Switching from Windows to OS X? Make this your first OS X purchase

“With all the recent hubbub surrounding Windows 8 — as well as Apple’s slow-but-steadily-increasing adoption rates amongst consumers and businesses — I thought now might be an apropos time to share the very first purchase I made when I bought a MacBook Air last year: Paragon NTFS for Mac [US$19.95],” Stephen Chapman writes for ZDNet.

“Why is this a necessity? Well, when I first received my MacBook Air, I just assumed there would be some sort of in-built support for reading and writing files to and from a USB device that was formatted for Windows usage,” Chapman writes. “This was a fallacious assumption in one of my less-notable moments that initially left me frustrated, but I quickly came to my senses and remembered that Windows doesn’t afford OS X users a way to read or write to HFS partitions. An eye for an eye, right?”

Chapman writes, “With NTFS for Mac, you simply install the driver, and that’s it… Go forth and be fruitful with your file transfers between your newly-adopted OS X catalyst(s) and your Windows machine(s).”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. Love Paragon NTFS – works seamless and very fast. In Snow Leopard I could even back up my NTFS data partition using Time Machine. Not so in Lion – Time Machine will no longer back up this partition. I think this is Apple’s fault (not Paragons). Wish Apple would allow this again, then all would be right with a dual boot setup. Paragon’s HFS driver for Windows doesn’t work as flawless as their NTFS driver, so using HFS for a shared data partition isn’t as good of an option.

    1. Smaller external hard drives usually are formatted in Fat32. But Fat32 has no support for files larger than 4GB. Therefore, large external hard drives, targeting users who store big files such as videos, usually come formatted in NTFS or HFS.

    1. Did you even read the link you posted? ExFat is a completely proprietary Microsoft only format, that does NOT work on Mac, Linux, or even on Windows yet.

      Fat32 is the only universal filesystem that works everywhere.

      1. Why not read the last part?
        “These peripherals will be limited to use with selected operating systems thanks to a lack of exFAT support in third party products. Should they prove successful with consumers, the days of cross-platform devices could be drawing to a close and while Apple has licensed the format for OS X, open-source operating systems like Linux are likely to be left out in the cold.”

  2. OS X has the ability to read NTFS, just not write to NTFS. Another solution might be to transfer everything over, and reformat those drives to HFS+.

    If you’re two-platform, having full NTFS compatibility makes sense, but if you’re fully switching, you might be able to save that $20, and not worry about having unnecessary software.

  3. I like the Paragon software, and there are others as well.

    But honestly, if you are brand new to the Mac and switching over from Windows, being able to write to NTFS volumes is one of lowest priority issues you will need to deal with. At least for those of us that live in the real world 😉

    Software, printing, networking, security, learning the file system, grasping the Finder … I can think of dozens of issues that are bigger priorities than writing to NTFS.

  4. First off, OSX will read NTFS drives, second, as Paul asked, who formats flash drives to NTFS when they are usually FAT32 to begin with.

    So the free options are:

    A: Don’t be dumb and format flash drives to NTFS when they already work fine as is.
    B: Since OSX reads NTFS, copy everything off of the thumb drive and use Disk Utility to format it to FAT32, then copy the contents back.
    C: Do some research in to clues, and where they can be had.
    D: Refer to option A, as that is really the problem.

  5. When I bought my iMac last spring, I knew that OSX would only read NTFS. I had no problem with that; I plugged in my 1tb usb ntfs drive from my xp laptop and copied over the files I needed to my iMac’s outboard firewire drive.

    I’ve had zero reason to write to my xp drive from my Mac.
    And if I do I could share drives across my home network (another viable way to transfer data, btw)

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