By Teresa / Last Updated January 14, 2021

Can I reformat NTFS/exFAT to FAT32?

“I want to reformat my 500GB drive from NTFS to FAT32 so I can use it on my Mac as well. But when you do it in Disk Management, there is no FAT32 option under file system menu for selection. Why and how can I reformt this drive to FAT32 successfully?”

NTFS, exFAT and FAT32 are the most ordinary file systems in Windows computers. Before you try to change exFAT or NTFS to FAT32, you’d better have a brief knowledge of them. FAT32, as traditional file system, has better read and writing compatibility, and can work with all versions of Windows, Mac, Linux, game consoles, and practically anything with a USB port. However, it cannot support partition bigger than 2 TB and single file over 4 GB.

Compared to FAT32, NTFS file system has overwhelming advantage on data security, data consistency, the speed of reading and writing and retrieval. Besides, it can support volumes as large as 256TB, and its file size support tops out at 16 EiB. But its compatibility is not so good: works with all versions of Windows, but read only with Mac by default. The exFAT achieves a balance between NTFS and FAT32. If you need bigger file size and partition limit than FAT32, and better compatibility than NTFS, the exFAT is a great choice. And this file system is generally ideal for flash drives.

Why reformat to FAT32 from NTFS or exFAT?

After knowing the differences between FAT32, NTFS and exFAT, you may understand why you need to do this. In a nutshell, you have to format partition to FAT32 as long as the device does not support NTFS or exFAT and recognize FAT32 only. For instance, you cannot play games on PS4 or PS3 when it formatted with NTFS.

How to reformat hard drive to FAT32 in Windows 10, 8, 7?

Well, what’s the best methods of reformatting to FAT32? Actually, you have two options to realize the goal: Windows inbuilt tools and 3rd party partition software. Choose one based on your needs.

Note: backup files you care most before you start since formatting will erase everything on the drive.

1. Reformat drive (less than 32GB) to FAT32 via inbuilt tools

The Windows itself provides Disk Management or DiskPart to help users to manage their hard disk partitions, including formatting a drive. Open Disk Management, right-click the drive you want to format and select “Format”. Then select “FAT32” from the drop down menu. Tick the box in front of “Quick Format”, and then click “OK”.

Format Partition To Fat32 Dm

It is easy and fast. You can achieve the same goal using Diskpart in CMD. Press “Win+R” key to open Run box. Then type in “diskpart” and press Enter to open diskpart.exe window. Input following commands in order and each command is followed by hitting on "Enter".

  • list volume

  • select volume X (X is the partition on USB drive)

  • format fs=fat32 quick

  • exit

Format Volume To Fat32

Both tool can help reformat a partition to FAT32 in Windows 10, 8, 7. But you should know that they won’t allow users to format a partition bigger than 32GB to FAT32. If the drive is over 32GB, you don’t find the FAT32 option in Disk Management (like the user case in the firs section), and you will receive error message “The volume size is too big” in DiskPart command window. In this case, you need the help of some partition software. Please check out the next part.

2. Reformat 32GB+ drive to FAT32 via free partition manager

To get around the limitation of Windows Disk Management and DiskPart formatting feature, you can use the free AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It can format 2TB hard drive to FAT32 at most. Three easy steps can make it done. Free download it and have a try.

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

Step1. Install and launch it. Right-click the drive and select “Format Partition”(F:, NTFS)

Format Partitoin

Step2. Type in partition label if necessary and select “FAT32”.

Fat32 128gb Usb

Step 3. The file system of drive is FAT32 now. Click “Apply” to execute this operation.

Apply

With the easy-to-use and neat interface, you can reformat to FAT32 in three steps and with no worry about size problem. Besides, if the drive you need to reformat is using NTFS file system now, you can also try the NTFS to FAT32 Converter (free) feature of AOMEI Partition Assistant. This function can directly convert NTFS to FAT32, or FAT32 to NTFS without formatting or damaging inside data.

Ntfs To Fat32

Summary

Now, you can make a choice to reformat hard drive to FAT32 from NTFS or exFAT according to your requirements. Simultaneously, AOMEI Partition Assistant is embedded with many helpful utilities, such as Resize Partition, Move Partition, Clone Disk/Partition. To enjoy more advanced features like Command Line Partitioning, Recover Lost Partition, Transfer OS to SSD, Quick Partition etc, please upgrade to Professional.