By Teresa / Last Updated August 13, 2020

Does Windows 10 support 4TB hard drive?

With the development of technology, hard drive storage becomes larger and larger. 4TB hard drive, like Seagate 4TB HDD, is widely used in Windows. Does Windows 10 support installing and fully utilizing 4TB hard drive? The answer depends.

In other words, 4TB HDD can be used in Windows in some conditions. According to Microsoft, in order for an operating system to fully support storage devices that have capacities that exceed 2TB, the device must be initialized by using GUID partition table (GPT).

For a bootable system volume, the system firmware must use UEFI. That is to say, UEFI boot is needed to boot from a disk that is greater than 2TB and GPT is required for partitions larger than 2TB. You don’t need UEFI to have a non-bootable drive that greater than 2TB, only GPT.

After learning the relationship between Windows 10 and 4TB hard drive, you may want to know how to let Windows 10 fully use 4TB hard drive. Following part discusses several common seen situations that may occur when you install 4TB hard drive on Windows 10.

Windows 10 and 4TB hard drive

When installing 4TB disk on Windows 10, you may come across disk not detecting or 4TB only shows 2TB. When installing Windows 10 on a 4TB HDD, you may find it did not partition correctly. What should you do to solve these issues?

Section 1. Windows 10 not recognizing 4TB hard drive

This is a question that you need to solve in the first place because you need Windows 10 to detect it first. If Windows 10 cannot recognize 4TB disk, it could be explained by following reasons.

  • You BIOS is not up to date. You need to update it to the latest version.

  • You 4TB hard drive does not connect properly. Disconnect it and try again.

  • Your external HDD enclosure or USB-to-SATA cable for 4TB hard drive cannot be detected. You may want to connect the 4TB disk through another media.

If the large hard drive has been initialized to GPT and can be detected by BIOS and Disk Management but not Windows, you can assign a drive letter to its partitions, or update Windows 10 to the latest version and try again.

Section 2. 4TB hard drive only shows 2TB in Windows 10

One of the most common seen issues is Windows 10 recognizes 4TB or 3TB hard drive, yet it only shows up 2TB in device manager. The unused space beyond 2TB showing up as unallocated space, which can be neither used for new simple volume nor allocate to other partitions.

As covered before, to use spacious hard drive that larger than 2TB in Windows 10 as non-bootable drive, GPT partition table is required. To convert to GPT from MBR in Windows 10, you have two choices. One is Windows built-in tool and the other is third party converting software. “Convert to GPT Disk” option in Disk Management or “convert gpt” order in Diskpart only works when the disk is empty. Thus, you may need to clean 4TB hard drive before converting.

To convert MBR to GPT in Disk Management

1. Right click This PC and select Manage and then Disk Management.

2. Right click the 4TB hard drive and select Convert to GPT Disk. If it is grayed out, you need to delete all volumes first.

Dm Convert Gpt 4tb

To convert 4TB disk to GPT via Diskpart

1. Press Windows key and R key combination to open Run. Type diskpart and hit Enter. Run as administrator.

2. Type following commands in order: list disk > select disk n (where n is the 4TB hard drive) > clean > convert gpt > exit.

Diskpart Convert Gpt 4tb

Tips: After cleaning the disk, you can initialize the disk to GPT in Disk Management directly.

Convert 4TB hard drive to GPT without data loss in Windows 10

However, you have another choice to convert MBR to GPT in Windows 10 without losing data. Take a look at AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, free partition software that can help you change partition scheme of data disk from MBR to GPT without formatting or cleaning. Free download the tool to have a try.

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

1. To convert 4TB hard drive, install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant your Windows 10. Right-click the mass storage device at main interface and select Convert to GPT Disk.

Convert 4tb To Gpt

2. It will pop out a confirmation dialogue. Click OK to confirm.

4tb Ok

3. Preview the result, click Apply and then Proceed to start converting.

4. After converting, you can create new partition on that disk or add unallocated space to existing partition by using the same software.

Tips: to convert 4TB SYSTEM disk from MBR to GPT without losing data, please refer to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

Section 3. How to install Windows 10 on a 4TB hard drive?

Some users reported that Windows 10 cannot be installed on 4TB hard drive and gets error saying: Windows cannot be installed on this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI systems, Windows can only installed on GPT disks.

Clear as it is, it is asking GPT partition table if your hard drive is bigger than 2TB (2.2TB actually). Then, how do you change MBR partition scheme to GPT during Windows 10 installation?

1. Insert Windows installation disc and follow the wizard to Where do you want to install Windows page. Press Shift + F10 key combinations to bring out Command Prompt.

Open Command Prompt

2. Type following commands in order: list disk > select disk n (where n is the 4TB hard drive) > clean > convert gpt > exit. The exact commands you have seen before.

3. After exiting the Command Prompt, you should be able to see full 4TB hard drive in Windows 10 installation and install successfully.

1. If the hard drive is less than 2TB and you get aforementioned prompts, it is suggested to disable EFI in BIOS by restart computer > press F10 to enter BIOS > navigate to Storage > Boot Order > and then disable the EFI Boot Sources.
2. If you convert 4TB hard drive to GPT in other places and find it back to MBR partition table during installation, it could be the problem of your USB installation drive, viz. it is MBR. You may want to download Windows 10 from their official website and make a bootable USB there.
3. In whatever situation you convert MBR-formatted system disk to GPT, remember to change Legacy to UEFI in BIOS for a successful boot.

To let Windows 10 use full 4TB hard drive, make sure you do it in the right way. Some users convert basic disk to dynamic to fully utilize 4TB disk. Nevertheless, basic is what needed for Windows operating system. Dynamic disks break virtually every disk utility such as disk imaging, partition resizing, offline disk editing, offline password reset, etc.

AOMEI Partition Assistant allows you to solve more practical issues as well. For instance, move free space from one partition to another.


Question: Can Windows 10 support 4tb hard drive?

Answer: This depends on the disk partition style. To make Windows support storage device that exceeds 2TB, the device should be initialized to be GPT instead of MBR.

Question: What is the maximum size hard drive for Windows 10?

Answer: Actually, it is not the version of Windows but the partitioning scheme that decides the maximum hard disk size. The MBR hard drive cannot be larger than 2TB, while the GPT hard drive can surpass 2TB.

Question:Why does 4tb drive only not show full capacity?

Answer:This is mainly because 4TB hard disk is initialized to be MBR, which supports 2TB hard drive at most. So you can only use 2TB space, and the rest space will shown as unallocated space in Disk Management and be invisible in File Explorer.

Question: How do I install Windows 10 on a 4TB hard drive?

Answer: Please consider 2 factors. Firstly, to fully utilize 4TB hard drive,you should initialize it to GPT. Secondly, to install Windows 10 on a GPT hard drive, make sure the motherboard supports UEFI or EFI boot mode that goes with GPT disk.

Question:How to partition a 4TB hard drive windows 10?

Answer: For an MBR 4TB disk, you can only create 4 primary partitions, or 3 primary partitions+1 extended partition (in which you can create unlimited logical drives). On a GPT (4TB) drive, you can have up to 128 primary partitions.

Question:How to format 4TB hard drive windows 10?

Answer: You can format 4TB hard drive to exFAT or NTFS via Windows Disk Management. But you cannot format it to FAT32 with the same method. And the 3rd party program can format a 2TB hard drive to FAT32 at most.

Question:How to get windows 10 to recognize 4TB hard drive?

Answer:Ensure the BIOS has been up to the latest version, the hard drive is connected properly via a proper method or not. Besides, make sure it has a drive letter.