External HDD permission needed

Hi there, this is my first post. I used to be a windows user but I moved to Apple few months ago. I have an external HDD that I used to use with my pc. I connected it to my mac and it allows me to “read” all the files but I don’t have permission to write. I tried to change the permissions on my mac but I am not allowed to do it. does anyone know if there is a way to fix this issue? I need to be able to open and save files on this hard drive.

thanks in advance for your help.

Welcome to the forum Marco.

The MacOS is not able to write to drives formatted with NTFS (which is one of the most common file systems used for Windows). You can confirm how the drive is formatted using Disk Utility (found in Applications → Utilities).

If you want to be able to write to the disk again, you have two choices.

  1. Third Party software to enable the functionality. Something like Paragon NTFS - Microsoft NTFS for Mac | Paragon Software
  2. Format the drive to a Mac file system, which means completely wiping the drive. So you would want to backup any data from the drive, format it, then you can copy the data back.

Let us know if you have any other questions.


Mac can do FAT32… so you can use that between both Mac and PC…

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FAT32 is mostly useless with modern file and drive sizes. ExFAT works better if you need to use the drive between Windows and macOS

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Oh yeah, forgot to mention formats.

Fat32 works on both however it is limited to a max file size of 4gb. So isn’t ideal these days. Exfat fixed the size limitation and works across both.

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Thank you all for your help. I will probably use a third party software to be able to use the hard drive in both the systems. I thought about splitting the hard drive in two and format the two parts in different way to be able to use the hdd all the time but then I thought that I should always have two copies of each file, one per partition and it is too much trouble. thanks again!!!