NTFS for Mac

support center

Everything you need to know about Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera. Here you’ll find answers to our most frequently asked questions, installation help, and troubleshooting guides.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most popular questions

After your purchase has been verified, your product key is sent to the e-mail address associated with your order. If you can’t locate your existing product key, you can use our key recovery service. If the problem persists, contact us at macsupport@tuxera.com with your personal information, and we’ll check our database to retrieve it.

Note: If you purchased a license for Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera from another source, or it came bundled with an external hard drive, you may need to get your product key from that retailer or manufacturer (see below).

Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera bundled with Toshiba hard drives is a special version of the software, which can’t be updated in the same way as the retail version we sell directly on our website. If you own a Toshiba drive bundled with Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera, and are having problems saving or writing onto your drive, please contact Toshiba for assistance and software updates.

The download link from our e-commerce provider expires eventually.

You can always download the latest version of our software from the Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera product page: Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera

If you’re running Mac OS X 10.12 Sierra or older, feel free to download our previous version (Tuxera NTFS for Mac 2016.1).

Try some of these solutions:

  • Get the latest software version from our website.
  • Make sure Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera is enabled in your settings.
  • Reinstall Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera.
  • If the previous steps haven’t solved the problem, the volume might contain errors or inconsistencies. This can occur if you detach a hard drive from a computer without unmounting it first (“Safely remove hardware” in Windows, “Eject” in macOS/OS X Finder). They can also occur if your operating system crashes, or if your computer otherwise shuts down abnormally. To fix this, try repairing the disk using Tuxera Disk Manager.

Tuxera NTFS for Mac 2015 and onward can be updated through System Preferences -> Tuxera NTFS -> Updates tab. The application will check if a newer version is available, and will install it with a single click.

For older versions: Download the latest installer by visiting Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera product page.

Once downloaded, execute the file and follow the instructions to get your software up-to-date. You won’t need to uninstall any previous versions.

You can verify the file integrity using the MD5 sum by launching Terminal and running this command: md5 /Path_to_the_downloaded_file/tuxerantfs_2019.dmg

You can find the file path by right clicking the file, then selecting “Get Info”.

The MD5 sum for the latest version of Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera (2019) is: db3dbf3e5f559f58a55da8950ad71e10


In order to use Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera, any other third-party NTFS software must be either uninstalled or disabled. Other third-party NTFS drivers can interfere with the installation—creating errors and causing our driver to not work properly.

The “Too many layers in remote path” error is usually generated when trying to mount NTFS volume, while another third-party NTFS driver is installed on your computer in addition to Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera.

To fix this error, you’ll want to uninstall or disable the other driver.

  • You need administrator rights to uninstall Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera.
  • You can uninstall Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera by going to: System Preferences -> Tuxera NTFS -> General. Click “Uninstall Tuxera NTFS…”
  • If you’re experiencing issues with uninstalling, you can run the uninstall script in Terminal as follows:
  • If you’re running Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera 2018 or a newer version: sudo /Library/Filesystems/tuxera_ntfs.fs/Contents/Resources/Support/uninstall-package.sh
  • If you’re running Tuxera NTFS for Mac 2015 up to 2016.1: sudo /Library/Filesystems/fusefs_txantfs.fs/Contents/Resources/Support/uninstall-package.sh
  • If you’re running Tuxera NTFS for Mac 2014 or an older version: sudo /System/Library/Filesystems/fusefs_txantfs.fs/Support/uninstall-package.sh

Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera is a system extension which adds functionality to the core of the operating system. On macOS High Sierra and above, the user is required to approve any system extensions before it can be used.

You can approve Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera system extension through System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> General tab

There you’ll see the following message: “System software from developer “TUXERA INC” was blocked from loading.”

Click on the lock icon in the bottom left corner to enable changes with administrator privileges.

Then click the “Allow” button next to the message to approve our kernel extension.

If you can’t click the “Allow” button:

  • Remote desktop or screen sharing software may interfere with allowing system extensions. If there are any active sessions, we suggest stopping them, and closing the application before retrying to allow. In general, we suggest closing all applications, since some, such as Google Chrome, can interfere with the installation.
  • We also recommend disconnecting all third-party peripherals, such as pen tablets, since these might also interfere. If you’re running any third-party keyboard preference applications, we recommend closing those too, for the same reason.

If the “Activate” button remains grayed out after entering the license key, it’s possible that the product key is misspelled.

Make sure you’ve entered all letters in upper case, and include dashes where appropriate. The best way to ensure this is to copy and paste the key from the email you received.

If you’re sure that you’ve entered the key correctly, please reinstall the software using our latest version available on our website, then try activating it again (during or after the installation process, through System Preferences -> Tuxera NTFS -> Activation tab).

If you’re still unable to activate the software after following these steps, send us an email. In your email, include the key that you’ve been using, as well as the email address associated with your purchase.

If your copy of Tuxera NTFS for Mac came with a Toshiba hard drive, please see the top of this page.


Spotlight is an integrated search tool in macOS systems. When a volume is indexed by macOS, any search within it is faster.

By default, indexing an NTFS drive uses system resources—potentially slowing down the system. Indexing can often lead to a high CPU usage—We recommend enabling Spotlight search on a drive only when you really need it, and keeping it disabled otherwise.

In order to enable index/search for an NTFS drive, follow these two steps:

  1. Make sure your drive isn’t excluded from Spotlight search. Go to System Preferences -> Spotlight -> Privacy. If your drive is on the list, remove it using the “-” button.
  2. Launch Terminal (Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal), and execute the command: mdutil -i on /Volumes/MYDISK where MYDISK is the name of the NTFS volume (For example /Volumes/Tuxera).

Tip: You can always check the current status with the following Terminal command: mdutil -s /Volumes/MYDISK

To disable Spotlight on a specific drive, you can add it to the Privacy tab in Spotlight Preferences.

If you’re experiencing problems with mounting the volume, try the following:

  1. Make sure Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera is enabled within Preferences
  2. Reboot your Mac, then try mounting again
  3. Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera might not mount nor recognize an NTFS volume, if that volume contains errors or inconsistencies. This can happen if you detach a hard drive from a computer without first unmounting that hard drive (“Safely remove hardware” in Windows, or “Eject” in macOS/OS X Finder). It can also occur if your operating system crashes, or if your computer otherwise shuts down abnormally. To recover from this, attach the drive to a Windows computer, then run ‘chkdsk /f’ on the drive to repair any problems in its internal structure. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315265 for usage information regarding ‘chkdsk’
  4. Reinstall Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera

If the above steps don’t work, contact our support at macsupport@tuxera.com. Before emailing us, enable debug logging from NTFS for Mac preferences, then try mounting the drive again. To help us in troubleshooting, please send us the logs and a description of your issue, and tell us which version of Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera you’re using, as well as your operating system.

Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera ships bundled with Tuxera Disk Manager, an application for managing and formatting your drives. On all macOS and Mac OS X versions, you can use either Tuxera Disk Manager or Disk Utility to format your drives. However on Mac OS X El Capitan (10.11), you can only use Tuxera Disk Manager to format your drives to NTFS.

  1. Make sure the data on the USB flash drive is backed up, as everything will be erased!
  2. Open up Tuxera Disk Manager (Applications -> Tuxera Disk Manager)
  3. Select your USB flash drive.
  4. Go to the “Format” tab.
    • Select Windows NT File System (Tuxera NTFS) as the File system.
    • Select the Volume name by writing it onto the field.
  5. Click “Format” to format your USB flash drive.

Apple doesn’t allow volumes mounted with third party file system drivers to appear in the “Startup Disk” preference pane.

There are, however, several alternative methods for booting into Windows:

  • Hold down the Alt/Option key during boot.
 This will bring up a boot menu, where you can choose which volume to start your computer from.
  • Disable Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera (in the NTFS for Mac Preference pane), unmount your NTFS volume with Disk Utility, and then mount it again. Your volume will now be mounted with Apple’s read-only NTFS driver, and the “Startup Disk” preference pane will see it. Make sure to re-enable Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera afterwards.
  • Use the bless command line utility to set the disk as a default startup disk (see: man bless for more information)

For hibernated volumes, our driver displays a window asking whether the user wants to purge the hibernated state and mount the drive, unless the option “Disable recovery dialog for hibernated volumes” is set in the NTFS for Mac Preference pane. We suggest shutting down Windows properly before attempting to access the Windows partition from macOS.

We also recommend disabling the Fast Startup functionality in Windows, since it also creates a hibernation file on the partition.

We might ask you to take a screenshot of an error message you’re facing, in order to help us troubleshoot it. The following keyboard shortcuts will create a screenshot file of a desired area on your desktop:

Shortcut Selected area
cmd + shift + 3 Entire screen
cmd + shift + 4 Drawn rectangle
cmd + shift + 4 followed by spacebar Selected object/window

Check if you have file system caching enabled. Go to System Preferences -> Tuxera NTFS -> General. Check the box “Enable file system caching”. Also make sure that you haven’t disabled it on a specific volume, by selecting the volume in the “Volumes” tab.

Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera doesn’t consume any CPU on its own, it only reacts to requests by other services or applications. A high power or memory usage is most likely being caused by searching or metadata indexing, performed by the Spotlight system search service.

You can tell whether this is the case by looking for the mds and mdsworker processes in the Activity Monitor.

Spotlight can be disabled if searching your NTFS drive with it isn’t important to you. Apple has made this a little complicated, but the following instructions should work:

  • Launch Terminal (Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal)
  • Run the command: sudo mdutil -i on /Volumes/’MYDISK’ (You will need Administrator privileges/password. MYDISK is the name of your disk.)
  • Access Spotlight settings in System preferences (Apple menu -> System preferences…)
  • In the “Privacy” tab, add your NTFS volume to the Spotlight exclusion list.

Any CPU/memory usage triggered by Spotlight should stop as soon as the NTFS volume is added to the exclusion list.


You can install Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera using the same license on up to 3 home computers, granted it’s only for private and personal use.

For commercial use, please see below.

If you’re planning on purchasing the software for an entire department, you’ll need to get an individual license for each computer. If that’s the case, you might benefit from our following volume discount scheme:

Number of users Volume pricing per user
1-2 15 EUR (15 USD)
3–4 14 EUR (14 USD)
5–50 13 EUR (13 USD)
51–200 12 EUR (12 USD)
201–500 11 EUR (11 USD)
501–1000 11 EUR (11 USD)

Tuxera provides all our licensees with maintenance and customer support. Updates are currently free of charge for purchases through Tuxera and selected resellers. Contact us for more information.

Licenses purchased from us are intended for end users only. If you wish to start acting as a reseller of Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera, please contact us directly for more information on licensing schemes and pricing.

NTFS for Mac settings


You can disable Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera without uninstalling it, by just clicking the “Disable” button in the preference pane. While disabled, Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera will ignore all NTFS volumes attached to the system, and will pass the mount request on to Apple’s NTFS driver (or any other installed NTFS driver with a higher probe order).

Once you click the “Disable” button, all options will become grayed out, and the button text will change to “Enable”. Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera is enabled by default.

For a volume

If you want Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera to only ignore a specific volume when attached, select the volume in the drop-down list in the Volumes section of the preference pane, then check the box “Disable Tuxera NTFS”.

This setting is governed by the control file: .Tuxera-NTFS/disable-driver

To re-enable the volume, manually remove this control file from the volume.

Once a volume is disabled for Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera, you may have trouble re-enabling it since it’s no longer mounted as read/write. To get around this, you can connect it to a Windows machine and remove the control file from there, or force mount it with Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera from the command line.


You can disable the internal caching layer by unchecking “Enable file system caching” in the preference pane. However, this drastically reduces performance, and isn’t recommended.

You may want to enable this if you’re worried about data consistency in the event of a system crash. For instance, if you’re running a database from the NTFS volume, you’d normally want as few layers of caching as possible, in order to guarantee the correctness of the data.

This option is on by default.

For a volume

To disable the caching layer for a specific volume, select the volume in the Volumes section of the preference pane, and check the box “Disable file system caching”.

This setting is governed by the control file: .Tuxera-NTFS/disable-caching

With this file being present in the root directory of a volume when mounting, caching isn’t activated. To manually revert this option, delete the control file.

If you regularly attach volumes that haven’t been cleanly unmounted (for instance if your colleagues regularly forget to use the “Safely remove hardware” feature before detaching NTFS drives from a Windows computer) you may suppress the dialog from Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera, and automatically recover any attached NTFS volumes by selecting the “Always mount unclean volumes” option.

This option is on by default.

If something doesn’t seem to work properly in Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera, or you want to find out what happens when you attach a Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera volume for troubleshooting purposes, you can enable debug logging to get more information.

Check the box “Enable debug logging” to turn on extended logging.

When debug logging is enabled, the utility that helps Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera to mount, format, and probe volumes (and do a lot of other important things) writes extensive debug logging information to log files.

Normally, the script writes onto the log file “/Library/Logs/tuxera_ntfs_util.log” (at the root of the volume), but in case it doesn’t have sufficient access (if it isn’t run with admin privileges) it falls back to “~/Library/Logs/tuxera_ntfs_util.log” in your home directory.

Note: The Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera utility script always tries to log errors, regardless of the setting of this preference value. Debug logging provides extremely fine-grained logging suitable for bug reports.

This option is off by default.

This option disables the dialog that Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera displays when encountering a volume containing a hibernated Windows session. The dialog enables the user to purge that session and mount the volume. If this option is selected, mounting will silently fail when a hibernated Windows session is encountered, and you won’t risk losing any data just because you hit the wrong dialog button.

This option is off by default.

This option makes Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera store extended attributes such as Finder metadata, resource forks, and other custom attributes natively, mapped to NTFS Alternate Data Streams. When turned off, extended attributes are stored in an additional file prefixed with “._”.

This option is on by default.

This option enables automatic translations of characters in file names and attribute names that can’t be used in NTFS, or read by Windows Explorer. The characters are translated according to a known scheme used in Services for Mac in Windows.

This option is on by default.

System Requirements Supported platforms: Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger), 10.5 (Leopard), 10.6 (Snow Leopard), 10.7 (Lion), 10.8 (Mountain Lion), 10.9 (Mavericks), 10.10 (Yosemite), 10.11 (El Capitan), 10.12 (Sierra), macOS 10.13 (High Sierra), macOS 10.14 (Mojave) and macOS 10.15 (Catalina)
Supported hardware: Intel or PowerPC Mac
General Features Works in both 32-bit and 64-bit kernel modes
All NTFS versions supported
Create NTFS partitions
Create NTFS disk image
Verify and repair NTFS volumes
Advanced Features Smart caching for high-performance read/write
Automatic translation of file names
Native extended attributes
Compatibility with other software Most third party software
Performance Speed similar to native HFS+
Licensing One person = one license

Known issues

Issue: Problem saving files stored on NTFS volume.
Workaround: We recommend moving files to your internal hard drive before modifying them. Once modified and saved, the file can be moved back to NTFS volume.

Get in touch

If you still didn’t find what you were looking for, drop us a line!

When you do, help us troubleshoot by telling us:

  • Which version of our software you’re using
  • Which macOS version you’re currently running
  • The issue you’re having in as much detail as possible, including what you did to get the error

Please also send us logs to help us see what’s happening in the background when your issue occurs:

  1. Enable debug logging (System Preferences > Tuxera NTFS > General > Enable debug logging)
  2. Try reproducing the issue you had
  3. Then send us the following logs as attachments:

* tuxera_ntfs_util.log You can find this log file under the directory /Library/Logs (Finder > Go > Go to folder > /Library/Logs)

* system.log The system log is located in /var/log (Finder > Go > Go to folder > /var/log)

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