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I'm making the switch from PC to Mac. Unfortunately my external HDDs are formatted in NTFS. My only options seem to be formatting to FAT32 or purchasing software.

How do you share an external HDD between Mac and PC?

asked Dec 04 '12 at 15:17

thejamesjr's gravatar image


I think if you set up the drive as a shared drive on the network connected to the PC you can use it. I have a drive connected via USB to my PC and shared over the network for my Mac to use it.

(Dec 04 '12 at 16:18) josephLtech josephLtech's gravatar image

Are you able to edit the folders and files on that drive? From what I understand, Macs are able to read but not write on NTFS format.

(Dec 05 '12 at 15:44) thejamesjr thejamesjr's gravatar image

Personally, I use ExFAT.

The benefits of ExFAT are:
No 4 GB file size limit of FAT32
Reading and writing from Windows, OS X, and Linux

I try to avoid FAT32 simply because of the file size limit.

answered Dec 04 '12 at 23:06

catchatyou's gravatar image


I have never heard of this format before. Is ExFat reliable?

(Dec 05 '12 at 15:35) thejamesjr thejamesjr's gravatar image

It is created by microsoft, so it should be just as reliable

(Dec 05 '12 at 15:36) kevinlockergnome ♦♦ kevinlockergnome's gravatar image

mac OS should have support for NTFS and if not then it can be enabled


If possible you can also set up a NAS and just map a netwok drive for both the PC and mac system that way you can use both at the same time (and most applications should be able to use the network drive natively).

answered Dec 05 '12 at 06:43

Razor512's gravatar image


I believe Macs are able to read but not write to NTFS format.

(Dec 05 '12 at 15:34) thejamesjr thejamesjr's gravatar image

yep, the guide enables write support

(Dec 05 '12 at 16:18) Razor512 Razor512's gravatar image

Thanks, I wasn't aware of this!

(Dec 11 '12 at 15:04) thejamesjr thejamesjr's gravatar image
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Asked: Dec 04 '12 at 15:17

Seen: 1,295 times

Last updated: Dec 11 '12 at 15:04