OS X El Capitan NTFS usb support

Your Mac does not recognize, mount, or write to the USBs and external HDDs under NTFS format? Free effective solutions here!

Mac OS does not support writing to NTFS disk by default. Are there any ways to enable NTFS read/write support in Mac OS X El Capitan, Yosemite or any older OS X versions?

Firstly, For saving a ton of time, I would recommend a best Professional NTFS Driver for Mac, Paragon NTFS For Mac 15. After a few seconds for installation, users are able to write to any NTFS drives on Mac with the transfer rate is the same as with the native HFS file system. Paragon NTFS for Mac costs $19.95 and offers a ten-day free trial. It’ll install cleanly and easily on modern versions of macOS, including macOS 10.12 Sierra and Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan. It really does “just work”, so it’s the best option if you’re willing to pay a small amount of money for this feature.

Otherwise, The following methods require being patient and a little bit knowledge about linux, but will make it doable. They should work for the one looking for NTFS Write support in Mac OS X 10.10, 10.11.

1 – Use Terminal to enable NTFS Read/Write support in Mac OS X El Capitan, Yosemite

This solution is quite complicated, but works 100% even in OS X Capitan.

We do not talk about why either Mac does not support writing to NTFS drives or or why this feature is hidden from Mac OS X. We are gong to use Terminal command lines to manually Enable NTFS write support under OS X. Let’s see how it works.

  • Step 1: Check and remember the NTFS Disk NAME from the left pane side.

Check the NAME of the NTFS Volume

  • Step 2: Launch Terminal (Applications > Utilities > Terminal).
  • Step 3: Type then Enter the following command line.
sudo nano /etc/fstab
sudo nano terminal
  • Step 4: Fill the admin password if you are required.
  • Step 5: The fstab editor then must be called in blank by default. Next, enter the following command line.
LABEL=NAME none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse
Enable Mac NTFS Write using terminal

Notice: DRIVE_NAME must contain no spaces and be replaced by the NAME of your NTFS drive. What to do If the drive NAME contains words separated by a space? Find out the solution in the comment section at the end of this article because someone must figured it out already.

Instead of using LABEL=NAME none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse, we can use the following command line.

UUID=Universal Unique Identifier none ntfs rw

Universal Unique Identifier can be determined by Disk Utility. Read more here to see the full instruction.

  • Step 6: Press Control + O to save the file, and Control-X to exit the fstab editor. You now are able to Write to the NTFS disk.

When you plug the NTFS Drive next times, the Volume will no longer appear at the left pane side. How to find it? From Finder window –> Click on Go (on the top menu) –> Choose Go to Folder –> enter the /Volumes–> The NTFS volume must be there (see the below image).

OS X El capitan NTFS solution
NTFS Mac – NTFS El Capitan solution

The above steps need to be repeated once a new NTFS drive is plugged into your Mac. It takes minutes and may not work correctly all the times. I therefore would recommend using a professional NTFS driver for Mac such as Paragon NTFS 14.

NTFS-3G El Capitan

Does NTFS-3G work on Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan? It works unstably and unsafely and is not recommended for El Capitan. NTFS-3G is an open-source and contributed by numbers of Linux distributions such as Fedora, Mandriva, openSUSE and Ubuntu. It is not released and officially supported by any companies. By using this method, users have to bear the unexpected risks.

2 – Use Paragon NTFS 15

Paragon NTFS For Mac 15 belongs to Paragon, a very famous company in Hard Drive Integration field. It comes with great features to enable read/write access to NTFS partitions under OS X with unprecedented high NTFS performance. It also includes Disk Manager for easy formatting and hard drive maintenance such as check and repair.


Paragon NTFS 15 Key Features:

      • Supports MacOS Sierra already
      • Easy to to install
      • The read/write speed to NTFS partition is optimized and similar to native HFS+
      • No limitation accessing to big number of files and large volume of Data
      • Supports completely all Hard drive Brands and NTFS versions
      • Support El Capitan and other software such as Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion
      • Able to create, verify and repair NTFS partitions
      • Optimize the operations on SSDs

Similarly, we can manage EXT2/3/4 drives in our another share that you may want to take a look on – Free Ext2/Ext3/Ext4 Read and Write solutions in Mac OS X El Capitan.

———NTFS Mac – NTFS for Mac – NTFS Driver for Mac———

  • Thierry PROST

    I have to say every commercial apps (Paragon NTFS, Tuxera, …) and manual way (fstab) do not work on El Capitan or is not compatible after passed some hours to make it works.

    • Taylan Topuz

      yes.unfortunately no solution yet.

      • Look back the solution 2 again. I made a typing mistake. It works now 🙂

        • Taylan Topuz

          Now my bootcamp drive which is formatted NTFS is not visible anymore. maybe works only for usb drives, external hdd etc..

          • Franta Tichan

            It is visible using Disk Utility: open bootcamp drive using disk utility and move icon which is at the bottom of Finder to Favorites tab in Finder, that is the easier way how to see it everytime (only in finder, not on a desktop)

          • Taylan Topuz

            how to reverse it though?

          • Arjan de Boer

            @Taylan: delete the fstab entry
            that should be all.
            My GM-version works perfectly well after the fstab hack.

          • Aravind

            Im unable to mount my NTFS drive as well although it is visible in disk utility. Can you please tell me the command to delete the fstab entry that was made so that i can atleast read the files on my drive. Thanks!

          • zirho6

            sudo rm -rf /etc/fstab
            there you go

    • Jay

      i just did fstab and was able to write to NTFS portable drive.

      • Could you share to the others your experience? Some of them can not make it work with fstab solution 🙂

        • Jay

          the only thing different i can imagine is I did the supplemental update to El Capitan before I tried this. Maybe that was the issue?

          • You are right. Incorrect command was fixed. Thanks

  • Milan Prokop

    fstab not working for me on El Capitan, actually I can’t even see the NTFS partition of my hard disk, not even in Disk Utility. Paragon and Tuxera don’t work either.

    • Ask Jay for help, he makes it work.

    • Jay

      i don’t think there should be a space between LABEL = drivename. it should be LABEL=drivename (maybe this was the problem).

      • Milan Prokop

        I already had it without the space, maybe my problem is that I have two partitions on my hard disk one is HFS+ a the other one is NTFS and my MacBook doesn’t even see the NTFS partition. But at least I should be able to see it and read it, right?

        • Milan Prokop

          Oh, I figured it out. My problem was that I updated from Yosemite where I was using Tuxera, and Tuxera was causing all NTFS partitions not being mounted. When I uninstalled Tuxera “fstab” method started working. Thanks

          • Joseph

            How did you uninstall Tuxera? My Uninstall Tuxera button was greyed out in System Preferences. I am using Tuxera 2012.

          • Milan

            Im sorry i dont remember. But i think i used the uninstall button, i dont remember doing anything special with it.

          • Milan

            Anyways, the fstab option stopped working for me. Now im using paragon and its working on the latest system.

  • Franta Tichan

    Please, what is wrong about this? LABEL=My Passport none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse
    I did not have any problem with single word name…

  • Anthony Main

    Worked for me on El Capitan GM seed using the FSTAB method – I had to Unmount the HD (as I have it as a secondary internal disk) and Mount it again using Disk Utility

  • I think it enforce me to do so the same code on terminal, am i right?

  • conurus

    I managed to corrupt my NTFS external drive using the fstab method. Fortunately Windows chkdsk restored most of the lost content. It seems like a real driver is necessary.

  • Amrit Shrestha

    yesterday fstab method worked. Today it wont work

    • Amelia Ong

      Me too. Even after deleting fstab, my drive can’t even be read anymore! It could be read but now write before. This feels hopeless, bah.

  • Bartek Jawien

    I type LABEL=MyPassport none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse
    when i type cmd+o I can't see in Macintosh Hd folder with Volumes.
    Anyone can help me ? what to do ?

    • Boy Sudak

      do you mean cntrl+o or cmd+o?
      cntrl+o saves the file.

      • Bartek Jawien

        Cntrl + o but doesnt work still

      • Bartek Jawien

        Yes i know. cntrl + o doesn't work ?

  • Boy Sudak

    This didn't work for me as well. I tried adding the line

    LABEL=Seagate Backup Plus Drive none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse

    but still the disk has 'Read-only' permission.

    • Somya

      Try LABEL=Seagate40Backup40Plus40Drive none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse

    • Daniel Plas Rivera

      Try LABEL=Seagate40Backup40Plus40Drive none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse instead of
      LABEL=Seagate Backup Plus Drive none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse

      substitute spaces with “40” instead and it will work.

  • Jonandalf

    It worked for me with my external HD via USB following these steps:
    1. – I did the fstab hack
    2. – Open Disk Utility
    3. -Unmount the volume.
    4.- Mount the volume (now in Info you can see it is writable)
    5.- right-click on the volumne -> Open in Finder

    Really don't know if it gonna be persistent, but at the moment I can move files to the disk.

    • will that (unmount the volume) erase what I have on the external HD? or is it safe?

      • ondre

        No, unmounting and mounting it is like if you were to unplug a lamp and plug it back in. The bulb still works exactly the same as it did before you unplugged the lamp. The only difference here is when you mount again, you’ll be able to write to an NTFS drive.

    • orthorim

      This is awesome. Thanks for the tip with the spaces. I finally got it to work and it’s actually very fast. Measured over 1GBPS for my external HD. It seems faster than FAT…

  • kumar

    how about if we want to make this setup with more than 1 NTFS hard drive?

    • Hamster House

      add new line in fstab with name of storage:

      LABEL=xxx none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse
      LABEL=yyy none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse

      • kumar

        Thnx dude. It works.

      • kumar

        thnx it works…

  • Mike Woolley

    if you have a space in your drive name, replace it by the ascii code in /etc/fstab

    LABEL=My40Passport none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse

    • kumar

      excellent, i tried a few times and it didn't work as per their information but yours worked mike…

    • Le Zuero

      Worked for me but not shown in Finder.

  • m1dawkins

    Just to confirm Mike's suggestion does work, if you have spaces in the drive name e.g. Seagate Expansion drive, you need to enter Seagate40Expansion40Drive

    Control O takes you to a line at the bottom of the Terminal with the file location, press Enter and the file will be saved.

    Then go into Disk Utility and Unmount and Mount the drive, then in Finder select the drive and click File – Get Info and at the bottom you should see that you have Read and Write access.

    • m1dawkins

      Think I spoke to soon! I have just tested copying a file to both drives and I get the no entry symbol next to the file when dragging it across and it does not copy across.
      Anyone else had this issue?

  • Mansi

    I tried and now it wont show the drive. What do I do now?

    • Ariel Arias Acuña

      Yo need to navigate to folder.. In my case I verified from shell by "cd /Volumes", next to "ls", and I can see my Drive.. (ExternalDisk named)…
      from Finder.. By clicking Go->Go to Folder: /Volumes/ExternalDisk
      Then I can read/write onto my disk.. Hope it wrjks for you too

  • Shriyansh

    hey can anyone let me know how to undo stab modified, which you mentioned above.

    • AnthonyRemboldt

      follow the same steps as you did to modify. when the nano editor shows up your previously saved edit will be there. simply delete the text, resave, and exit.

  • disq

    i've installed El Capitan from scratch and there isn't even an /etc/fstab file. all there is, is a file named /etc/fstab.hd which is not read by the OS.

    so much for "works 100%" 🙂

    • Hariharan B

      sudo nano /etc/fstab command creates an fstab file for you. I did it now and I am able to read and write to my Segate HDD. Check the screenshot below.

  • Man Tamang

    Option 1 worked in my case. Installing Tuxera NTFS, download from link given above.

  • Ruben Soler

    Yea! FSTAB works for me. The thing is the the drives didn't appear in finder. If I open Disk Utility I can see them and "find in finder" but as I said the drives won't show

  • John Paul Solatorio

    I got this working on my iMac (21.5 inch, Late 2013) running OSX El Capitan 10.11.1. As others have said the NTFS drive does not appear on the right side of the Finder. What I did was go to my Macintosh HD and dragged the Volumes folder to the left side (Favorites) so that I can access my removable drives easily. I unmount the drives by right-clicking, then selecting “Eject.”

    • John Paul Solatorio

      PS. I also used 40 as space for my drive names.

  • Le Zuero

    I put that in /etc/fstab: LABEL=”Seagate Expansion Drive” none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse,

    but not worked.

    • Somya

      Try LABEL=Seagate40Expansion40Drive none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse

      • Le Zuero


    • Nishad Islam

      Use Uppercase for Drive LABEL Name

  • Tamás Rozsnyai

    With the advice of m1dawkins this turned out to be a good solution:
    “Just to confirm Mike’s suggestion does work, if you have spaces in
    the drive name e.g. Seagate Expansion drive, you need to enter

    Control O takes you to a line at the bottom of the Terminal with the file location, press Enter and the file will be saved.”

  • Bad Doc

    You are a lot of s t o o p i d s
    Just do fstab hack, mount your external ntfs disk
    Go to /Volumes and drag the disk to favorites
    If your disk name has spaces just replace the spaces by 40

  • Claudio Pompili

    Mac Pro (Early 2008) 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon running OS X El Capitan 10.11.2. Followed instructions literally including disk drive name ie sudo nano /etc/fstab; then

    LABEL=Movies 1 none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse. Did same for another Seagate HD and updated the fstab file. Both HDs are Seagate 2TB USB3 drives. All good

  • Héctor Max Alvelais Lassmann

    This works perfectly in a Mid 2014 MacBook Pro 15″ with El Capitan 10.11.3
    I’ve only had to substitute blank spaces with 40
    Dismount the HDD from the Disk Utility and mount it again, that’s all!
    Thank you very much!

    Max Alvelais

    • Amn Satija

      I am unable to mount the harddisk back on a mid 2012 mac book pro with el capitan 10.11.3

    • lmxb

      Verifying replacing spaces with 40 works! I just spent about an hour trying to get the UUID, which doesn’t seem to exist in with the “ntfs.utils -k disk?s?” command. Using the fstab method and replacing the spaces as you suggest worked great.

  • Angeluz

    Awesome! Free and quick solution. All I had to do afterwards is eject the drive and connect again.

  • It worked, but the 40 didn’t help. I had to rename my drive on my pc, reconnect to my mac to make it work. Thanks guys

  • Did not worked for me – OS X El Captain 10.11.4

    My HDD has multiple partitions and none of the names contained spaces.
    Tried the LABEL trick with partition name as well as HDD name, didn’t worked.

  • Somya

    It worked for me the first time, but then I tried the same for another hard disk and it just wouldn’t mount back again. And now this hack isn’t working on my old hard disk either (the one that it had successfully worked on earlier). If I delete the fstab file, then my hard disk mounts but in read-only mode.

    Any help would be appreciated. Why isn’t my hard disk able to mount again?

  • Violin Laurent

    I did this, and i just disabled by entire hard drive for my mac.. any solutions to this? I can see the volume in disk utility, but i can’t do nothing with it, and it doesnt appear anywhere else.. the status under “owners” says “disabled”…. what do i do

    • Fraser

      i have this same problem, did you manage to fix it?

    • Artur Alajaan

      I have the same problem aswell… 🙁

  • Perroni

    Thank you SO much! It worked for me! Look at that fantastic “move to trash” option. NICE!

    Points to highlight:

    1-used /040 to separate spaces.

    2-after pressing Control+O, I thought I needed to do something else, since there are more options after you press it, but no.

    3-Before doing the whole process, I put the drive on my favorites already, because it won’t show under devices anymore, but it will show on favorites.

    4-It’s easier than it looks like.

    5-I have a Late macbook white 09′.

  • Dev

    Worked for my WD MyPassport Wifi external HD. Just make sure there is no spaces in the Disk name.

  • Fraser

    i did every step but now my hard drive refuses to re-mount? i had about 200GB worth of my music and holiday photos on the hard drive and i fear that they may now be erased/unrecoverable. help!

  • Patroi Raul Florin


  • Ärian Stan Welsch

    Got it! and it’s working using that fstab thing 😀

    • andrewi

      Be careful, large transfers and frequent use will eventually break the partition. Mac OS X blocks it by default for a reason, and it doesn’t write perfectly to the NTFS file system on Mac Hard Drives (it messes up the $I30 index over time).

      • Roberts Smidrins

        Yee man, this happened to me, what shoud i do now?? I cant copy into my Hard drive and some of the files are gone or it have changed in grey color and cant be used. Im pissed, im a dj and its important to me!!!

  • Diógenes Constantino

    To reverse the process in el capitan?

  • Murali Kavitarkika

    Can any one help me on Writing to NTFS External Drive with
    use of TERMINAL described above.

    I followed instructions but got stuck at one place— in
    STEP 6

    When I press Control +O, there is some thing coming up at
    the bottom of command line. What should
    I type for saving on Desk top?

    After saving, what
    screen would appear and how should I quit?
    Should I simply Press Control+X or something else to be done?

    What will happen to the Drive? Will I be able to Write on the drive after

    If I restart my Macbook, should I go thru this procedure
    again or the saved Command Line on Desk top would suffice.

    I am NOT a very computer literate. Can any one explain?

    • vs511

      After ctrl+O, press enter. Then, ctrl+X.

  • Gianluigi Furlan

    GUYS PLEASE I need your help…

    I did all the steps to enable NTFS…
    Now the external HD is gone and I can’t find it even following the steps you suggest

    Is there anyway to undone this?

    PLEASE I’m panicking

  • Ramires Moreira

    this works perfectly im my OS X El Captain 10.11.6, thanks for share.

  • Okay, I have been jumping from website to website wondering why it didn’t work for me (the method one, that is) and I finally found the solution and am putting it out for everyone everywhere.

    The reason it did not work for me was because I was using an internal hard drive converted to an external using adaptors and stuff. It was formatted as an NTFS drive and almost all descriptions between that drive and my Seagate drive were identical, but for some reason, the terminal method worked for my Seagate but not for my internal drive.

    It could very well be due to lack of power supply, and I’ll probably be messing around to find out the cause. I am a bit unsure if I should do it with the same drive that contains a shit-ton of data, so I’ll stay down for now.

  • Kbrauneis

    there is a little app called Mounty. takes care of all this.