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Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you wanted to know about Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera

Here you will find answers to the most common questions, and troubleshooting for most common issues


How to install Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera in macOS Mojave

Installing Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera in macOS Mojave is a straightforward process. Follow the instructions in this video to get started:

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 cannot 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 will check our database in order 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.

 

Yes, Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera is backward compatible. You can check the compatibility below under Tech Specs. If you are running older versions of Mac OS X, you can also download our previous version if you wish.

 

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

 

A few simple steps to troubleshoot:

  • Are you using the latest software version available on our website?
  • Is Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera enabled in settings?
  • Try reinstalling Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera if you are facing issues after updating
  • The most common reason why Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera 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 (“Safely remove hardware” in Windows, the eject button next to the volume in macOS/OS X Finder). They can also occur if your operating system crashes, or if your computer otherwise shuts down abnormally. To recover from the situation try repairing the disk.

 


From Tuxera NTFS for Mac 2015 onwards you can update from System Preferences -> Tuxera NTFS -> Updates tab. The application will check if a newer version is available, and 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 don’t need to uninstall the previous version.

 

You can verify the file integrity using MD5 sum, by launching Terminal and running the command: md5 /Path_to_the_downloaded_file/tuxerantfs_2018.dmg
 
You can find the path to the file by right clicking the file, and selecting “Get Info”.
 
The MD5 sum for the latest version of Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera (2018) is: c096d42180861fea28ac38c4f6523604

 

Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera bundled with Toshiba hard drives is a special version of the software, which cannot be updated 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 to your drive, please contact Toshiba for assistance and software updates.

 

Installation

 

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

 

“Too many layers in remote path” error is usually generated when trying to mount NTFS volume, and there is another third-party NTFS driver in addition to Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera installed on your computer.
 
To get rid of this error, please uninstall/disable the other driver.

 


Installing Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera is not any more complicated than installing other programs, as it uses the standard macOS Installer package.
 
Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera, like most software for the Mac platform, is delivered as a disk image (.dmg file). After downloading, double-click the .dmg file to mount it, and show its contents.
 
You will see two icons inside the disk image: “Install Tuxera NTFS” and “User Manual”. “Install Tuxera NTFS” launches the package installer, which will guide you through installing Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera. You will need an administrator password for your Mac during the installation, since the package needs to place files in protected system folders.
 
After you have installed the package, it is recommended, but not required, to reboot your computer. We recommend it because macOS caches certain data from the file system bundle. In most cases, however, you only need to unmount your NTFS file system volumes, and remount them in Disk Utility to activate the newly installed version of Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera.
 
For more guidance on installation see our installation video.
 
Installation video on YouTube: Tutorial video

 

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. Press the button “Uninstall Tuxera NTFS…”
 
If you are 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 are running Tuxera NTFS for Mac 2015 up to 2018:
sudo /Library/Filesystems/fusefs_txantfs.fs/Contents/Resources/Support/uninstall-package.sh
 
If you are 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 kernel extension, and it adds functionality to the core of the operating system. MacOS requires the user to approve kernel extensions before they can be used.
 
You can approve Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera kernel extension by going to System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> General tab
 
There you will see the following message:
“System software from developer “TUXERA INC” was blocked from loading.”
 
Click on the lock in the bottom left corner to enable changes with administrator login.
 
Then click the “Allow” button next to the message to approve our kernel extension.
 
Remote desktop/screen sharing software may interfere with allowing system extensions. If there are any active sessions, we suggest stopping those, and quitting the application before retrying to allow. In general, we suggest quitting all applications, since some can interfere with the installation.
 
Also we recommend disconnecting all third-party peripherals, such as pen tablets, since they may also interfere. If you are running any third-party keyboard preference applications, we recommend closing those too, for the same reason.

 

If the button “Activate” remains greyed out after entering the license key, it is possible that you are not entering the product key correctly.
 
Please make sure you are entering all letters in upper case, and include the dashes. The best way is to copy and paste the key from the email you received.
 
If you are sure you are entering the key correctly, please reinstall the software using our latest version available on our website, and try activating it again (during the installation process, or afterwards, in System Preferences -> Tuxera NTFS -> Activation tab).
 
If you are still unable to activate the software after following these steps please email us. In your email include the key that you have been using, and the email address used for purchase.

 

Usage

 

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, and can make the system slower. Oftentimes users complain about seeing high CPU usage, and they end up disabling the option. That is why we recommend you 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:

  1. Make sure your drive isn’t excluded from Spotlight search. Go to System Preferences -> Spotlight -> Privacy. If your drive is in 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.

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 are experiencing problems with mounting the volume, check the following:

  1. Check that Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera is enabled in Preferences
  2. Reboot your Mac, try mounting again
  3. The most common reason why Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera doesn’t mount or recognize 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 (“Safely remove hardware” in Windows, the eject button next to the volume in macOS/OS X Finder). The problems 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 structure. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315265 for usage information regarding ‘chkdsk’
  4. Reinstall Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera

If none of this works, please contact our support at macsupport@tuxera.com. Before sending email to us, enable debug logging from NTFS for Mac preferences and try mounting the drive again. To help us troubleshoot send us the logs and a description of your issue, and the versions of Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera and 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 that 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 Format tab.
    • Select File system as Windows NT File System (Tuxera NTFS)
    • Select Volume name by writing it to the field.
  5. Click ‘Format’ to format your USB flash drive.

 

Yes. Our developers are using VMWare Fusion® and Parallels Desktop® virtual machines stored on NTFS volumes in the development process without problems.
 
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, not only for NTFS.

 

Apple doesn’t allow volumes mounted with third party file system drivers to appear in the “Startup Disk” preference pane.
 
However there are numerous alternative methods for booting into Windows:

  • Hold down the Alt/Option key during boot.
This brings up a boot menu where you can choose which volume to start your computer from
  • Disable Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera (in NTFS for Mac 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 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 shows a window asking if 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 Fast Startup functionality in Windows, since it also creates a hibernation file on the partition.

 

We might ask you to take a screenshot of the error message you are facing to help us troubleshoot. 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”. Check also that you haven’t disabled it on volume basis by selecting the volume in 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. High power or memory use is most likely 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.
 
If searching your NTFS drive with Spotlight is not important to you, it can be disabled. Apple has made this a bit 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.

 


We might ask you to provide logs to help us troubleshoot further.
 
To send us the logs:

  • Enable debug logging (System Preferences > Tuxera NTFS > General > Enable debug logging)
  • Try reproducing the issue you had
  • After having reproduced it, please send us the following logs as attachments:

* tuxera_ntfs_util.log
The application log is located in the directory /Library/Logs (Finder -> Go -> Go to folder -> /Library/Logs)
* system.log
The system log is located in the directory /var/log (Finder -> Go -> Go to folder -> /var/log)
 
Reproducing an error after enabling debug logging will give us information about what goes on in the background when your issue occurs.

 

Licensing

 

Our current policy is: one person = one license.
 
You can install Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera using the same license on all your home computers, granted it is only for private & personal use.

 

If you are planning to purchase the software for a entire department, you need to get an individual license for each computer. In this case you may benefit from our volume discount scheme.

Number of users Volume pricing per user
1-2 25 EUR (25 USD)
3–4 20 EUR (22 USD)
5–50 17 EUR (19 USD)
51–200 15 EUR (17 USD)
201–500 13 EUR (15 USD)
501–1000 10 EUR (12 USD)

Tuxera provides all our licensees with maintenance and customer support. Updates are currently free of charge. 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.

 

We do not currently offer student discount for NTFS for Mac due to lifetime license policy including future updates.

 

 

Globally
 
You can disable Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera without uninstalling it by clicking the “Disable” button in the preference pane. In the disabled state, Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera will ignore all NTFS volumes that are attached to the system, and 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 are grayed out, and the button text changes 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, and 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 is 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.

 

Globally
 
You can disable the internal caching layer by unchecking “Enable file system caching” in the preference pane. However this drastically reduces performance, and is not recommended.
 
You may want to enable this if you are 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 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 “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 is not activated. To manually revert this option delete the control file.

 

If you regularly attach volumes that have not 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.
 
Tick the checkbox “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, probe volumes (and does a lot of other important things) writes extensive debug logging information to log files.
 
Normally, the script writes to 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 is not 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.

 

Tech specs

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) and macOS 10.14 (Mojave)
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 Any third party software, including:
Parallels Desktop®
VMware Fusion®
Performance Speed similar to native HFS+
Licensing One person = one license

Couldn’t find an answer? Contact our support here:

To help us troubleshoot, in your email tell us:

  • Which version of our software you are using
  • Which macOS version you are currently running
  • What your problem is, and what you did to get the error, in as much detail as you can
  • Please send us logs to help us see what goes on in the background when your issue occurs.
  • Enable debug logging (System Preferences > Tuxera NTFS > General > Enable debug logging)
  • Try reproducing the issue you had
  • After having reproduced it, please 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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