If a hard disk partition or removable disk was formatted with FAT32 file system, you may find that you cannot save a single file which is larger than 4GB to the FAT32 drive. Why? Well, it is the limitation of FAT32 file system which only supports size of single file less than 4GB. In addition, the performance of FAT32 file system is not so good as NTFS file system. Therefore, you had better format your hard disk drive with NTFS file system when partitioning an internal hard drive on your computer. However, when you buy a new computer or USB flash drive, it might have been formatted with FAT32 file system in advance. Then, is there anything you can do to convert FAT32 to NTFS file system?
On any Windows computer, it supports both FAT32 and NTFS file system on a local disk drive or removable disk. If you want to reformat an internal / removable disk from FAT32 to NTFS for free, you can select any of methods below:
Tip: Please backup data in advance because reformatting will wipe out the device
Step1. Right click the disk that has FAT32 file system and select Format option.
Step2. Select NTFS under the file system section and then click Start button.
You can open Disk Management on your computer and then right click the FAT32 drive to format it to NTFS file system
==> Please visit following links to get methods to access Disk Management under different Windows
Follow the guide below to run Diskpart command to format a disk to NTFS:
Step1. You can type Diskpart after running Command Prompt
==> To get methods to run Command Prompt, please refer to: open command prompt
Step2. Type list disk and then enter select disk 0, 1, 2… (It depends on the disk you want to format)
Step3. Type list volume and then enter format fs=ntfs label=volume label quick (volume label is the label of the partition you want to format)
Pay attention: Windows XP does not support to format any disk including internal and removable disk by running Diskpart.exe
If you want to change a disk to NTFS without formatting, you can run Command Line to execute the convert task.
In order to change a disk from FAT32 to NTFS with Command Prompt, the first thing is to get methods to open the Command Line.
For Windows XP user – Click Start button > Run > type cmd and press OK button
For Windows Vista / 7 user – Chick Start button > type cmd in the search bar > right click cmd.exe and choose Run as administrator
For Windows 8 / 10 user – Press Windows + X keys and select Command Prompt (Admin)
Step2. Change FAT32 Drive to NTFS with Command Prompt
You need to enter the command you want to execute so as to change FAT32 drive to NTFS.
==> To get detailed steps to convert a drive from FAT32 to NTFS with command prompt, please refer to: How does command line work for FAT32 to NTFS converting
A USB flash drive is available in different capacity from 1GB to 512GB. Usually, USB flash drive which is less than 32GB was formatted with FAT32 file system, while flash drive that is larger than 32GB was formatted with NTFS file system.
==> If you want to get more details about converting a flash drive from FAT32 to NTFS file system, please refer to this article: Free to convert flash drive FAT32 to NTFS
It is easy to convert FAT32 to NTFS, but it might be a little difficult when you want to convert the NTFS drive back to FAT32. Command line usually does not support to change any partition from NFS to FAT32. You can try to perform format to convert a NTFS partition back to FAT32. If you do not want to perform format or there is no FAT32 file system option when you perform a format, you can use IM-Magic Partition Resizer to change NTFS to FAT32.
Step1. Right click the NTFS partition and select "Convert to FAT32" option.
Step2. Confirm to convert and click "Apply Changes" button.
For Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP/2000 ==> Download IM-Magic Partition Resizer Free
For Windows Server All versions ==> Download IM-Magic Partition Resizer Server