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There are several format you can choose, and erasing this disk into which file system depends on how you intend to use the drive. However, if you have several important files on this external hard drive, and you frequently swap your work between Windows and Mac computers, formatting this drive definitely is the last solution you would resort to.

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The reason is, as you may know, formatting a hard disk will wipe your data out of this drive and cause data loss. An NTFS driver for Mac should be the most convenient tool for people who want to fix this issue without formatting, because you can work natively and seamlessly on NTFS formatted external hard drives on your Mac in a few clicks. You can also try the experimental method to enable NTFS read-write support with command prompt on your Mac.

MacDrive is seamless.

However, it is not recommended as it is not stable and could result in data loss if it goes wrong. So, use the command line with caution! Warning: Do not use this method as a long-term solution to write to NTFS drives that contain important files. Meanwhile, do not use this method if you are not familiar with the command line, in case that you input a wrong command and cause unexpected damage to your Mac and drives. Be sure to change the word NAME to the name of your drive.

The Sharing and Permissions option is set up to determine who can delete or modify a file or program copied to the drive.

What are my options?

Thus, if the permissions are changed by you or others, a message will pop up and inform you that the file is read-only or you don't have permission to save when you save changes to this disk. In this case, if you right-click on the icon of your disk and choose "Get info" to check the disk information, you will find you can only read this external hard drive or SSD even though it is not NTFS formatted. That's to say, you can't write to this drive.


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If this is the cause for your external hard drive being read-only, you can try the following solutions and fix this issue without formatting your drive. If your files on this external hard drive shows as read-only or locked, or if you try to move some files to the Trash but get no response, you can try to change the permission of this disk. Step 1: Open the Finder and find your external hard drive in the left sidebar.

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Step 3: Extend this column by clicking on the triangle symbol, and then click on the Lock button. Step 5: Click the gear button Action menu at the bottom of the window, choose Apply to enclosed items , and then click OK to confirm the action. To prevent such errors from happening, Mac operating system includes a setting to ignore Permissions on external drives, so all files on the drive should be fully accessible regardless of their Permissions settings.

Here below are steps to ignore the permission on external hard drives:. Step 3: Check the box to Ignore ownership on this volume , or toggle it off and then on if it's already enabled. Provide the password of your Mac if it is required. Some internal errors will cause a drive to be read-only as well. When this happens, your drive will be only mounted in read-only mode to prevent the data on it from corruption. Fortunately, you can take some actions to repair these minor disk errors with Disk Utility on your Mac.

You can use the following guide to fix read-only external hard drive in Disk Utility without formatting. Step 1: Click Go at the upper right of your desktop and go to Utilities , and then open Disk Utility.

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However, it is possible that an NTFS format is not the culprit of your disk being read-only. On the contrary, some other reasons make your disk not writable.


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