Written byJessica Shee
7 Best NTFS for Mac Free Software - 2022 Updated Checklist
Summary: This post introduces and compares the best 7 NTFS for Mac drivers that can help you have full read and write access to Windows NTFS drives on Mac. iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is ideal and you can free download it now.
Even in the newest macOS 13 Ventura (Beta), direct NTFS write access is still unsupported.
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.
The comparison table intuitively helps you decide which NTFS for Mac software is the best for you.
|Supported macOS||Auto-mount||Transfer Speed||Price||Modern Interface||Other highlights|
|iBoysoft NTFS for Mac||macOS 13 beta - macOS 10.13||Yes||Fast||Free trial||Yes||1. Support M2, M1/M1 Pro/M1 Max/M1 Ultra Mac |
2. Clean NTFS
3. Format to NTFS
|Mounty for Mac||macOS 12 - OS X 10.9||No||Slow||Free||Yes||N/A|
|NTFS-3G macOS||macOS 11 - OS X 10.6||No||Slow||Free||No||N/A|
|FUSE for macOS||macOS 12 - 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 NTFS for Mac||macOS 12 - 10.12||Yes||Fast||Free trial||Yes||1. Format to NTFS |
2. Support M1 Mac
|Tuxera NTFS for Mac||macOS 12 - OS X 10.4||Yes||Relatively slow||Free trial||Yes||1. Check NTFS |
2. Support M1 Mac
How we picked and tested Microsoft NTFS for Mac apps:
To test and compare the 7 top-rated NTFS for Mac tools, we created a virtual machine with macOS 10.15 Catalina 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.
NTFS for Mac 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||10.15.6 Catalina, 12.2.1 Monterey|
|💰 Average cost||$0|
Table of Contents:
- 1. What is NTFS for Mac?
- 2. iBoysoft NTFS for Mac
- 3. Mounty for NTFS
- 4. NTFS-3G
- 5. FUSE for macOS
- 6. SL-NTFS
- 7. Paragon NTFS for Mac
- 8. Tuxera NTFS for Mac
- 9. Why do you need a free NTFS for Mac driver?
- 10. FAQ about Free NTFS for Mac
Let's share these wonderful NTFS for Mac Free software with others!
What is NTFS for Mac?
NTFS stands for New Technology File System which is a proprietary file system developed by Microsoft. It is the default file system on Windows devices, but macOS is not fully compatible with it.
What is NTFS for Mac? NTFS for Mac is a tool to bridge the gap between Microsoft NTFS and Apple macOS. It is a small-sized utility that lives in the menu bar and runs in the background on Mac. It lets you easily and quickly work with Windows drives formatted to NTFS format on a Mac computer.
An NTFS for Mac software tool is an NTFS mounter for Mac that allows Mac to recognize your NTFS partitions and remount them in the Finder window, Disk Utility, and Mac's desktop. It is also an NTFS reader for Mac that helps you view NTFS files on Mac. An NTFS for Mac app is an NTFS writer for Mac that enables NTFS write functionality on an NTFS drive on a Mac.
Find useful NTFS for Mac free tools below.
iBoysoft NTFS for Mac
iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is the ultimate Microsoft NTFS for Mac 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 in macOS 13 Ventura (Beta).
Update: iBoysoft NTFS for Mac V4.2 is the first solution worldwide to the issue that Microsoft NTFS disks won't mount on macOS Catalina (10.15.7) after the security update 2022-003. Know more information about the NTFS drive not mounting on macOS Catalina issue.
#NTFS for M1 Mac #NTFS for Mac Big Sur #NTFS for Mac Monterey#NTFS for Mac Ventura (Beta)
- Support macOS from High Sierra to Ventura (Beta)
- Fully compatible with Apple M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max 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. NTFS for Mac free download, install and launch on your Mac.
2. Connect the read-only Microsoft NTFS drive to your Mac.
3. iBoysoft NTFS for Mac 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 for Mac 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 for Mac By iBoysoft makes it simple, fast, and efficient to write to NTFS drives on Mac.
With an NTFS for Mac free trial period, users can copy and modify files on NTFS drives for free.
Additional features: Microsoft NTFS for Mac by iBoysoft 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, free trial version, and technical support make iBoysoft NTFS for Mac 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 for Mac drivers? Share with your friends and families right now!
Mounty for NTFS
Mounty for NTFS is another NTFS for Mac free software that helps write NTFS drives on your Mac.
#Freeware#NTFS for Mac Big Sur
- 100% Free
- Runs on Apple Silicon M1 Mac
- The latest version supports Maverick to Monterey
- Fast and free download for full version
- Rather slow write speed
- Unstable and data-risky
- No technical support
- Not show volumes in Finder
Mounty NTFS for Mac is an NTFS for Mac free program accessed from both 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 for Mac 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 Finder Window.
As an NTFS for Mac 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 build-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 Big Sur
- No clear info about its support on macOS 12 and Apple Silicon M1 Mac
- 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 allow 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 (was 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.
#Open source#Freeware#NTFS for Mac Monterey
- NTFS for Mac free package
- Support macOS from OS X 10.9 to macOS 12 Monterey
- Fully compatible with Apple Silicon M1 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 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 NTFS for Mac free package. 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 in 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 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 an NTFS for Mac free interface on Apple Mac computer to enable writing. It is a very basic Microsoft NTFS for Mac tool that can only enable write access and mount/unmount NTFS disks.
#Free app#NTFS for Mac OS X
- NTFS for Mac free tool
- Writable access to NTFS volume
- Simple to install with a small file size
- No clear info about its support on newer macOS such as macOS Catalina, Big Sur, or Monterey
- Not support large files and volumes
- Failure in writing to NTFS external HDDs
- Conflict with other NTFS for Mac utility
- 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 NTFS for Mac free app 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 for Mac 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 Mac Big Sur#NTFS for Mac Monterey
- 10-day free trial
- Support macOS from High Sierra to Monterey
- 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
Paragon NTFS for Mac works well in mounting an NTFS volume in the read-write mode most of the time. Like most NTFS for Mac products, 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 for Mac by Paragon allows users to write, edit, copy, move and delete files on Microsoft NTFS volumes from your 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 Paragon NTFS for Mac 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 are 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 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#NTFS for Mac Big Sur#NTFS for Mac Monterey
- Free trial for 15 days
- Support macOS 12 - Mac OS X 10.4
- Fully compatible with Apple Silicon M1 Mac
- Prone to corrupt users' data
- Commercial Windows NTFS add-on driver
- Slower data transfer rate
Speaking of its performance, Tuxera NTFS for Mac 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 NTFS for Mac free with a generous15-day trial before paying for a lifetime license key. However, you should always back files up in case of data corruption. Read Tuxera NTFS for Mac 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 cut without damaging the drive itself. - TheSweetBits.com
All NTFS for Mac free 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 for Mac 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 or the latest macOS Ventura (Beta), especially on Apple Silicon Macs.
With a little budget, you have a better alternative to NTFS for Mac 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 NTFS for Mac free app doesn't do including repairing and formatting Microsoft NTFS.
Why do you need a free NTFS for Mac driver?
NTFS is a file system developed by Microsoft, a competitor of Apple. It's for the Windows platform, especially used in the system drive. That's why you use Boot Camp to install Windows on Mac but find you can't mount the BOOTCAMP partition in read-write mode.
Up to now, Mac operating systems, both newer versions like macOS Monterey/Big Sur and older versions like OS X Lion, only officially provide NTFS read support but no NTFS write support.
Business is business, but for users, you need Mac to write to NTFS drives, when you use an NTFS disk for file sharing between a Mac and a Windows PC without formatting the disk. NTFS for Mac free software can help you bridge the gap.
If these NTFS for Mac Free Software solve your problem, let's share it to help more people!
FAQ about Free NTFS for Mac
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
Free download the professional data recovery software iBoysoft Data Recovery and have a try.