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How to Format USB to FAT32 in Windows 10?

Emily

Updated on May. 28, 2021


Position: Resource - Partition Managerment - How to Format USB to FAT32 in Windows 10?

Summary
How do I format my USB device to FAT32 in Windows 10? This page shares 3 methods to help you format a USB flash drive or other device to FAT32 / exFAT in Windows 10. DiskGenius Free Edition is free FAT32 format tool, and it enables you to format a USB drive which is larger than 32GB to FAT32 easily.
DiskGenius

DiskGenius - A free format tool that can format USB flash drive / SD card / hard drive to FAT32, exFAT, NTFS or EXT4 file system in Windows 10/8/7.


Can I format a 64GB or larger USB flash drive to FAT32 in Windows 10? In the process of using the computer, your USB drive may become RAW format, and you can make it working by formatting it. If you have too many small files on a large USB drive, formatting is also the best way to clear the content. Some users ask what is the method to format the USB into FAT32 in windows 10? What to do when Windows10 cannot format a USB drive which larger than 32GB as FAT32 file system? The following content covers three methods regarding formatting a USB drive to FAT32 in Windows.


Solution 1. Format USB drive to FAT32 by using DiskGenius Free Edition

Step 1: Download and run the free USB format tool – DiskGenius Free Edition

Step 2: Select the USB drive you want to format, and then click the toolbar button "Format", or click the item "Partition" > "Format Current Partition" on the menu.

Also, you can right-click the partition to be formatted and select the item "Format Current Partition" from the context menu.

The "Format Partition" dialog box will pop up, as below.

format usb to FAT32 windows 10

Step 3: Select FAT32 as file system type and click the "Format" button.

You can also choose to do a surface scan to check bad sectors during formatting, which can be a time-consuming task. Most USB drives, especially new ones, do not need to be scanned. If bad sectors are found during the scan, the formatter flags them so that they will not be used to store data.

format usb to FAT32 windows 10

For NTFS file system, you can enable the disk compression feature of NTFS by checking the "Enable Compression" check box.

If it is a primary partition and the FAT32/FAT16/ FAT12 file system is selected, the "Create DOS System" check box becomes available. If checked, the program will set up the DOS system in the partition after formatting, and then the disk can be used to boot the computer.

Step 4: Before starting the formatting operation, the program asks for confirmation in case of an error. Click the "Yes" button to start formatting immediately.

Attention: Formatting will erase all data on the USB drive, please back up important files before formatting. If you do not backup before formatting, resulting in the loss of important data in the USB, you can also use DiskGenius to recover data.


Solution 2. Format USB flash drive to FAT32 file system in Windows File Explorer

USB requirements: The FAT32 file system will not be available if the USB drive is larger than32GB. If your USB drive is larger than 32GB, then use DiskGenius to do the formatting.

To format a USB drive smaller than 32GB to FAT32 in Windows 10 Explorer, follow these three steps:

Step 1. Connect the USB drive to a Windows 10 PC.

Step 2. Open File Explorer, locate and right-click the USB drive, and select Format.

format usb to FAT32 windows 10

Step 3. Set FAT32 as the target file system, check "Quick Format" and click Start to launch the format.

Step 4. Click "OK" button when Windows warns formatting will erase all data on this disk. When the process is complete, click OK to confirm. Now your USB is FAT32.


Solution 3. Use Diskpart command to format FAT32

Step 1. In the Windows 10 search bar, type "cmd" prompt, right-click Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.

format usb to FAT32 windows 10

Step 2. In Command Prompt, type following commands one by one and hit Enter key after each command. Then the USB drive will be formatted as FAT32.

diskpart
list volume
select volume # (replace # with the volume number of the USB drive you want to format)
format fs=FAT32 quick

format usb to FAT32 windows 10

FAQ: What is FAT32 format and why is it chosen?

FAT32 is one of the file system formats used for removable storage devices. It uses a 32-bit file allocation table to enhance the ability to manage disks, thus breaking the FAT16 limit of supporting only 2GB individual files. Theoretically, FAT32 can store up to 4GB per file. In practice, however, not all USB drive can be formatted to FAT32 in Windows, i.e., Windows does not support to format a partition larger than 32GB to FAT32 file system.

Compared with NTFS, exFAT and other file systems, FAT32 is a more traditional one. Although it does not have some modern functions, it has higher compatibility and can almost be compatible with different operating systems and devices. If individual files are not larger than 4GB, and you need to use the USB drive on different operating systems and devices, you can choose the FAT32 file system format.


Quick Links

DiskGenius

DiskGenius - The best free tool to format HDD, SD card or USB drive to FAT32, exFAT or EXT4, permanently wipe hard drive, resize partition in Windows 10.



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