Explain - Is exFAT the Same As Fat32 Format?

Is exFAT the same as FAT32 format? Should I use exFAT or FAT32? How to convert exFAT to FAT32 on Windows 10 and 11? You can find the answer from this post.


By Dervish / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Is exFAT the same as FAT32 format - What you should know


Users with no computer experience may be confused and don't know what is a file system. In fact, a file system is a way for a computer to organize data on a hard drive, and it determines how data is stored. It divides the data into different parts and names them separately, so users can easily find the data.

exFAT and FAT32 are two different file systems. These two formats have their own characteristics, users need to choose which format to use according to needs. If you think exFAT is the same as FAT32 format, you are wrong. 

Tip: Windows supports NTFS, exFAT and FAT32. But the most used format is NTFS. If you are a Mac, PS4 and PS5 user, your hard drive can only be formatted in exFAT or FAT32, as these devices do not support NTFS.

Should I Use exFAT or FAT32?

After understanding that exFAT and FAT32 are not the same, the following paragraph will explain how to make the choice between exFAT and FAT32.

▶ exFAT vs FAT32

File System Comparsion

● FAT32 means that the file allocation table uses 32-bit binary number record management. Because the core of the FAT file system is the file allocation table, the name comes from this. FAT32 is the oldest of the three file systems available to Windows. Introduced as early as 1996 and developed from FAT and FAT16. The advantages are good stability and compatibility, and easy maintenance. The disadvantage is that the security is poor, it can only support partitions of up to 8TB, and a single file can only support up to 4GB.

exFAT was introduced in 2006, short for Extensible File Allocation Table. It was introduced as a replacement for FAT32, exFAT is more advanced and superior to FAT32. The most significant advantage of exFAT is that it has no restrictions on file size and partitions. The disadvantage is that the compatibility is not as good as FAT32.

▶ How to choose between exFAT and FAT32

Which file system you choose depends on your purpose: if you're sure you'll never handle files larger than 4GB on the drive, then you should choose the FAT32 format. If you are sure that you will never use this drive with a device that does not support exFAT, then you should choose the exFAT format.

How to convert exFAT to FAT32 successfully (recommend)

Reading this, I believe you have figured out “is exFAT the same as FAT32 format” and “should I use exFAT or FAT32”. If your hard drive’s current file system is exFAT, but you want to convert it to FAT32. Do you know how to do it easily?

I suggest you try the free file system converter - AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It supports formatting exFAT to FAT32 in an easy and quick way. In addition to that, this freeware is also able to format exFAT to Ext2, Ext3, Ext4, or NTFS and vice versa. But you need to be aware that formatting will erase all the data on the hard drive, so please make a backup in advance.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1.  Install and run the software. Then, right-click the target hard drive you are going to format and choose “Format Partition”.

Format exFAT

Step 2. Choose FAT32 on the drop-down menu. Then, click “OK”.

Format Partition

Step 3. Confirm your operation. Then, click “Apply” > “Proceed” to execute the operation.


NTFS to FAT32 Converter feature can make conversion between NTFS and FAT32 without losing data.
AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is suitable for Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. When you need to use it on Windows Server, please upgrade to Server Version.

Convert exFAT to FAT32 on Windows 10 with Diskpart

If you want to use the Windows built-in tool CMD to format FAT32 is also possible, you can follow the steps below:

Step 1. Press “Windows + R”, type in “diskpart” and hit Enter.

Step 2. Type the following commands in sequence and hit Enter.

 list disk 
• select disk 1
• list partition 
 select partition 1
• format fs=fat32 quick (if you want to format to exFAT, type in format fs=exFAT quick)

Format FAT32

Step 3. Once the process is complete, right-click on the drive and select properties to check the format type.

Diskpart or Disk Management cannot format drives larger than 32GB to FAT32 because Windows set a 32GB partition size limit on the FAT32 file system. When this happens, you can only seek help from AOMEI Partition Assistant.

Dervish · Staff Editor
Dervish is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; He is delicated to offering users easy and effecitve solutions for issuses related to disks and partitoins. In his spare time, he enjoy wathcning films, playing footable, traveling and so on.