Quick Tip: Solving "Read Only" External Drive Problems on Your Mac

hi Robert Anthony here for Mack tots

plus more and more people are finding

themselves using both Macs and PCs for

their daily computer use while

compatibility is almost a non-issue

nowadays there is one situation that may

still cause some confusion in this

tutorial I want to explain the read-only

problem you may run into when using

external storage devices on your Mac and

also show you how simple it is to fix I

have here a USB Drive that I've

purchased and I use with various pcs at

work and at school on my Mac at home I'm

able to open the drive and I can even

copy files off of the drive

but if I attempt to copy a file to the

drive I get an icon telling me that I'm

not able to do so if I try to delete a

file by pressing command delete nothing

happens and if I right-click the file

the option to move the file to the

trashcan is missing it would seem that

something is obviously not right with

the storage drive if we right-click the

drive and select get info we can see at

the bottom of the info window under the

sharings and permissions twirl down that

we only have permission to read from

this drive and nothing else the cause of

this is due to the filing system the

storage drive is formatted in if we look

in the general twirl down under the

format we can see that this drive is

formatted in the Windows NT file system

NTFS is a file system specifically

optimized for windows-based computers in

the way that it organizes the data on

the drive while this file system is

readable on max because OS 10 can

rearrange the data on the fly as it is

reading it and copying it off of the

drive the way that NTFS writes the files

to the storage device is not compatible

hence you can read but not write to the

drive many storage devices such as USB

drives and external hard disk drives

come pre formatted in NTFS because a

larger portion of consumers are still

using them on PCs however making your

storage device Mac compatible and even

cross compatible with Macs and PCs is as

simple as reformatting the drive in a

proper format

first and foremost before proceeding any

further you're about to format your

storage device be sure to copy any in

all files from the drive as the data on

the drive is going to be erased this can

be a simple task or a long undertaking

depending on the size and usage of the

storage device but it is a necessary and

an important step you can reformat a

hard drive in Mac OS 10 by using Disk


the left-hand side of Disk Utility you

will see a list of all the connected

hard drives each physical drive is shown

with the partitions of that drive nested

below highlight the physical drive you

wish to reformat and on the menu at the

top of the right hand side select erase

you will see two fields where you can

choose a file system format and a field

to name the new partition you're going

to create if you're just going to use

your drive on Mac computers you can

select one of the Mac OS options if you

wish to create a partition which is

cross compatible with Mac computers as

well as PCs you can select either ms-dos

or the exFAT format I'll select ms-dos

and rename the hard drive

I'll click erase and now the drive is

being reformatted in a cross-compatible

filing system

if I click on the drive and select get

info we can now see that the permissions

are set to read and write in TFS is a

great format to use if you're using your

drive solely on a windows-based PC but

if you need to use your drive on Mac OS

or on both PCs and Mac OS NTFS will

unfortunately not be the best format to

use in this tutorial

I've identified the cause of the

read-only error that Mac users may find

when using external storage devices I've

also shown you how to easily fix the

problem by reformatting your drive in a

Mac OS compatible format this is Robert

Anthony for Mac pets plus thanks for