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I want to copy my some files from Mac (Macbook-Air) to an USB external hard drive, formatted as NTFS.

How is it possible? Because when I do copy my files from the Mac and go to paste them on the external HD there is no option for paste.

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Yes, it is possible. Check out this question:… – user98776 Sep 22 '11 at 12:20
up vote 25 down vote accepted

The problem is that your drive is NTFS formatted. OS X can't write NTFS out of the box (at least not without some tweaks). Here are some ways to do this.

Format the drive as FAT-32

This is the obvious answer to those who don't want to install software that potentially could harm their data (which is always the case with hacks / unstable software). Re-format the drive to FAT-32, which both Windows and OS X can read and write out of the box.

This is of course not a solution for files larger than 4GiB.

NTFS-3G via Homebrew installation

If you have Homebrew, installing NTFS support is as easy as running the following in a terminal:

brew install ntfs-3g

Then, follow the instructions on the screen. Homebrew will tell you how to replace the default OS X automounter so external NTFS drives are mounted using the new driver. Those are a couple of commands you need to run through your terminal.

NTFS-3G via GUI installation

This is a free version (there's also a paid one, and the free one's a bit harder to find).

  • First, download and install Fuse for OS X and select the MACFUSE compaibility layer during the install.
  • Then, download NTFS-3G, a free NTFS driver. Download the latest version from here and install it.
  • You will have a new option in System Preferences that enables you to write to NTFS drives.

Commercial solutions

These are not free, but offer support and promise better speed/stability.


  • There is SL-NTFS, which isn't maintained anymore, but promises to enable NTFS write support on Snow Leopard (10.6).

    Because SL-NTFS is basically an interface for configuring the Apple NTFS driver, any issues you might encounter will be related to the Apple driver rather than SL-NTFS. If you require a more robust, supported solution for writing to NTFS drives/partitions, I recommend you locate a more comprehensive solution.

  • This is a hack for enabling NTFS write support on OS X 10.6 which involves some command line tweaks. Again, use it at your own risk.

Related Super User questions

I felt those were lacking an overview of tools:

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Get the latest version of MacFuse first from here.

After you install it, you will need to install ntfs-3g. This is the FUSE. You will need to make sure you have the latest versions of both, since older versions of ntfs-3g might not work with a newer version of MacFuse.

You should now be able to read AND write from your Mac to any NTFS drive.

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Note: MacFuse is no longer under development. – slhck Feb 19 '15 at 15:29

protected by Community Oct 8 '12 at 18:16

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