corruption. Read the full review.
Editor's Review: Most users will notice the quick execution by Tuxera, and with the increased security – there's also one more thing where Tuxera excels. It's the ability to help and prevent file loss even before the error happens. It can preserve files in various cases such as power cuts without damaging the drive itself. - TheSweetBits.com
The comparison table intuitively helps you decide which Mac NTFS driver is the best for you.
|Supported macOS||Auto-mount||Transfer Speed||Price||Modern Interface||Other highlights|
|iBoysoft NTFS for Mac||macOS 14 - macOS 10.13||Yes||Fast||Free trial||Yes||1. Support M2, and all M1 series |
2. Clean NTFS
3. Format to NTFS
|Mounty for Mac||macOS 14 - OS X 10.9||No||Slow||Free||Yes||N/A|
|NTFS-3G macOS||macOS 14 - OS X 10.6||No||Slow||Free||No||N/A|
|FUSE for macOS||macOS 14 - OS X 10.6||Yes||Slow||Free||No||N/A|
|SL-NTFS||macOS 10.12 - OS X 10.6||No||Slow||Free||Yes||N/A|
|Paragon||macOS 14 - macOS 10.13||Yes||Fast||Free trial||Yes||1. Format to NTFS|
2. Support M1 & M2 Mac
|Tuxera||macOS 14 - OS X 10.4||Yes||Relatively slow||Free trial||Yes||1. Check NTFS|
2. Support M1, M2 Mac
All Mac NTFS free driver software has obvious flaws or shortcomings (like slow write speed, poor compatibility, and no technical support). Some disadvantages can even put your data at risk. If you don't care about the risks and want to try out the free NTFS reading and writing programs, Mounty for NTFS or FUSE for macOS is better free ones.
Most NTFS for Mac free drivers are for earlier macOS editions, and few of them work smoothly with macOS Big Sur, macOS Monterey, macOS Ventura or the latest macOS Sonoma, especially on Apple Silicon M1/M2 Macs.
With a little budget, you have a better alternative to Mac NTFS free tools - iBoysoft NTFS for Mac. You can get enough reliability, stability, compatibility, and simplicity. It can provide a lot of Mac NTFS merits that an NTFS free driver app doesn't do including repairing and formatting NTFS drive.
NTFS drivers generally cost $20 around, but there are four completely free NTFS for Mac software:
1. Mounty for NTFS
3. FUSE for macOS
Mac can read NTFS drives for free by default. All you need to do is to mount the disk in Disk Utility by:
1. Connect the NTFS drive to your Mac for automatically mounting.
2. Open Disk Utility if the NTFS drive is not mounted.
3. Select the NTFS drive and click on Mount.
4. Mac reads the NTFS drive for free then.
There are three best NTFS for Mac software:
1. iBoysoft NTFS for Mac
2. Paragon NTFS for Mac
3. Tuxera NTFS for Mac