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What Is NTFS for Mac And Do You Need It?

Updated on Monday, November 27, 2023

iBoysoft author Connie Yang

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Connie Yang
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NTFS for Mac Overview: What Is NTFS for Mac & Is It Safe

Summary: This post explains everything about NTFS for Mac, including what is NTFS for Mac, whether it is safe, do you actually need it, and how to choose and use NTFS for Mac to read and write NTFS drives on Mac. Here, iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is the best NTFS for Mac that supports fully read and write NTFS drives on Mac.

what is NTFS for Mac

As you know, NTFS is compatible with Windows. But now, you need to use your NTFS drive on Mac for file transferring or editing. So, you may wonder "Does Mac detect NTFS?", "Can macOS read NTFS?", "Is NTFS compatible with Mac?".

The answer is that Apple doesn't have the full read-write proprietary for NTFS. macOS can only detect the NTFS drive and mount it in read mode. So, the necessary utility - NTFS for Mac is developed and released. If you have no idea about NTFS for Mac, you can follow this post.

This article is here to give you a detailed overview of NTFS for Mac, answering you what is NTFS for Mac, is NTFS for Mac safe, and do you really need it to help you use NTFS drives on Mac.

Guide to learning NTFS for Mac:

 Does Mac support NTFS?

Created and developed by Microsoft, NTFS (short for New Technology File System) is a default file system for Windows. You are allowed to read and write to NTFS on a Windows computer without limitation. While for the competitor of Microsoft - Apple, it doesn't have the complete right to use NTFS. 

In macOS, you are only allowed to open and read the NTFS drives, format NTFS drives to a macOS-compatible file system, and move files from the NTFS drives to your Mac. All in all, Mac can recognize and read NTFS drives but is unable to write to them.

What is NTFS for Mac and do you need it?

NTFS for Mac is a third-party app that is designed to make NTFS drives fully read-write on Mac.

By default, NTFS is read-only on Mac. In other words, you can't write to NTFS formatted drives on Mac, such as moving files onto and deleting and editing files stored in the NTFS drives.

Therefore, a special third-party tool comes out to enable you to read and write NTFS drives on Mac just as on a Windows computer. That utility is called NTFS for Mac. Or, some developers named it NTFS Mounter for Mac, NTFS File Explorer for Mac, NTFS driver for Mac, or similar.

iBoyosft NTFS for Mac

But some of you may say that there are other ways to make the NTFS drives read and write on Mac, including formatting the NTFS drive to a macOS-compatible file system (FAT32, exFAT, or APFS) and running commands in Terminal.

In fact, it is not advisable to format the NTFS drive to FAT32, exFAT, or APFS. That's because formatting a drive will erase all data on it, which can cause data loss.

And for the way to use the Terminal, it is not recommended either. Why? To be honest, this feature is experimental and may cause data loss on both your Mac and the NTFS drive. Also, it is a complicated job for you to run a series of command lines in the Terminal. Any wrong step will result in irreparable damage to macOS and the NTFS drive.

All things considered, NTFS for Mac is the first choice to help you read and write NTFS drives on Mac easily, securely, and stably. 

No matter what NTFS hard drive you're using, you can always get full write and edit support by installing an NTFS driver for Mac, for example, a WD NTFS driver for Mac. It really saves a lot of time without reformatting the disk and moving around the files. 

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Is NTFS for Mac safe?

Yes. Given that NTFS for Mac is not a built-in program in macOS, you may wonder whether it is safe to run NTFS for Mac on your Mac. In fact, you don't need to worry too much about that.

On the one hand, NTFS for Mac is the assistant that just helps macOS mount the NTFS drives in read-write mode. It won't make changes on your NTFS drives and macOS.

On the other hand, macOS has a security feature named Gatekeeper that works to check if the app you prepare to download and install onto your Mac is verified and authenticated by Apple. If not, macOS will stop you from using it.

Therefore, once you download the NTFS for Mac program from the App Store on Mac or an Apple-identified developer's website, it is safe to run NTFS for Mac on your Mac computer.

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Best NTFS for Mac

There are different brands of NTFS for Mac apps on the market. However, not all of them have high compatibility and excellent performance. You need to be careful when making a decision, especially care for those who claim to be free NTFS Writer for Mac or NTFS Reader for Mac for free.

If you have no clue about how to choose the best NTFS for Mac, here we give you some suggestions and recommend the best NTFS for Mac for you.

What are the features that the best NTFS for Mac should contain:

  • High software and hardware compatibility
  • Fully support read and write NTFS drives on Mac
  • Fast data transfer speed
  • Easy to use
  • Secure and reliable
  • Easy to uninstall
  • Cost-effective

iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is such an NTFS writer that is highly integrated with macOS. Different from those NTFS for Mac which still not working on macOS Sonoma up to now, the iBoysoft NTFS driver already fully supports macOS 14. It gives you full read-write access to NTFS drives on Mac, making NTFS drives have equivalent performance to native APFS & HFS+ in macOS.

This NTFS Mounter for Mac can automatically mount the NTFS drive in read-write mode once it is detected and recognized by your Mac. Then, you can access and edit files on the NTFS drive seamlessly, such as renaming or deleting a file on it, moving files from your Mac to the NTFS drive, etc.

In security, this NTFS for Mac software is developed by iBoysoft, which is an Apple trusted and authenticated developer. So, it is an absolutely risk-free and reliable tool.

Features of the Best NTFS for Mac by iBoysoft

  • Support full read-write access to NTFS drives on Mac
  • Compatible with macOS Sonoma - High Sierra
  • Support Apple Silicon M2, M1 Mac
  • Having a Modern interface and is easy to use and uninstall
  • Fast and stable read-write speed
  • Cost-effective.

 Read-only & risk-free


How to read and write your NTFS drive on Mac with iBoysoft NTFS for Mac:

It is highly recommended you follow this video guide about how to use iBoysoft NTFS for Mac to make your NTFS external hard drive can be read-write on Mac.

Or, you can refer to the steps below:

  1. Free download, install and open iBoysoft NTFS for Mac on your Mac computer.
    install iBoysoft NTFS for Mac on Mac
  2. Connect your NTFS drive to your Mac.
  3. iBoysoft NTFS for Mac will automatically mount the NTFS drive in read-write mode. You can access, copy, rename, delete, and edit files on the NTFS drive freely and easily.
    open NTFS drive in read and write mode on Mac

There are also other NTFS for Mac programs available, such as iBoysoft DiskGeekerParagon NTFS for MacTuxera NTFS for Mac, etc. But among them, iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is your overwhelming choice.

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FAQs about NTFS for Mac


NTFS is read-only on Mac. If you need to switch from Windows to macOS and have a NTFS drive stored with files, you need to read and write the NTFS drive on Mac with the assistant of NTFS for Mac. If you have a new drive, you can format it to HFS+, FAT, exFAT, or APFS that is compatible with macOS.


Yes. Although NTFS is a file system that is not fully compatible with macOS, macOS can recognize an NTFS drive and mount it in the read mode.


Yes, you can copy files from NTFS drives to your Mac without NTFS for Mac.


Yes, Mac can recognize and read an NTFS drive or partition.


NTFS driver for Mac, like iBoysoft NTFS for Mac, is the software that supports reading and writing Microsoft NTFS-formatted hard drives, USB flash drives, or other storage devices on a Mac.

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