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Best Solution to NTFS Read-Only Issue on Mac


Is your hard drive showing “Read-Only” on your Mac device? If so, do not worry. You are not the only one facing this issue. It is a problem that stands common among fellow Mac users. As the issue is common, so does the solution.

This article will discuss the solution that can help you fix read-only errors and access even the NTFS-formatted drives on Mac easily.

What Causes External Hard Drives “Read-Only”?

Despite being several reasons, we believe that all the reasons can be categorized into three pillars. Here is an outline of the pillars.

  • Formatting Errors: Errors can pop up any time; the drive is more prone to errors when you are formatting the drive. Hence, you should format the drive vigilantly and keep an eye over the mistakes that can result in read-only issues.
  • Access Permission: Sometimes, we set access permission to a few of our highly sensitive data. In that case, only authorized visitors can access the data. In case the visitor is not authorized, the data is locked to a read-only function.
  • NTFS File System: You must know some of the drives are formatted in the NTFS file system. As NTFS format is supported by Windows operating system, using the same drive in the macOS will automatically restrict the user to the read-only function.

The third scenario we have just talked about can be best solved with iBoysoft NTFS for Mac. Having this software in your system will help you access NTFS-formatted data. The speed of the processing will never make you feel that you’re accessing differently formatted data. In fact, you will feel like you are accessing data just like from the internal or native hard drives.

Best Solution to NTFS Read-Only Issue

There is no one solution that fits all. Depending on your situation, the following methods will help you fix the “Read Only” issue.

1. Reformatting The Drive

If an external hard drive shows you read-only on your Mac, that means the file system of the hard drive may be not compatible with the Mac. You can fix this problem by reformatting the drive in a file format that is compatible with your Mac. However, if you are going to format the drive, it would be advisable to back up the drive first since formatting will wipe out all your previous data.

  • Launch Disk Utility.
  • A list of drives will appear on the left column of the window.
  • Select the problematic drive and click Erase on the top of the menu.
  • Follow the onscreen steps and choose a compatible file system, eg, FAT or exFAT.
  • Click Erase again to confirm reformat the drive.

Wait patiently! Once the reformatting is done, check the info column; there, you’ll be able to see “Read-Only” has changed to “Read & Write”.

2. Change Permissions

If you are certain that the “Read-Only” problem has been caused due to the permission settings. You simply need to ignore those permission to access the drive.

  • Select the drive.
  • Right-click the drive and navigate to “Get Info”.
  • Go to the “sharing & permission”.
  • Now check the Privilege and change the permission into Read & Write.

Once the persimmon is modified, you can freely access the data without any restriction.

3. Using Third-Party NTFS for Mac Tools

If you think tuning up the setting is not your cup of tea and doing so can make the situation worse, why not take help from professional third-party NTFS tools? One such tool is iBoysoft NTFS For Mac software.

All you need to do is install the software, do some initial set ups and leave the rest to iBoysoft NTFS for Mac software. Whenever a new drive is connected, iBoysoft accesses the drive and prepares it to be read and write efficiently and automatically.


The bottom line is that your Mac can access the NTFS drive but has a restriction where it can only read the drive’s contents. Therefore, if you want the write function available to you, you would need to go through the methods we have mentioned above. So, that is it for this article. Now you know everything about the causes and the solution of the read-only issue. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

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