How to format FAT32 a Flash Drive (USB Drives), larger than 32GB on Windows 10

We don't know exactly why Microsoft chose to FAT32 cannot be formatted as a USB Stick (Flash Drive) larger than 32 GB. At least not by the traditional right-click method on the drive → FormatFile system: FAT32.

For USB Drive storage drives larger than 32 GB this FAT32 formatting option sticks on Windows 10. They can only be theoretically formatted NTFS or exFAT. Basically, there is a very simple method by which you can format FAT32 a USB Drive larger than 32 GB using a simple command in PowerShell or Command Prompt.

How to format FAT32 a USB Drive larger than 32 GB on Windows 10

1. open PowerShell or Command Prompt with privileges Administrator and execute the command:

 format /FS:FAT32 F:

Where “F:” is the letter (Drive Letter) the flash drive connected to the PC. Careful! The command will delete all data on the storage drive!

After executing the command line, wait until the formatting process is complete.

It may take longer if the size of the external storage media is larger than 32 GB. We had to wait until it ended up with a 256 GB USB Drive.

For larger volumes, the error message may appear after a while: “The volume is too big for FAT32". In this case, it is recommended to reformat the drive in NTFS system, then open it Command Prompt or PowerShell with Administrator privileges and make a conversion from NTFS to FAT32, executing the command:

 convert F: /FS:FAT32 

Normally, if you already have a flash drive formatted in the NTFS system and want to convert it to FAT32, the data stored on it should not be affected, but it is good to be careful. An error occurring during the "NTFS to FAT32" conversion process can lead to data loss.

How to format FAT32 a Flash Drive (USB Drives), larger than 32GB on Windows 10

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Stealth

Passionate about everything that means gadget and IT, I am pleased to write on stealthsettings.com from 2006 and I love to discover new things about computers and macOS, Linux operating systems, Windows, iOS and Android.

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