Why My New M1 MacBook Won’t Let Me Write On My NTFS External Hard Drive?

As someone who has just purchased a new MacBook, let me begin by congratulating you on buying a great piece of tech. If you just bought the new MacBook with Apple’s Silicon M1 chips, you are should be congratulated.

However, if you are not careful, your newfound enthusiasm might turn to despair especially in the context of moving data or files.

As some of you are aware, Apple’s macOS does not let users use NTFS hard drives to their fullest potential.

While you may be able to read the files on your NTFS hard drives, you will not be able to move them, edit them, or carry out any other functions.

In this article, we are going to address an issue, which has been raised quite frequently by new Apple users of MacBook and iMac systems.


The NTFS File System: A Brief Background

Microsoft launched the new and improved NTFS or New Technology File System in 1993. It replaced older systems like FAT and HSPS as they were slow, unsafe, and did not allow for many file customizations.

Given the reach and presence of Microsoft and its Windows OS in world markets, most external hard drive manufacturers have pre-formatted their devices with NTFS.

The rationale is that there are more chances of an external hard drive being used on a Windows device than it is on an Apple. However, a lot has changed over the last 27 years, and Apple’s products are slowly gaining global acceptance.

So, what happens when you plug in your NTFS Hard Drive to your new Apple MacBook?

What you will see is that the macOS shows you the file, in a read-only form. For example, if you have a word document, you want to open, you will be able to do that. However, if you want to edit it, the macOS will prevent you from doing it.

Is there a Credible Way to Overcome this Frustrating Issue?

According to experts, there are three ways, which you can use to make your NTFS Hard Drive work on your new MacBook and macOS-

1. Reformat to FAT32

One strategy you can adopt is transferring the file system from NTFS to FAT32. This is because Apple supports file systems, which run on FAT32. However, it is important that you realize the stakes involved before reformatting your hard drive.

According to experts, formatting to FAT32 has shown that many large files, mostly videos get corrupted. While you can use additional software to restore the corrupted file or use Apple’s Disk Utility to do the same, the process can get a little bit intimidating.

2. Choose an NTFS Driver for Mac

If you want a solution, which is simple to use and efficient to carry out, you can always go for a credible third-party NTFS driver for Mac. All you need to do is download and install the software on your new MacBook and you are good to go.

Every time you plug in an NTFS external hard drive, you will see the software functions. You can easily open the drive, check the contents, edit it according to your heart’s content, and even fix disk errors. The mounting and unmounting are automatic, meaning it does not require manual intervention, every time you start it up.

3. Use the Mac Terminal for enabling the NTFS support

Let me begin with a small caveat. If you are not someone who is too proficient in computers and other technical knowledge bases, you should stay away from this strategy. Using the Terminal on a Mac is not as easy as using a third-party NTFS for Mac software.

If you have coding knowledge, then you might be someone who will be able to use Terminal to enable NTFS support for your MacBook. However, any errors if made might damage your files permanently leading to no repair or retrieving options.

The Bottom Line

While Apple’s UI and UX is easy to understand and work on, these technical bits of enabling NTFS for Mac, moving data, and other processes is not something, which everyone will be able to successfully execute. When it comes to data it is important to be as safe and secure as possible.

This is why rather than going for complicated scenarios and options, you should try to go for time-tested solutions, which are fuss-free and allow you to carry out what you want to do in a hassle-free manner.

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