Mount NTFS Drives on Mac

Looking to connect an NTFS drive on your Mac? That’s just what NTFSMounter is for. It’s a simple menubar app that allows you to access NTFS volumes.

When the application is running it simply checks for NTFS volumes. If a drive has been automatically mounted by the system, you will have to eject the volume first. NTFS Mounter won’t eject the volume by itself to avoid any other applications to crash if they are accessing files on the volume. Once you have ejected the volume, you can try to select it again from the menu.

I’ve read reports online that NTFSMounter doesn’t work on Lion (I last tried it on Snow Leopard), but there are a number of different proposed fixes. Here’s one via Terminal:

# Look up where the identifier for your NTFS disk first
# Alternatively you can look it up in "Apple Menu (alt/option) >> System Information >> USB"
diskutil list

# First umount the automounted volume
diskutil umount /dev/disk2s2

# Make a new directory
mkdir /backup

# Mount your drive
/sbin/mount_ntfs -o rw /dev/disk2/s2 /backup

Another Terminal alternative I found:

# Look up where the identifier for your NTFS disk first
# Alternatively you can look it up in "Apple Menu (alt/option) >> System Information >> USB"
diskutil list

# Make a directory to you mount your drive
sudo mkdir /Volumes/usb1

# Mount the volume in the new location
sudo mount -t ntfs /dev/disk1s1 /Volumes/usb1/

According to the mount man page, you should be able to add the -w option for read-write capability.

Another source suggested downloading the ntfs-3g files and substituting sudo mount -t ntfs /dev/disk1s1 /Volumes/usb1/ with sudo mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/disk1s1 /Volumes/usb1/.

I read about a Google code project called MacFUSE too. This might be worth a shot as well.

Lastly, these two options (Buy or Try) have had some success: Tuxera NTFS and Paragon NTFS.

If you aren’t worried about backing up files for a specific filesystem on your external drive, you can always partition it with exFat, the new “Fat64”. (In case you didn’t know, Fat32 doesn’t support files over 4GB.)

5 Comments

  1. NTFS-3G has been my favorite for a few years now, and no command line voodoo is needed, it will automount them. However, get it from here to get the most recent version: http://macntfs-3g.blogspot.com/. Not sure why MU doesn’t have the later version in there.

    Reply

    1. Thanks for the update Josh.

      I dug around a bit more and https://www.tuxera.com/community/ntfs-3g-download/ has a recently updated stable version available for download. Also, from that site I realized that many of the porting tools (Fink, Macports & Homebrew) have a package that can be installed. For Homebrew, it’s as simple as brew install ntfs-3g

      Reply

  2. […] Some commercial alternatives are available too: Mount NTFS Drives on Mac | Taylor McGann's Blog The most simple solution would be a FAT32 partition for sharing files, methinks. On FAT volumes […]

    Reply

  3. Thanks for your post Taylor! But as for me it’s too difficult due to I’m a girl. ;) I tried to do all these operations and got confused, so I just bought Paragon NTFS for Mac and solved this problem! :)

    Reply

    1. Don’t blame being incompetent on being a girl, please. Some of us “girls” are quite good at what we do.

      Reply

Comments, questions and feedback welcome.