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By Juno Posted to NTFS for Mac Tips, updated on May 29, 2020

Before you are led to the introduction of free NTFS for Mac, here is some background information in case you don't know.

You can read Windows NTFS drives on Mac. But Mac can't write to NTFS drives, including create, edit, copy, paste, delete, or transfer files on NTFS drive on Mac desktops and laptops. Do you know why?

NTFS is a file system developed by Microsoft, the competitor of Apple. NTFS is used by default on Windows platform, especially for system drive. Additionally, if you use Boot Camp to create a Windows partition on your Mac, you will find you can't mount BOOTCAMP partition with read-write access either. Up to now, Mac operating systems, including macOS Catalina/Mojave/High Sierra/Sierra and Mac OS X El Capitan, only provide NTFS read support but deny NTFS write support.

You know the business, but for users, is there any way to let Mac write NTFS drives? Can you make the NTFS drive fully compatible with macOS or Mac OS X? Sure. The easiest method is to use NTFS driver for macOS software.

If you are looking for a totally free NTFS for Mac software, there are four options: Mounty for NTFS, NTFS-3G, FUSE for macOS and SL-NTFS.

Top 4 NTFS for Mac free software

Some Mac users may have upgraded to macOS Catalina and are digging around for an NTFS driver for macOS 10.15. But it's hard to find a Free NTFS for Mac that supports macOS 10.15 yet. Fortunately, iBoysoft has upgraded their software iBoysoft NTFS for Mac to be compatible with macOS Catalina.

If you are using a Mac running macOS 10.14 and earlier, you can try the NTFS for Mac below and share NTFS drives between Windows and Mac.

1. Mounty for NTFS

Mounty for NTFS is completely NTFS for Mac free software to enable write ability to NTFS drives on your Mac. It has simple design to help users mount NTFS drives with write support on Mac.

Ntfs For Mac Os Free

As a free utility, Mounty for NTFS does have some highlights:

  1. Totally free.
  2. Fast download and installation because it is less than 1MB.
  3. One-time installation and no additional driver needed.

But Mounty for NTFS dose get complaints because:

Free
  1. The write speed to NTFS drive is rather slow.
  2. It can't mount the NTFS formatted drives in read-write mode automatically.
  3. It can be unstable and fails to mount NTFS drives.
  4. It can cause data loss problems.
  5. It doesn't provide tech support.
  6. The software is not compatible with the latest macOS Catalina or Mojave.

2. NTFS-3G

NTFS-3G is an open-source project from Tuxera, so the public can download this NTFS for Mac free software to write to Windows NTFS drives on your Mac computers

Set aside its advantage for being free, NTFS-3G is complained a lot because of its poor performance. Some main drawbacks of this free NTFS for Mac are listed below:

  1. Complicated installation. You have to know how to use Terminal or have already downloaded FUSE for macOS, Homebrew or Xcode.
  2. Poor usability. Users have to use the software by command lines in Terminal instead of an interface.
  3. Poor compatibility. NTFS-3G only supports macOS 10.12 or earlier. It doesn't support the latest macOS 10.15 and macOS 10.14.
  4. Slow write speed. The file transferring is noticeably slow.
  5. Tuxera stops maintaining this utility.
  6. No technical support. As freeware, no technical support is available when issues occur.

3. FUSE for macOS

FUSE for macOS (was OSXFUSE) is another open and NTFS for Mac free software that can enable write support to NTFS drives on Mac. In fact, FUSE is a file system extension that allows user to read and write disks with the formats that are not fully supported by Apple.

FUSE for macOS is worth trying because:

  1. It is free of charge.
  2. It is compatible with Mac operating system from Mac OS X 10.6 to macOS 10.14.
  3. Multiple languages are available.

As a free NTFS for Mac, FUSE for macOS has some obvious limitations:

  1. It can be unreliable sometimes such as file size being reported as 0 bytes.
  2. It has no technical support when issues occur.

4. SL-NTFS

SL-NTFS means Snow Leopard NTFS. As a matter of fact, writing to NTFS drive on Apple is possible since Mac OS 10.6 without any third-party NTFS driver, but the NTFS writing support is disabled by default. Therefore, SL-NTFS is used as an interface on the Apple NTFS driver to enable writing to NTFS drives on Mac.

Mac

As a NTFS for Mac free app, SL-NTFS has some pros as followings:

  1. It is free.
  2. It is simple to install.

However, SL-NTFS has some cons to prevent people from using it.

  1. It has limited access to a large number of files and a large volume of data.
  2. It can't enable NTFS write on some NTFS external hard drives.
  3. It can cause conflicts if you have another NTFS enabler installed.
  4. It has no technical support.

Generally speaking, despite of being free, those NTFS for Mac free software have various flaws, making them very risky to use.

If you are afraid of using a risky free NTFS utility for Mac, there are two cost-effective alternatives for you. Even though they are not completely free, they can provide a lot of merits that NTFS for Mac free software on't have.

Best NTFS for Mac software

NTFS for Mac free software can be troublemakers because of their low write speed, poor compatibility, no technical support, etc. Nevertheless, you don't have to pay a fortune to get enough reliability, stability and simplicity from a cost-effective NTFS for Mac - iBoysoft NTFS for Mac or iBoysoft Drive Manager.

1. iBoysoft NTFS for Mac

iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is an ultimate NTFS for Mac solution in macOS and Mac OS X that can easily help you mount NTFS volumes on Mac desktops and laptops as regular drives in read-write mode.

iBoysoft NTFS for Mac has quite a few advantages you can take into account:

  1. It can mount NTFS volumes in read-write mode automatically.
  2. It can unmount and eject NTFS volumes with one click.
  3. It can repair NTFS file system errors.
  4. It can erase NTFS volumes for data cleanup.
  5. It can reformat other file system (except APFS) into NTFS.
  6. It is fully compatible with macOS 10.15/10.14/10.13/10.12 and Mac OS X 10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8.
  7. It is easy to install and use.
  8. Free technical support is provided.

2. iBoysoft Drive Manager

Another great alternative to NTFS for Mac free software is iBoysoft Drive Manager. It is a handy Mac tool that can enable full read-write access to NTFS drives on Mac and help manage multiple external drives/network drives with one click.

iBoysoft Drive Manager is a great replacement of a free NTFS for Mac because:

  1. It is extremely affordable and offers 7-day free trial.
  2. It is fully compatible with macOS 10.15/10.14/10.13/10.12 and Mac OS X 10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8.
  3. It is fast to write to NTFS drives and transfer files between NTFS drives and Mac.
  4. It is easy to install and use.
  5. It provides lifetime free upgrades.
  6. Free technical support is provided.
  7. Besides powerful NTFS writing support, it can manage external drives and map network drives as local drives in the Finder.

If you want to know any disadvantages that iBoysoft Drive Manager might have, I would say the only one should be - it is not free. But it is really cheap compared with other commercial NTFS for Mac programs, such as Paragon and Tuxera.

We also provide a table to help you find the most preferable NTFS driver:

Ntfs for mac os free download
NTFS for macOSiBoysoft Drive ManageriBoysoft NTFS for MacMounty for MacNTFS-3GFUSE for macOSSL-NTFS
NTFS writingYesYesYesYesYesYes
Auto-mount NTFS in read-write mode YesYesNoNoYesYes
SpeedFastFastSlowSlowSlowSlow
Supported Mac OSmacOS 10.15/10.14/10.13/10.12 and Mac OS X 10.11 to 10.8.macOS 10.15/10.14/10.13/10.12 and Mac OS X 10.11 to 10.8.macOS 10.13/10.12 and Mac OS X 10.11 to 10.6.macOS 10.13/10.12 and Mac OS X 10.11 to 10.6.macOS 10.14/10.13/10.12 and Mac OS X 10.11 to 10.6.macOS 10.12 and Mac OS X 10.11 to 10.6.
Supported devicesUSB drives, SD cards, HDDs, etc.USB drives, SD cards, HDDs, etc.USB drives, SD cards, HDDs, etc. (not all)USB drives, SD cards, HDDs, etc.USB drives, SD cards, HDDs, etc.USB drives, SD cards, HDDs, etc. (not all)
Supported file systemNTFS, APFS, FAT32, exFAT, etc.NTFS, APFS, FAT32, exFAT, etc.NTFSNTFSNTFS, APFS, FAT32, exFAT, etc.NTFS
Tech supportYesYesNoNoNoNo
Simple installationYesYesYesNoNoYes
Ease of useYesYesYesNoYesYes
Other1.Manage external storage media with one click.
2.Map network drive as local drives.
1. Repair NTFS.
2.Erase NTFS volumes.
3.Reformat other file systems into NTFS.
N/AN/AMultiple languages are available.N/A
Price$29.95$19.95FreeFreeFreeFree
Free downloadDownloadDownloadDownloadDownloadDownloadDownload

Now, you have a few options in your hands. If you don't care the risks and want to try out the free NTFS for Mac programs, generally speaking, Mounty for NTFS and FUSE for macOS are better ones. However, if you care about the reliability, technical support and NTFS write speed a lot, or you are specifically looking for an NTFS driver for macOS Catalina, Mojave or High Sierra, iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is your best choice.

People also ask

Q: Is NTFS for Mac free

A: There are four NTFS for Mac free software:

  1. Mounty for NTFS
  2. NTFS-3G
  3. FUSE for macOS
  4. SL-NTFS

Q: How can Mac read NTFS for free?

A: By default, macOS Disk Utility can mount NTFS drive in read-only mode.

Ntfs

Q: What is the best NTFS for Mac?

Ntfs For Mac Os Free Download

A: There are three best NTFS for Mac software:

Download
  1. iBoysoft NTFS for Mac
  2. Paragon NTFS for Mac
  3. Tuxera NTFS for Mac

NTFS for Mac OS X 9 beats down the barriers between Windows and Mac OS X. Effectively solves the communication problems between the Mac system and NTFS, providing full read and write access to Windows NTFS partitions under Mac OS X.

Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X 9 is the only NTFS driver on the market that provides full read/write access to NTFS with the same high-speed as native HFS+ files.

Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X is an excellent solution for end users, SOHO and Enterprise, it Supports all versions of the Windows file system NTFS – from Windows NT 3.1 to Windows 7 (NTFS versions 1.2, 3.0 and 3.1) and mounts the NTFS volumes as native ones.

NTFS for Mac OS X allows you to:

  • Natively read and write your data to any Windows NTFS partition.
  • Easily transfer data between Windows and Mac computers using external or thumb drives with NTFS partitions.
  • Access NTFS partitions without having any complex translation applications or file services like AFP or Samba protocols.

Key Features and Benefits of NTFS for Mac OS X 9:

  • Full read/write access to Windows volumes. NTFS for Mac OS X provides full access (read/write, format etc.) to Windows volumes.
  • All NTFS versions support. Supports all versions of the Windows file system NTFS – from Windows NT 3.1 to Windows 7 (NTFS versions 1.2, 3.0 and 3.1).
  • Improved NTFS Performance under Mac OS X. Unprecedented high level of performance for Windows volumes with the same transfer rate as with the native Mac OS file system.
  • NTFS for Mac is the first cross-platform solution which supports 64-bit Snow Leopard.
  • Supports Mac OS X Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard (32 and 64 bit) and Lion
  • Easy to install. The driver is easily installed through a user-friendly wizard
  • Easy to use. Mount any NTFS partition like a native one – no need to perform special commands to get access; just attach a disk or other media with NTFS partition and use it as you wish
  • Create and repair NTFS partitions under Mac the same way you usually do with HFS/HFS+
  • Non-Roman characters and languages. File and folder names in national languages, including Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Russian
  • No limitation to maximum file/partition size (within Mac® OS X and NTFS specifications)

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