A hidden and free NTFS write support on MacOS
I’ve blogged quite a few times on the topic of getting full NTFS support on the Mac OS before. In all of them, I have recommended using Paragon NTFS for Mac. While it costs $19.95 for a single seat license, it is the most robust solution that I’ve found thus far. I never faced an issue with the Paragon’s NTFS driver on my Mac. However, there are times when you might want an alternative free NTFS write support on Mac. For me, it was with a spare work MacBook where I didn’t really want to spend too much just to get the occasional need to write into an NTFS USB stick.
Getting free NTFS write support on Mac
So when I did a little bit of research, I came upon the fact (source) that from OS X Mountain Lion already includes BOTH read and write support for NTFS. It’s just that the write support is simply not enabled by default. The trick involves some editing the /etc/fstab file which is ok for experienced Mac OS users. But editing system files like fstab which is a configuration file that contains information of all the partitions and storage devices in your computer isn’t something I’d ask just about anyone to do, lest you mess up Mac real bad. Also, this is only useful if you would reconnect the same drive again and again for the write support.
Then, I stumbled upon Mounty for NTFS.
Mounty for NTFS
In its own words, Mounty for NTFS is “a tiny tool to re-mount write-protected NTFS volumes under Mac OS X 10.9+ in read-write mode.” The app uses the same principle to get NTFS write support but without making configuration changes in the fstab file. Instead, it simply helps you to re-mounts NTFS volumes with the write support enabled.
Using the app is extremely simple. Once it’s installed and running, it will detect for any newly mounted NTFS volumes. Once it does, it would prompt you if you would like to re-mount it with write support enabled. If so, it would do exactly that.
The app would even open up the mounted drive on Finder automatically once its re-mounted. This is especially useful because for some reason, MacOS would only allow this with the nobrowse option enabled when mounting the drive.
sudo mount -t ntfs -o rw,auto,nobrowse /dev/disk3s1 ~/ntfs-volume
What happens with the nobrowse option is that the volume would not show up on Finder even after it’s mounted. But you can still always find the drive mounted in /Volumes/<name of the drive>.
You can get Mounty for NTFS here: http://enjoygineering.com/mounty/.