How to read/write NTFS drive on macOS Big Sur?

By Jessica | Posted to Home > NTFS for Mac Tips, updated on August 25th, 2021 |

Summary: This article will provide three methods to enable NTFS read-write support on macOS Big Sur. The easiest and fastest way is using NTFS for Mac software. Free download iBoysoft NTFS for Mac now.

NTFS read-write support on macOS Big Sur

Apple has released the latest Mac operating system - macOS Big Sur. Although this new operating system has optimized some features, it still hasn't addressed NTFS write support on macOS Big Sur.

As a result, your still encounter Mac external hard drive read only situation when you want to use Windows NTFS formatted disks on macOS Big Sur.

How to write NTFS drive on macOS Big Sur? Here are three methods to do it.

NTFS for macOS 11 Big Sur

How to read & write NTFS drives on macOS Big Sur?

By default, you can read NTFS drive on Mac but can't copy files to NTFS drive nor edit existing files. There are three methods to enable NTFS drive write support on macOS Big Sur:

Method 1: Use NTFS for Mac software

#Fast #Safe #NTFS for Mac Big Sur #NTFS for M1 Mac

Installing NTFS for Mac software is a quick and easy way to solve NTFS drive read-only problem on Mac.

NTFS for Mac, like iBoysoft NTFS for Mac, Paragon NTFS for Mac, or Tuxera NTFS for Mac, is a third-party NTFS driver to enable macOS to mount, read, and write NTFS drives on Mac. iBoysoft NTFS for Mac has been proven to have the highest performance.

With iBoyosft NTFS for Mac, you can easily enable NTFS drive write support on macOS Big Sur.

iBoysoft NTFS for Mac enables users to edit, delete, copy and move files on NTFS drives on a Mac easily without reformatting your NTFS drives into another file system. Making NTFS drive writable on a Mac will be a piece of cake with it.

Best NTFS for Mac - iBoysoft NTFS for Mac

  • Read and write NTFS drives on Mac
  • Support macOS Big Sur 11/10.15/10.14/10.13
  • Support Apple Silicon M1-based Mac
  • Top-Notch Safety and Stability
  • Highly-integrated macOS Disk Utility and Finder
  • 4K hard drive support smooth 60,000+ file sharing
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Here is how to write NTFS drive in macOS Big Sur with iBoysoft NTFS for Mac:

  • Step 1: Download and install iBoysoft NTFS for Mac on your Mac.
  • Step 2: Restart your Mac, and then connect an NTFS drive to your Mac.
  • iBoysoft NTFS for Mac for macOS Big Sur
  • Step 3: After the NTFS drive has been successfully mounted, you can open it and write to the NTFS drive as you normally do on a Windows computer.
  • iBoysoft NTFS for Mac

If you are looking for NTFS for Mac free apps to achieve NTFS write support on macOS Big Sur, you might be disappointed because most freeware is not surported macOS Big Sur yet and could be very insecure.

Method 2: Enable NTFS write support using Terminal

#Free #Unsafe#One-time NTFS Write Support

Terminal is a command line tool built-in macOS, so using this method requires more skills.

Technically speaking, Apple actually allows you to write to an NTFS drive, but it is just an experimental feature that is disabled by default for its instability.

And there is no auto-mount option but to add a different command line for each NTFS drive. It is troublesome if you want to write to multiple NTFS drives.

You should not use this experimental way for a long-term plan because it may corrupt your disk and cause the data loss.

You can enable NTFS write support with Terminal by following these steps:

  • Step 1: Go to Finder>Applications>Utilities>Terminal.
  • Step 2: Type the command line below into the Terminal window and press Return to open the /etc/fstab file for editing nano text editor.
  • sudo nano /etc/fstab
  • Step 3: Enter the following command line, which will enable NTFS write support. Be sure to substitute NAME with your disk name without any space.
  • LABEL=NAME none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse
  • Step 4: Press Ctrl + O to save the file after you are done and press Return, then press Ctrl + X to close nano.
  • Step 5: Restart your Mac and connect the NTFS drives into a Mac. If they are connected, re-plug them into the Mac.

You will notice the drive is no longer visible in Finder, but it's okay, because the drive is now mounted as a readable and writeable volume. To access the mounted NTFS drive, you need to press "Command + Shift + G" and type in /Volumes to open this volume.

If you want to undo the change, follow step 1 and step 2. Then delete the line "LABEL=NAME none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse" and save your change, and then restart your Mac.

Once again, Apple NTFS write support via Terminal is least tested and full of risks. Don't do it unless you have to.

Method 3: Reformat NTFS drive to exFAT

#Free #Time-consuming

Reformat will erase all data on your NTFS drive. So this method requires to back up the data before reformatting. If there are many files stored in NTFS drive, it will take a long time.

If granting full read-write access to your NTFS drive on Mac takes too much energy, you may want to reformat the NTFS drive into another file system - A file system that is fully compatible with macOS and Windows.

Specifically, exFAT file system is most recommended. Although FAT32 file system is also available for both Windows and macOS, exFAT has fewer limitations and allows you to store files much larger than the 4 GB allowed by FAT32.

Follow the guide to reformat NTFS drive to exFAT on Mac:

  • Step 1: Back up files on the NTFS drive first.
  • Step 2: Go to Applications>Utilities>Disk Utility.
  • Step 3: Select the NTFS drive from the sidebar.
  • Step 4: Click Erase.
  • Step 5: Type in Name and choose exFAT file system.
  • Step 6: Click the Erase.


It is really a pain on the neck if you can't transfer files from an NTFS drive to Mac where installed macOS Big Sur. It is also frustrating that you can't write to your newly-bought drives because you were not aware that they were NTFS file system.

This post pulls you out of the frustration about how to write to an NTFS drive with or without a third-party utility on a Mac. Most importantly, users can expect Mac to write to NTFS drives with the assistance of iBoysoft NTFS for Mac even in macOS Big Sur. If your NTFS drive lost the important data by mistake, iBoysoft Data Recovery will help you.

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Do not recommend using FAT32 in 2021, ExFAT does not have the 4GB file limit and is now interoperable with all major OSes (Windows/Linux/Mac).

2021-04-26 08:31:52

Vivian reply to mt21:

Hi mt21! Thanks for your explanation. I've corrected the corresponding content in this post.

2021-04-26 19:52:35

Bear Cattlisle Yawnerson

If you format a 1 TB drive to FAT32 in Mac and fill it up with data, only 32 GB will be fixable from Windows, if it ever should crash.The size limit to store files on FAT32 drives is 4 GB.These are limitations in FAT32 that both NTFS and ExFAT has surpassed.Since only NTFS of these three Microsoft patented file systems is a journaled file system, the FAT-system drives must always be carefully ejected or dismounted in software before disconnected physically, to avoid data loss.

2021-04-21 17:42:23

Vivian reply to Bear Cattlisle Yawnerson:

Hi Bear Cattlisle! Thanks for your explanation for FAT32 and exFAT. I've got your point and added it to this post.

2021-04-26 19:49:58


The Terminal command does not work. It results in an error. Could not mount “BOOTCAMP”. ( error 49223.)If I remove the line: LABEL=BOOTCAMP none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse from Fstab, it I can mount BOOTCAMP again, jsut read only. Anyb ideas?

2020-12-10 11:19:33

malk reply to Jason :

Exactly the same problem here using Big sur and those /etc/fstab parameters I've got the same error message.Anyone can help?

2021-02-08 06:25:01

Katrina reply to Jason :

It seems that the NTFS driver that's built in the latest macOS Big Sur is not complete. Actually, Apple's native NTFS support is unsupported officially. This method is disabled by default as it is unstable and may corrupt your disk and cause permanent data loss. We really don’t recommend using this method. We highly recommend paying for a third-party NTFS driver if you need to do this as the other solutions don’t work as well and are more work to set up.

2021-02-08 19:46:09