Don't worry when your external hard drive displays as read-only on Mac. This page includes 3 reliable solutions that can assist you in removing the 'read-only' error from your Mac external hard drive, making it readable again. Pick up any method below to make your device accessible without losing any data now:
Jun 25, 2021 The best way to look for an incorrectly formatted drive is to go to. Apple (in the top toolbar menu) About This Mac Storage. See if the external drive shows up here. For more information, go to the same menu option, then select System Report. Mac not formatted to display external drives on the desktop. .ALL. Hard Drive manufacturers have supported SMART for decades. However, quite a few external drive interface mfg’s don’t. And a few internal chipsets don’t support it well. And many RAID chipsets don’t support it well. Worst case, one might have to remove the drive from the computer or external case, and test on a different computer.
|Workable Solutions||Step-by-step Troubleshooting|
|Fix 1. Reformat External Hard Drive||Open 'Applications' > 'Utilities' > Launch 'Disk Utility' to 'Erase' external drive > Restore formatted data...Full steps|
|Fix 2. Ignore Permissions||Right-click external drive > 'Get Info' > 'Sharing & Permissions' > Check 'Ignore ownership on...'...Full steps|
|Fix 3. Repair Drive Errors||Open Disk Utility > Select the external hard drive and click 'First Aid' > Click 'Run'...Full steps|
The External Hard Drive Shows Up as 'Read Only' on Mac, Help!
'Hi there, do you know how to make the external hard drive accessible again when it shows as 'Read Only' on Mac? I'm having this problem that my Seagate hard drive suddenly turned to read-only this morning when I connected it to Mac. I could only read and view saved data on the drive, but can't use the data on it. If you have any clue to fix this problem, please tell me. Thanks very much.'
Right-click your external storage device, select 'Get Info', and if you see 'You can only read' at the bottom, you are encountering one of the commonest problems with an external hard drive. When your external hard drive or other external storage devices show up as 'Read Only' on your Mac, you can:
- Open the drive and view the files
- copy files from the external storage drive
- Copy files to the device
- Delete files from the external drive
Disk Speed Test Mac Os
Why Is Your External Hard Drive Read-Only on Mac
Why can you only read the external hard drive that is connected to your Mac? There are three possible reasons.
The File System Is NTFS
Test External Hard Drive Mac Compatible
Right-click your hard disk and select 'Get Info', if you find the external hard drive in NTFS format, that's what the cause is. The incompatibility of the file system is the main cause. NTFS is a file system that is optimal for Windows-based computers. Although the Mac operating system allows you to read the files on the external hard drive, you can't write files to it because the way that NTFS writes data to the device is incompatible with the way macOS doing it. (Go to the Fix.)
The Permission Settings Is Not Ignored
An external hard drive is subject to the access permission set up by OS X for all files and folders on the system. When you use the device on another computer with a different OS, the permission settings with it may not be recognized or prevent access to the files on the hard disk. (Go to the Fix.)
The Hard Drive has Formatting Errors
Another common cause for the external hard drive 'Read Only' problem on Mac is the formatting errors of the storage device itself. If you see a warning that says the device is only being mounted in read-only mode while connecting, your hard disk is diagnosed to have formatting errors that prevent you from writing files to it. (Go to the Fix.)
Identify the cause that leads to the 'Read Only' error on your Mac from the information above, then follow the corresponding solution to solve the problem with ease.
How Can You Solve the External Hard Drive 'Read-only' Problem on Your Mac
Based on different reasons, there are three solutions to the problem.
Fix 1: Reformat the External Hard Drive
If your external hard drive is read-only on your Mac due to its NTFS file system, you can fix it by reformatting the device to a Mac-compatible format with Mac Disk Utility. Before that, remember to back up your external hard drive quickly with data backup software since the formatting will erase all the files on the device.
Step 1: Launch 'Disk Utility'.
- Head to 'Applications' > 'Utilities'.
- Or tap 'Command + Space' and type Disk Utility.
Step 2: In the list of available drives on the left, choose the problematic external hard drive. Then click the 'Erase' option in the main window.
Step 3: Choose a proper file system and rename your hard disk. (Both APFS and Mac OS Extended file system are Mac-exclusive. Thus, if you want your external hard drive to be both Mac and PC compatible, choose MS-DOS, also known as FAT, or ExFAT instead.)
Step 4: Click Erase to reformatting your external hard drive.
Wait for the reformatting process to complete and then go to the information window, this time you will see the 'You can only read' has changed to 'You can read and write', which means you can read and write the drive on your Mac normally.
Generally speaking, when a storage device shows up as read-only, you can still copy files off of it. If you cannot view or see all saved data on the drive, don't worry. After you format it, you can use the professional Mac hard drive recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac to get back your lost data on the drive with simple clicks:
Step 1. Select the disk location (it can be an internal HDD/SSD or a removable storage device) where you lost data and files. Click the 'Scan' button.
Step 2. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac will immediately scan your selected disk volume and display the scanning results on the left pane.
Step 3. In the scan results, select the file(s) and click the 'Recover' button to have them back.
Fix 2: Ignore Permissions
If you are sure the problem is caused by the permission settings, you just need to ignore the permissions to solve the 'Read Only' external hard drive problem on your Mac.
Step 1: Right-click your external hard drive shown on your Mac and select 'Get Info'.
Step 2: Expand the 'Sharing & Permissions' section, then click the lock to authenticate.
Step 3: Check 'Ignore ownership on this volume'.
Fix 3: Check and Repair Hard Drive errors
If there is a formatting error on your external hard drive that makes the device read-only, you can use Disk Utility to check the errors and repair the external storage device.
Step 1: Go to 'Disk Utility'.
- Head to 'Applications' > 'Utilities'.
- Or tap 'Command + Space' and type Disk Utility.
Step 2: Highlight the read-only external hard drive, click 'First Aid' in the top center, then click 'Run'.
Your computer’s hard drive is one of the most important components of your machine. Without it, you can’t run an operating system or keep any data. And if it dies unexpectedly, you could end up with massive data loss if you haven’t created a backup (and even then, backups can become outdated). That’s why it’s important to keep tabs on your computer’s hard drive health – but how do you easily check hard drive health?
There are a number of ways to keep track of how your hardware is functioning, from built-in operating system tools to completely separate pieces of software. The best tools give vital clues as to whether a component is functioning well, facing problems, or nearing the end of its life. In many cases, using a combination of all the below tools and approaches can help you gain a comprehensive view of how your computer’s hard drive health may be affecting your systems, and how to fix it.
Best Ways to Check Hard Drive Health
HDD Manufacturer Tools: Start by using the tools that come with your hard disk drive. You can perform an HDD health check using the hard drive utility provided by the manufacturer, which includes diagnostic and measuring tools to determine whether your hard drive is functioning normally or has any problems. However, these tools usually only provide so much information. It’s best practice to use monitoring tools to keep an eye on your hard drive at all times, rather than periodically checking with HDD manufacturer tools.
CHKDSK: If you’re using Windows, you can use the Windows CHKDSK tool. This is a basic Windows utility to scan your hard disk for errors and fix file system errors using the /f command. However, CHKDSK doesn’t fix all errors, so you should still consider using an external program. You also want to be sure to create a new hard drive backup before you run CHKDSK— if it doesn’t work properly, it can end up making data unusable.
Mac: To check hard drive health, Mac users need to use the Disk Utility. Open the Disk Utility and choose “First Aid,” then “Verify Disk.” A window will appear showing you various metrics related to your hard drive health, with things that are fine appearing in black, and things with problems appearing in red.
External Tools: Hard drives use what is called S.M.A.R.T. – Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology. With this technology, they can determine their own reliability and likelihood of failure. For you to see this information, you need an external program like CrystalDiskInfo. This is a free, open-source program that’s pretty simple to use and shows you the S.M.A.R.T. status reported by your hard drives. Once you have it installed, hopefully, the status for everything is “Good.” If you see the status “Bad,” it means that drive is near death. “Caution” means you need to keep an eye on it, and “Uncertain” means that no S.M.A.R.T. information could be obtained.
Monitoring Software: Hard drive monitoring software lets you check hard drive health alongside other network and device performance metrics. Good monitoring looks at both server capacity and server performance, as well as providing data to allow you to plan for capacity increases and organizational growth. The main benefit of using monitoring software is it can alert you as soon as an issue comes up or even before it happens, whereas with other tools you need to check everything manually.
3 Programs to Monitor Hard Drive Health
When it comes to a program to check hard drive health, there are three products from SolarWinds I recommend time and time again. A key feature of these tools is they all integrate with one another to provide a complete network health overview. While they can each be used as a standalone solution to monitor hard drive health, I found the comprehensive data you gain from each tool on your storage and hard drive health is truly amplified having them work together.
I prioritized the tools below when it comes to monitoring hard drive health and reviewed the benefits of combining the solutions:
- The first and main tool to have to monitor hard drive health is Storage Resource Monitor (SRM). SRM keeps tabs on all your storage devices, including capacity, performance, and hotspots. In addition to locating storage capacity problems, it maintains data on each layer, array, pool, and LUN/volume. The tool lets you see storage capacity growth and when space will run out, so you can plan for growth without disruption. SolarWinds SRM can also examine throughput and latency hotspots in storage resources to identify which devices are overworked and may be at risk of failure, and it provides excellent reports on the general health of your storage systems.
- The next tool I recommend is Server & Application Monitor (SAM). SAM can keep an eye on aspects of your server health including temperature, fan speed, power supply, CPU, memory, and disk space, and it lets you set up alerts for each of these aspects to let you know when there’s a problem. For example, if you wanted to set up an alert to show when the server volume is overutilized, you would select the relevant objects you want the alert to apply to and create a new alert for “Volume.” You can also set up the system to alert the relevant people that the server is full, with alerts recurring every several hours, days, or minutes (according to your preference) until they respond.
SAM is designed to monitor numerous different kinds of servers and applications, whether commercial or custom. It also includes virtual server monitoring capabilities and integrates with SRM to provide information on server storage volumes, disk usage, and capacity metrics.
- Lastly, you can use Network Performance Monitor (NPM) to check on your hard drive health. NPM includes a diverse toolkit for managing and monitoring network health, including for security issues, performance problems, and hardware issues. This includes monitoring your hard drives and how they’re performing, as well as when they’re reaching capacity. You can set alerts through the NPM to let you know if your system isn’t behaving as expected. In combination with one or both tools above, you can discover and pinpoint issues utilizing all the visualization features in NPM to resolve them as quickly as possible.
How to Tell If a Hard Drive Is Bad
Knowing how to check HDD health is important for making sure you don’t lose data or run into issues suddenly. If your hard drive is failing, you need to know before it happens. Use HDD manufacturer tools, CHKDSK, and, for ongoing detection and prevention, invest in hard drive monitoring software to ensure your systems are always healthy and functioning as they should.