The behavior of charge density waves (CDWs) in an external magnetic field is dictated by both orbital and Pauli (Zeeman) effects. A quasi-one-dimensional (Q1D) system features Q1D Fermi surfaces that allow these effects to be distinguished, which in turn can provide a sensitive probe to the underlying electronic states. Here, we studied the field dependence of an incommensurate CDW in a transition-metal chalcogenide Ta 2 NiSe 7 with a Q1D chain structure. The angle-dependent magnetoresistance (MR) is found to be very sensitive to the relative orientation between the magnetic field and the chain direction. With an applied current fixed along the b axis (the chain direction), the angle-dependent MR shows a striking change of the symmetry below T CDW only for a rotating magnetic field in the ac plane. In contrast, the symmetry axis remains unchanged for other configurations (H in ab and bc planes). The orbital effect conforms to the lattice symmetry, while the Pauli effect in the form of \ vF can be responsible for such symmetry change, provided that the Fermi velocity vF is significantly anisotropic and the nesting vector changes in a magnetic field, which is corroborated by our first-principles calculations. Our results show that the angle-dependent MR is a sensitive transport probe of CDW and can be useful for the study of low-dimensional systems in general. \ 2018 Author(s).