Summary: Want to have full read-write access to your Microsoft NTFS-formatted drives for free on macOS Big Sur/Catalina? This post will introduce a free NTFS for Mac called NTFS-3G and its best alternative called iBoysoft NTFS for Mac.
NTFS file system is the default file system of Windows. For Apple Macs, however, it's only able to read NTFS drives, so you will find your Mac external hard drive read only. Luckily, we have a handful of NTFS for Mac free software with which we can read and write NTFS without any hassles.
NTFS-3G is one of them and totally free, but NTFS-3G cannot run in macOS Big Sur/Catalina and cannot read NTFS drive on Mac and write to NTFS drives in macOS Big Sur/Catalina either.
Does free NTFS-3G support macOS Big Sur/Catalina?
No. NTFS-3G is an open source and cross-platform NTFS driver. But for macOS, it's only compatible with macOS 10.12 Sierra and earlier.
The possible reason may be due to its developer - Tuxera, the same maker of the well-known Tuxera NTFS for Mac. The developer has put most of their time and effort to the paid edition, so it's very likely that they won't continue to upgrade NTFS-3G for macOS Catalina.
Are there any NTFS-3G for macOS Big Sur/Catalina alternatives?
iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is now able to support NTFS for macOS Big Sur/Big Sur/Catalina/High Sierra. It is an effective NTFS for Mac tool that allows you to mount, unmount, read and write NTFS on Mac. It can not only mount NTFS volumes in read-write mode automatically, but also has a lot more useful NTFS for Mac solutions such as unmounting, ejecting, repairing or erasing NTFS volumes.
Moreover, any external drives including SD cards, external hard drives, USB flash drives, etc. formatted with other files systems (except for APFS) can be reformatted to NTFS on Mac with iBoysoft NTFS for Mac.
Best NTFS for Mac - iBoysoft NTFS for Mac
- Read and write NTFS volumes on Mac
- Mount and unmount NTFS volumes
- Repair NTFS file system errors
- Erase data on NTFS disks
- List and open all attached external drives
- Reformat other file systems to NTFS
- Support macOS 11/10.15/10.14/10.13
How to write to NTFS drive on Mac with iBoysoft NTFS for Mac?
Step 1: Download and install iBoysoft NTFS for Mac on your Mac. Then, restart your Mac.
Step 2: Launch iBoysoft NTFS for Mac and insert the external Windows NTFS volume on Mac.
Step 3: Write to external Windows NTFS volume after getting notified that the drive has been mounted successfully.
Bonus tips to read write to NTFS for free if NTFS-3G for macOS Big Sur/Catalina unavailable
There're two bonus tips to help you read write NTFS in macOS Big Sur/Catalina for free.
Method 1: Reformat NTFS to exFAT.
exFAT works perfectly as a means to read, write and transfer files between Windows and Mac. But before reformatting, please makea backup of your data on the NTFS drive to avoid data loss. If unfortunately that happened, you can also recover lost data from formatted hard drives with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac.
Method 2: Use Apple's Terminal
1. Plug an NTFS drive to your Mac.
2. Go to Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
3. Type sudo nano /etc/fstab and enter your password when prompted.
4. Type LABEL=NAME none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse, please replace NAME with your drive name and press enter.
5. Press ctrl+o to write the information to file, then press Enter to save.
6. Press ctrl+x to exit the editor window.
7. Eject the NTFS drive and then reconnect it.
8. Go to Finder menu, type /volumes and press Enter, then you can drag and drop the NTFS drive to the sidebar where you can access it easier.
Please note though this is feasible to enable NTFS write in macOS Big Sur/Catalina, it's complex and not recommended to average users.
Mounty for NTFS macOS Big Sur/Catalina/Mojave
Does Mounty for NTFS support macOS Big Sur? The answer is yes. This post will introduce a free NTFS for Mac called Mounty. Read more >>