Frequently Asked Questions | Tuxera

Frequently Asked Questions

Tuxera NTFS for Mac doesn’t mount the drive, even though I installed it correctly.

My NTFS drive is still read only, even after installing Tuxera NTFS for Mac.

I’m unable to access my NTFS drive after installing Tuxera NTFS for Mac.

“It doesn’t work!”

The most common reason why Tuxera NTFS for Mac doesn’t mount an NTFS volume is that it contains errors or inconsistencies. These problems can occur if you detach a hard drive from a computer without unmounting it first (“Safe remove hardware” in Windows, the eject button next to the volume in Mac OS X). They can also occur if your operating system crashes, or if your computer otherwise shuts down abnormally.

To recover from this situation, attach the drive to a Windows computer and run ‘chkdsk /f’ on the drive to repair any problems in its internal structures. See for usage information regarding ‘chkdsk’.

What happens if I have another NTFS driver installed in my computer?

In order to install Tuxera NTFS for Mac, the computer must have uninstalled any other third-party NTFS software. Otherwise the installation will be unsuccessful and will produce errors. If you have other third-party NTFS drivers installed, make sure that they are no longer active.

Why does all NTFS drives disappear from the “Startup Disk” preference pane after installing Tuxera NTFS for Mac?

Apple does not allow any volumes that are mounted with third party file system drivers to appear in the “Startup Disk” preference pane. This is hard coded, and something that we cannot change.

However, there are numerous alternative methods for booting into Windows:

  • Hold down the Option key during boot (or Alt for non-Apple keyboards).
    This brings up a boot menu where you can choose which volume to start your computer from.
  • Install the rEFIt boot manager for better control of the boot process.
  • Disable Tuxera NTFS for Mac (using the preference pane), unmount your NTFS volume with Disk Utility and mount it again.
    Your volume will now be mounted with Apple’s read-only NTFS driver, and the “Startup Disk” preference pane will behave as usual. Make sure to reenable Tuxera NTFS for Mac afterwards.
  • Use the command line utility bless to set the disk that should be used as default startup disk (see man bless for more information).
How do I format an external hard drive or USB stick NTFS?

Please open Disk Utility as seen above, click on the target storage on the left hand panel, click on “Erase” tab, choose “Windows NT Filesystem (Tuxera NTFS)” from the drop down list and finally click “Erase…”

How to update to the latest version

First of all, download the latest installer by visiting Tuxera NTFS for Mac product page:
Click on the “Download” button and you will get the latest installer.
Once downloaded, just execute it and follow the instructions to get your software up to date. You don’t need to uninstall the previous version.

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How do I run check and repair or CHKDSK for NTFS volumes?

Please open Disk Utility as seen above, click on the target volume on the left hand panel, click on “First Aid” tab, and finally click “Repair Disk” at the bottom right corner.


  1. This feature is available only in release 2012.3.1 and newer. Please update your software if needed.
  2. In some cases Mac OS X will not let you to run chkdsk from Disk Utility. If that occurs, please first open “Terminal” and execute the following commands:
  • sudo diskutil unmount force diskXsY
  • sudo /System/Library/Filesystems/fusefs_txantfs.fs/Support/ntfsck /dev/diskXsY (where diskXsY is the disk identifier that can be seen by clicking Disk Utility’s “Info” button)
I’m getting error -36 when copying file to the NTFS volume in Finder. Why, and how can I fix it?

Error -36 is a very general error and can mean lots of different things. Here are the most common causes of error -36:

  • Some of the filenames that you’re trying to copy are too large to be copied to the NTFS volume. This can sometimes happen with filenames with 200+ characters that contain “international” characters (i.e. characters that lie outside the normal US/English character set).
  • Your drive has internal inconsistency issues. In this case you should get error messages in your system.log file. This problem is fixed by running ‘chkdsk’ in Windows as described above.
  • Your drive has bad sectors. This should normally also trigger error messages in system.log. ‘chkdsk’ in Windows is often able to discover and mark these bad sectors if you supply the ‘/r’ parameter.

If you have bad sectors on your hard drive, you should rescue your data and replace your drive as soon as possible.

How do I create a metadata image of my NTFS volume that I can send to the developers to aid in troubleshooting?

We have written a special application for this purpose which can be downloaded here:

Updated 2009-12-31 (version 1.1): Improved Snow Leopard support and fixes for temporary GUI lockup bugs when extracting.

Usage instructions:

  1. Download and open the disk image (see above).
  2. Start the application by double clicking the icon “Extract NTFS metadata” inside the attached disk image.
  3. Select the device that your NTFS volume resides on (you can look this up in Disk Utility’s “Info” window).
  4. Make sure that the volume that you’re trying to extract metadata from is not mounted (i.e. unmount it in Disk Utility).
  5. Press the “Extract metadata” button.
  6. Specify an output filename in the following save file dialog.
  7. Authenticate as an administrator to allow the metadata cloning utility to gain access to the disk device.

Now the program will start cloning the device metadata to the specified file.

Does Tuxera NTFS for Mac work with TrueCrypt?

Yes, we have successfully tested Tuxera NTFS for Mac with TrueCrypt volumes.

Can Tuxera NTFS for Mac be used with VMware Fusion, Parallels Desktop and other virtualization solutions?

Yes. The developers are using VMware virtual machines stored on NTFS volumes in the development process without problems. VirtualBox and later versions of Parallels Desktop are also reported to work well. In general there is no reason that it should not work properly.

Remember that you cannot simultaneously use an NTFS formatted Boot Camp volume in Mac OS X and your virtual environment. The virtual machine needs exclusive access to the NTFS drive. This is true for all file systems and not specific to NTFS.

Windows doesn’t recognize my USB flash drive once formatted with Tuxera NTFS for Mac.

This is a common issue. Windows has an artificial limitation which prevents it from accessing other partitions than the first one on any media that it recognizes as a removable drive (such as a USB flash drive). When partitioning a disk using GUID Partition Table in Mac OS X, the partitioning utility creates a hidden partition before the first usable one, a 200 MiB EFI partition (as per the EFI specification). Thus Windows will only be able to see the very first hidden 200 MiB EFI partition, which is protected and cannot be used anyway. When a user tries to reformat such a removable drive in Windows, the formatting utility will only allow reformatting the inital 200 MB EFI partition as FAT32/16, not making the entire flash drive available for formatting.

One solution is to repartition and reformat the USB flash drive with the MBR (Master Boot Record) partition scheme:

  1. Make sure that the data on the USB flash drive is backed up as everything will be erased!
  2. Open up Disk Utility (Applications->Utilities->Disk Utility).
  3. Select your USB flash drive.
  4. Select the ‘Partition’ tab and ’1 Partition’ (Windows does not support multiple partitions on USB flash drives) with the format ‘Windows NT Filesystem (Tuxera NTFS)’.
  5. Select ‘Options’.
  6. Select ‘Master Boot Record’.
  7. Click ‘Apply’ to erase and repartition your USB flash drive.
I cannot share NTFS volumes from Mac OS X over the network.

When using the default Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) for sharing files from your Mac, writable volumes that are not HFS+ or ZFS formatted will not be accessible from remote computers. This is a built-in and hard coded limitation of the AppleFileServer, and as far as we know there is no way to make third party writable file systems work with the AFP server. (The same problem occurs when attempting to share FAT32 volumes.)

A workaround is to share files using the SMB/CIFS (Windows sharing) protocol instead (works for OS X 10.4, 10.5 and 10.6):

  1. Open up System preferences (Apple menu->System preferences…).
  2. Select ‘Sharing’.
  3. Select ‘File Sharing’.
  4. Select ‘Options…’.
  5. Deselect the option ‘Share files and folders using AFP’ and instead select the option ‘Share files and folders using SMB (Windows)’ and select which users should have access.
  6. Click ‘Done’.

Your NTFS (and FAT32) volumes should now be accessible from other computers.

OS X 10.7 and 10.8: Mac OS X Lion includes a new SMB/CIFS server called smbx. Unfortunately this closed-source replacement for Samba doesn’t allow any other volumes than HFS+ volumes to be shared. It returns an error when you attempt to access any shares that are on NTFS, FAT32, exFAT volumes. This issue has been fixed in OS X 10.9 onwards.


Spotlight doesn’t index/search NTFS drives.

Why can’t I search a drive formatted as NTFS with Tuxera NTFS for Mac?

Spotlight is the integrated search tool in Mac OS X systems. When a volume is indexed by Mac OS X, any search within it, is faster. However, Apple documentation doesn’t provide enough information about how Spotlight indexes drives formatted with file systems different from HFS+ (Mac OS X Extended). Mac OS X—depending on the exact version—will automatically turn on or turn off indexing in an NTFS drive.

By default indexing an NTFS drive makes the system slower. Oftentimes users complain about seeing high CPU usage, and they end up disabling the option. That’s why we recommend you to enable Spotlight search on your drive only when you really need it, and keep it disabled otherwise.

In order to enable index/search for a NTFS drive you must follow two steps:

First step: Make sure Spotlight has not excluded your drive to search. Go to: System Preferences / Spotlight / Privacy. If your drive is in the list, remove it using the button “-“.

Second step: Enable indexing. Launch “Terminal” (Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal), and execute the command:

mdutil -i on /Volumes/<the NTFS volume>

where <the NTFS volume> is the name of the NTFS volume.

Tip: You can always check the current status with the following Terminal command: mdutil -s /Volumes/<the NTFS volume>

Download link has expired.
You can always download the installer by visiting Tuxera NTFS for Mac product page:
Click on the “Download” button and you will get the latest installer.
This is a typical question when users want to reinstall Tuxera NTFS. Right after your purchase, you receive a download link that has a limited number of downloads. However, that link is just a shortcut that our ecommerce provider Avangate sends you. In some cases, depending on your geographic location, the download is faster if you use that download link.

How to uninstall Tuxera NTFS for Mac.
Tuxera NTFS for Mac is very easy to uninstall. Please go to: System Preferences -> Tuxera NTFS -> General. Press the button “Uninstall Tuxera NTFS…”
If this fails for some reason, an uninstall script exists at the following location:
Please note that you will need administrator rights to uninstall the software.

I can’t run Time Machine.
How to backup an NTFS drive with Time Machine?
Use of Time Machine® software requires the drive to be reformatted to HFS+ (which is native Mac OS X file system). Therefore, an NTFS drive can’t be used by Time Machine. Unfortunately this is a limitation that no additional program can solve.
Alternatively, the drive can be partitioned into a Mac volume (HFS+) and a Windows volume (NTFS). This resulting drive would be both a backup drive for Mac OS X and a data exchange drive with NTFS.
Warning: It is recommended that you copy all the valuable data to another hard drive before formatting.