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Computers and Technology

My external hard drive is read-only, what to do?

This, perhaps, one of the frequently asked questions on the internet; hence, there have been so many answers. However, it has been found that most of the questions are answered from Windows users’ perspective rather than for those who use Mac and iOS.

Before we jump into the details, let’s understand what ‘read-only’ actually signifies. According to the basic dictionary language, read-only is a file system permission that only allows a user to read or copy stored data, but not write new information or edit the data. From the Mac users’ perspective, NTFS for Mac is not supported thanks to Apple’s unnoticed consideration. While you are using an external hard drive, which is NTFS for Mac, you will only be able to read it, instead of writing it.

Reasons why external hard drive is ‘Read-Only’

Let’s say you have a USB drive or pen drive and are willing to use it for both read and write files on your Mac. Doing so, you will be able to see and even copy files from that external drive. Unfortunately, when you try to copy files from Mac to an external drive you will start seeing errors.

Besides, if you try to delete a file, by pressing Command+Delete, nothing will happen except showing an error sometime and, if you right click the file, the option to move it to the trash can, it will be shown as missing.

The obvious reason in this case can be the format of the external drive. In simple words, it occurs due to the filing system the storage device is formatted in. Looking at the file format, you may find that the drive is formatted in the Windows NT file system, shortly known as NTFS file system.

While you can read files on the drive and cannot write, it is because your Mac doesn’t hold the license to comply with the system drive; hence, you cannot write or rewrite the drive without converting NTFS for Mac to a suitable format.

How to make it writable

Although several ways have been introduced with the view to easing the process of formatting the external drive to and make it compatible with Mac, most of those steps contain greater risk of losing inside files.

In order to initiate the formatting process, it is wise and recommended that you copy all the files from the drive to your Mac, after all, you are formatting the drive. This may look simple and easy yet it is vulnerable for the drive.

Unless you are willing to mitigate the risk and format the drive without stressing out so much, a third-party application is the best and preferred option compared to other options. Of all the different tools to format external drives to suitable format, iBoysoft NTFS for Mac utility is one of the best and worth mentioning thanks to its reliable and dynamic features that allow users to format drives to preferred one.

iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is particularly designed for the Mac users. They can exploit its all the features from formatting to making the usage process of NTFS for Mac easier, it has everything you need. As simple to use and ready to go. All you need to go through the following steps,

  1. Download the app and install Microsoft NTFS for Mac by iBoysoft on your Mac.
  2. Next, you’ll need to connect the NTFS drives to your Mac. Note that the drive will automatically get mounted in read-write mode.
  3. You can now swiftly move, write, copy, save, and delete files to NTFS drives.

What else you can do

You can rename the hard drive to whatever descriptive name you like then click erase and now the drive is formatted in a cross compatible filing system. If you click on the drive and select get info you can now see that the permissions are set to read and write.

Wrapping Up

To date, several applications or tools have been introduced with the view to making the NTFS for Mac easier to read and write. Out of all those, iBoysoft NTFS for Mac has been found more effective and efficient to format the drive to the suitable one regardless of the size of that drive.

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