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

Posted by Tim to NTFS for Mac on November 27th, 2020

macOS Big Sur is the latest version of the world's most advanced desktop operating system.

Like macOS Catalina, macOS Big Sur still provides a limited support for NTFS drives - By default, you can only read the files on NTFS drive, but you cannot write, edit or delete files on NTFS drive from your Mac. So how to write to NTFS drive in macOS Big Sur?

How to write NTFS drive on macOS Big Sur?

There are three solutions to write NTFS drive on macOS Big Sur:

1. Use the third party NTFS for Mac software
2. Enable NTFS drive write support on macOS Big Sur with Terminal
3. Format NTFS drive to exFAT/FAT32

Solution 1: Use the third party NTFS for Mac software

Following are several software tnat can write NTFS drive on your Mac:

1. iBoysoft NTFS for Mac

iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is a simple app that can read and write NTFS drive on macOS Big Sur/Catalina/Mojave/High Sierra.

2. M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac

M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac is a simple and easy-to-use tool which can unlock BitLocker encrypted NTFS, FAT32, exFAT drive and enable to read/write BitLocker encrypted drive like a Mac's native drive after supplying the password.

It can also mount NTFS drive in read-write mode on macOS Big Sur 11/Catalina 10.15/10.14/10.13.

3. iBoysoft Drive Manager

iBoysoft Drive Manager is a handy tool to manage external drives and network drives with only one-click, it can also read and write NTFS drive on macOS Big Sur/10.15/10.14/10.13/10.12 and Mac OS X 10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8.

4. NTFS Mounter

NTFS Mounter is a snow leopard application to mount ntfs volumes in read/write mode. A simple utility designed to mount NTFS volumes in read/write mode. Although not officially supported, Snow Leopard is now able to mount NTFS volumes with both read and write support.

NTFS Mounter simply uses this ability, and provides a simple user interface to the mount command for NTFS volumes. User interface is very similar to AirPort: simply click on the icon to display a menu with NTFS volumes name and select the volume you want to write on.

5. NTFS-3G for Mac OSX

NTFS-3G for Mac OS X brings NTFS read/write support to Mac OS X, along with additional advanced features. It is based on NTFS-3G, an open source NTFS driver that is ported into numerous platforms, but also includes other software projects to build a complete toolset for managing NTFS volumes. NTFS-3G for Mac requires Macfuse.

6. Mounty for NTFS

A tiny tool to re-mount write-protected NTFS volumes under Mac OS X 10.9+ in read-write mode. No additional driver will be installed. It simply makes use of the build-in mechanisms already provided by Mac OSX Mavericks

7. OSXFUSE

FUSE for OS X allows you to extend OS X's native file handling capabilities via third-party file systems. OSXFUSE is a successor to Small MacFUSE, which has been used as a software building block by dozens of products, but is no longer being maintained.

8. Paragon NTFS for Mac

Paragon NTFS for Mac is a driver which gives you full read and write access to Windows partitions under Mac OS X. When working with media files or documents on Mac, you need access to the high performance of your system regardless if the files are located on the Mac's HFS+ formatted volume, or in Window's NT File System. Paragon NTFS for Mac provides full read/write access to NTFS with the same high speed as native HFS+ file system

9. Tuxera NTFS for Mac

Tuxera NTFS for Mac builds and extends upon the proven stability of the open source NTFS-3G to deliver a full featured, commercial grade NTFS driver for your Mac. With Tuxera NTFS for Mac you can access your Windows disks as easily as any Mac disk. Tuxera NTFS for Mac delivers the fastest NTFS data transfer speeds you can have on Mac while protecting your data with its new, smart caching layer.

The software fully supports all versions of Mac OS X from 10.4 (Tiger) onwards, including the new 64-bit kernel introduced with Snow Leopard and the upcoming Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) and comes with advanced features only available from Tuxera such as support for NTFS extended attributes. Tuxera NTFS for Mac is compatible with popular virtualization and encryption solutions including Parallels Desktop, VMware Fusion and TrueCrypt.

Solution 2: Enable NTFS drive write support on macOS Big Sur with Terminal

Writing to NTFS drive with Terminal is totally FREE and works under all macOS versions, including macOS Big Sur.

By typing some commands at Mac Terminal, you can change the default setting to enable NTFS write support. But actually, this method is not as easy as it seems and is not recommended.

For common users, changing setting by Mac Terminal is too complex. To use Mac terminal, you must have a good knowledge of command lines, otherwise you are very possible to type wrong commands since you don't know what those commands mean at all. If you type wrong commands, it may cause unexpected harms to your Mac and data inside.

Step 1: Open Finder -> Applications folder -> Utilities -> Terminal.

Step 2: After launching Terminal, type the command: sudo nano /etc/fstab to open the /etc/fstab file for editing nano text editor.

Step 3: Type the command: LABEL=NAME none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse (Replace NAME with the name of your NTFS drive).

Step 4: Press "CTRL+O" and press "Enter" to save the fstab file.

After that, you can close the Terminal and write to your NTFS drive without any limitation.

Solution 3: Format NTFS drive to exFAT/FAT32

In fact, exFAT and FAT32 file systems are fully compatible with macOS Big Sur and all previous versions. Actually you can take advantage of this to operate your drive by converting NTFS drive to exFAT/FAT32 file system. To do so, follow the steps as below:

Step 1: Copy the important files out from your NTFS drive.

Step 2: Open Finder -> Applications folder -> Utilities -> Disk Utility.

Step 3: Select the NTFS drive from the left panel in Disk Utility.

Step 4: Click "Erase" on the top menu of Disk Utility

Erase the drive in disk utility

Step 5: Select "exFAT" or "FAT32" file system from the drop-down box and then click Erase.

If you mistakely formatted the wrong drive, you can use M3 Data Recovery to recover data from formatted drive.