How to Format External Hard Drive to FAT32 in Windows.
If you’ve ever tried to format an external hard drive larger than 32GB to FAT32 on Windows, you will find that your operating system won’t allow you to do so. This happens for a variety of reasons, but if your particular situation requires the use of FAT32, you need to find a way.
FAT32 is actually a great filesystem and was used extensively until people reached its limits. One of the limitations of this file system is that it cannot store a single file larger than 4 GB. People who wanted to store larger files switched to other formats such as NTFS, which allows for really large files to be stored on the hard drive.
However, this format is still in use, and there are even situations where it is the only format that works. For example, some modern video door phones you buy require storage devices to be in FAT32 format.
Format an external hard drive to FAT32 using Command Prompt
The fact that you do not see the option to format the hard drive to FAT32 in the Windows user interface does not mean that this feature has been completely lost. This feature still exists on your systems, and a command line utility should help you find and use it to complete the task.
How to use it
All this method requires of you is to execute a few commands and your hard drive will be formatted with the filesystem of your choice.
Connect your external hard drive to your computer. Find Command Prompt in Windows Search, right-click it and select “Run as administrator”.
Enter the following command in the command prompt window and press Enter. A utility will start to format the disks.
Type the following command and hit Enter. It will list all available hard drives on your computer.
Make a note of your external hard drive number. Run the following command replacing N with your disk number.
select drive N
Then type each of the following commands, pressing Enter after each line:
create primary partition
select partition 1
fs = fat32 format
exit p >
Your hard drive should now be formatted to FAT32.
Using PowerShell in Windows 10 to format an external hard drive to FAT32
Windows 10 users can use PowerShell instead of the command line to format the external hard drive to FAT32 format. You are most likely already familiar with this utility if you have been using Windows 10 PCs for a long time.
How to use it
Press Windows Key + X at the same time, a pop-up menu will appear. In the menu that opens, click Windows PowerShell (Admin).
On the next screen, type the following command into the utility and press Enter. Be sure to replace D with the letter of your hard drive.
format / FS: FAT32 D:
It will format the drive to FAT32 and tell you when it’s done. In most cases it will only take a few minutes, but it also depends on the size of your external hard drive.
Use FAT32Format to format external hard drives
The FAT32Format utility has been around for a long time and allows you to quickly format any of your external hard drives to FAT32.
This method is ideal for those of you who don’t like running commands and prefer tools with a simple user interface. The great thing about this tool is that you don’t even need to install it on your computer – it just works right out of the box.
How to use it
- Go to the FAT32Format website and download the tool to your computer.
- Connect an external hard drive to your computer, if not already connected.
- Double click the downloaded file. file and the tool will run. Before formatting the drive, you must specify the following options:
Drive â€” Select your external hard drive from this drop-down menu.
Allocation Unit Size – Leave the default values.
Volume Label – Enter a name for your hard drive.
Quick Format – It is recommended not to check this box if you are not sure.
Then click the “Start” button to start formatting the hard drive.
You will be able to see the progress in the white box.
Format your exFAT external hard drive to FAT32 with EaseUS
EaseUS Partition Master Free is more than just a disk formatting tool. It allows you to create, delete and clone partitions in addition to formatting hard drives to the formats of your choice.
How to use it
Download, install and run the tool. Select your hard drive from the list of drives, right-click it and select Format.
Set the following options and click OK.
Partition Label – Enter a name for your disk.
File system – select FAT32.
Cluster size – leave it as it is. P>
After formatting the disk, the tool will send you a notification.
The popularity and use of FAT32 is gradually disappearing, but there are still a few cases where this format is required. In such rare cases, you have various methods, as shown above, to convert existing hard drives to FAT32 format.