How to read/write NTFS drive on Apple Silicon M1 Mac?

Posted by Tim to NTFS for Mac on December 2nd, 2020

Apple Silicon M1 Mac is the latest Mac computer introduced in 2020. Like Intel-based Mac, M1-based Mac still can only read NTFS drive by default and cannot write NTFS drive. What's worse, even Apple Silicon M1 Mac cannot see files or folders on NTFS external hard drive.

Although there are many NTFS for Mac solutions which can read/write NTFS drive on Mac, but there are a few ones which are compatible with Apple Silicon M1 Mac.

How to read/write NTFS external hard drive on M1 Mac?

There are three solutions which can read and write NTFS drive on M1 Mac:

1. Use NTFS for Mac software
2. Enable NTFS drive write support with Terminal
3. Format NTFS drive to exFAT/FAT32

Solution 1: Use NTFS for Mac software

Although there are several apps which can read/write NTFS drive on Mac, but there are a few NTFS for Mac apps which are compatible with Apple Silicon M1 Mac.

Following are three NTFS for Mac software that can read/write NTFS drive on Apple Silicon M1 Mac:

1. iBoysoft NTFS for Mac

iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is an NTFS for Mac software that can read/write NTFS drive on Apple Silicon M1 Mac where installed with macOS Big Sur.

iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is fully compatible with macOS Big Sur, Catalina, Mojave and High Sierra.

Tutorial to read/write NTFS drive on Apple Silicon M1 Mac with iBoysoft NTFS for Mac:

Step 1: Download iBoysoft NTFS for Mac and follow the wizard to install it.

Step 2: Restart your Mac to complete the setup process.

Step 3: After restarting, insert the NTFS drive to your M1 Mac.

If the NTFS external hard drive is not showing up on M1 Mac, read our article: How to fix external hard drive not showing up on Mac?

Step 4: The inserted NTFS drive will be automatically mounted in read-write mode.

2. M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac

M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac is a simple and easy-to-use BitLocker for Mac tool which can read/write BitLocker encrypted drive on Apple Silicon M1 Mac.

M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac can also read/write NTFS drive on Apple Silicon M1 Mac.

M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac is fully compatible with macOS Big Sur, Catalina, Mojave and High Sierra.

3. Paragon NTFS for Mac

Paragon NTFS for Mac is another NTFS for Mac software which can read/write NTFS drive on Apple Silicon M1 Mac.

Solution 2: Enable NTFS write support with Terminal

Writing to NTFS drive with Terminal is totally FREE and works under all macOS versions, including macOS Big Sur installed on Apple Silicon M1 Mac.

Step-by-step tutorial to write NTFS drive with Terminal:

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 installed on Apple Silicon M1 Mac. 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 Software to recover data from formatted drive.

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