By Emily / Last Updated March 21, 2021

“Cannot copy 4GB or larger files to USB?”

Hi, people. I recently got a problem: trying to copy a 5GB media from my computer to my USB flash drive; it has around 20GB unused free space, but it cannot accept this large file and pop out an error message saying “the file is too large for destination file system”. But the available space is more than enough. Why this large file can’t be transferred?

Why cannot copy files larger than 4GB to USB?

Well, the problem is not from the USB drive, instead, it’s caused by the file system on the drive. There are two common kinds of file systems, FAT32 and NTFS. FAT32 is widely used in different kinds of devices, such as hard drive, DVD player, USB flash drive and so on. But its biggest disadvantage is that 4GB is the maximum size of a single file while the maximum size of a single partition capacity is 2TB. Therefore, you cannot copy 4GB or larger files to FAT32 USB flash drive.

How to solve it?

To solve this problem, you need to change its FAT32 file system into another one: NTFS, which has no such limitation of single files’ size and allows a partition size to be up to 256TB. Namely, change USB from FAT32 to NTFS. But how? One method is reformatting this USB flash drive (data will lose); another method is directly converting its file system to NTFS (data will be safe).

Method 1. Reformatting the USB to NTFS

If your USB is empty or contains no important files, using Windows Format command to format the USB with the NTFS file system is a way.

1. Attach the USB to your computer, wait for Windows to recognize it. Double click on 'My Computer' (XP) or 'Computer' (Vista/Win7) or 'This PC' (Win8) to open File Explorer.

2. Right-click on the USB you want to format with NTFS and select “Format”.

Format

3. Select the NTFS in the File System drop-down menu. Click "Start".

File System

4. In the Windows, there is a warning for you that the data on the USB will be erased totally after formatting. Make sure you have backed up everything necessary and click “OK” to continue.

Ok

After reformatting it to NTFS files system, you should be able to copy 4GB or larger file to USB.

Method 2. Convert FAT32 to NTFS without formatting

As we see, formatting USB as NFTS with Windows inbuilt tools poses a risk of losing data. Therefore, we’d like to recommend you another way: convert FAT32 to NTFS without formatting. To do so, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is what we need.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

1. Download AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, install and launch it. You will see the USB shown as FAT32, then right click it to select "Convert to NTFS" under the "Advanced" tab.

Advanced Convert To Ntfs

2. It will pop out a window that you can confirm the operation. Click "OK" to continue.

Ok

3. You will back to the original window, but you can see the file system of your FAT32 USB has changed into NTFS. Click "Apply" to execute it.

Apply Convert To Ntfs

AOMEI Partition Assistant is a free and professional disk manager that can manage both your internal drive and external drive, which safely convert FAT32 to NTFS and vice versa. After converting, the data existed on the FAT32 USB still exist on the NTFS USB. Now, you can successfully copy 4GB and larger file to USB.

Summary

So, when you cannot copy 4GB or larger files to USB, you can reformat it to NTFS, or convert to NTFS. Choose the best method for your situation. If you want to do more on your USB flash drive, like clone USB drive, wipe USB drive, create a Windows to GO USB drive, the AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard can also satisfy you well. Upgrade to Professional and you can unlock more advanced functions: migrates OS between MBR and GPT disk, convert dynamic disk to basic disk without deleting volumes, split partition, align partitions and so on.