When I first got my Mac, the very first problem I had was trying to figure out why I couldn’t write anything to my Windows formatted external hard drive. Turns out Macs don’t natively allow writing to a drive that’s formatted as NTFS (New Technology File System), which is the format that Windows uses.

Tuxera ntfs mac windows partition

Tuxera NTFS

There are a few options out there to get your Mac to play nicely with the NTFS format. A couple are to use the software Parallels, Tuxera or NTFS-3G.

A quick run down of the 3 will show that Parallels is the most expensive and the most feature extensive. Tuxera is right in the middle, affordable and works great. NTFS-3G is a free solution, however I personally have never been able to get it working properly. Also after browsing around I found a lot of mixed reviews of NTFS-3G, some saying it works great other saying the opposite. Give it a shot though if you want, I mean free and works on Linux, Mac OS X, OpenSolaris, FreeBSD, NetBSD, QNX, Windows and Haiku.

For the purpose of this tutorial I will use Tuxera as it is my favourite of the three as well as the one I currently use.

Tuxera NTFS for Mac is a very simple to setup app. It resides in the System Preferences, where it can be easily enabled, disabled or configured. When you install it, you will have to restart your computer to finalize the installation. Upon restarting, you should go to System Preferences -> Tuxera and look over the options to make sure everything is set up the way you want it (check the picture above to see options). If you’re unsure you can simply leave it as it is, and it should work just fine. I have it set to all the default options and it works great for me.

Another thing I like about Tuxera, is once installed you can forget about it. It’ll do all the work in the background and not bug you about this and that, it just works.

Parallels is a more than a simple way of writing to an NTFS formatted drive however. It allows you to run Windows and Mac simultaneously. So if you came here looking for more than a simple way to write to your Windows NTFS drives, then you should check out Parallels. Read more about Parallels here: Run all Windows programs on Mac OS X with Parallels

If you already have another NTFS application installed, you need to disable or uninstall it before installing Tuxera, or it could conflict with it.

Below are the links to all 3

Tuxera Homepage15 day Trial/Buy

Parallels Homepage14 day Trial/Buy

NTFS-3G