“Hi. I’m trying to format a hard drive to exFAT in Windows 10. When I right click the drive in Windows File Explore and select Format… only to find that there is only NTFS (Default) available. Then I go to Disk Management as my friend suggested, but with no luck. It gives me NTFS only next to File System. I’d like to use the hard drive in both Windows and Mac. What should I do? Any help is very much appreciated.”
That is a help post in formatting hard drive to exFAT in Windows 10. Google online, it can be easily find that no exFAT option in Windows 7 as well. The awkward issue hinders user using the hard drive for other purposes. Why did that happen and what can we do to solve the trouble?
Why Windows 10 no exFAT option?
According Wikipedia, exFAT, a Microsoft file system introduced in 2006, optimized for flash memory such as USB flash drives and SD cards. exFAT can be used where the NTFS file system is not a feasible solution.
Well, above question is easy to explain. When you format a partition or volume on a hard drive, the exFAT will not be available because Windows does not allow. If format USB drive or SD card, you'll see NTFS, FAT32 and exFAT file system availale. However, for advanced users, Windows provides a way to compromise. Let’s get to know what Windows bring to us on exFAT format in Windows 10.
How to fix no exFAT format option in Windows 10/7?
To fix the exFAT formatting problem, you have to turn to Windows 10 Command Prompt, viz. format the drive to exFAT in Command Prompt. With that tool, you can execute exFAT formatting in two methods. Please note that all data on selected partition will be lost. Back up important data before formatting if any.
Format to exFAT using Command Line
In the first place, you need to open Command Prompt. Press Windows key and R key at the same time to open Run. Type cmd and click OK. Run as administrator.
Format hard drive to exFAT with CMD
This is a simple and direct way. Only one simple command would solve the problem. Type: format F: /fs: exFAT (where F is the drive letter you want to format) and press Enter. Type: Y to confirm what you are going to do. Specify the partition label at the next prompt if you want to. Then, you finished. However, it is an operation that may take up too long due to partition size and stored data amount. In that case, you can do formatting in another manner.
Format partition to exFAT using Diskpart
Type diskpart in Run box and hit Enter. Next, type follow-up commands in order and each command has an Enter followed by: list disk > select disk n (where n is the disk number) > list partition > select partition m (where m is the partition number) > format fs: exfat > exit.
More roundabout yet formatting speed ensured. This method scatters each order so the final formatting won’t spend too much time.
Format via free exFAT formatting tool for Windows
Except for aforementioned tool, you actually have better tool to solve exFAT not an option in Windows 7 and Windows 10. AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is the bestfree partition manager that can be trusted. It allows you to format partition or volume to any file system that Windows is able to read and write, let alone exFAT.
No matter where the partition locates, internal hard drive (system drive is an exception), external hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card, etc., the formatting will operate successfully. Also, as an integrated partition manager, it can help you format 128GB micro SD card to FAT32 for Android or PS4. Now, let’s learn how to format hard drive partition to exFAT step by step.
1. To settle Windows 10 no exFAT option, download, install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant on your computer.
2. Right click the drive you want to format and select Format Partition.
3. Choose exFAT next to File System.
4. Preview the formatting result. Click Apply and then Proceedto execute pending operations.
The formatting process will complete in a short while, and no need to reboot Windows.
If the drive is brand new, right click the unallocated space in main interface and select Create Partition to create a volume with exFAT format in Windows 10.
AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is supported by Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, Windows XP and Windows Vista. To solve exFAT formatting error in Windows Server, please refer to its Server edition.
Other possible Windows 10 exFAT problems
Apart from exFAT formatting issue, there is exFAT format problem in Windows 10. In other words, Windows 10 exFAT not recognized or Windows 10 not reading exFAT after formatting. Why would that happen? To sum up, there are several situations that may result to covered problem.
First of all, the exFAT file system has been formatted on Mac machine. It is said that the exFAT formatted by Mac OS won’t be readable unless it is Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) or 10.8 (Mountain Lion). Mac OS uses large cluster size for exFAT that cannot be accepted by Windows.
To fix that error caused by that reason, you can choose Master Boot Record (MBR) instead of Universally Unique Identifier (UUID) while formatting on Mac. Or, you can do partition alignment on Windows 10 directly.
The second situation would be no drive letter assigned to that partition. In that case, the exFAT can be recognized by Windows device manager yet cannot properly show up in File Explorer.
To fix the problem, open Disk Management (type: diskmgmt.msc in Run), right click the volume and select Change Drive Letter And Path. Then, click Change and choose a desired drive letter and click OK. Note that you may need to restart your machine for the change take effect.
Actually, formatting hard drive to exFAT in Windows is quite easy. Next time when you encounter Windows 10 no exFAT option trouble, surely you know how to deal with.
The recommended software AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is able to do more complicated tasks. For instance, you can convert NTFS to FAT32 without losing data. As an integrated and completed partition manager, you can convert MBR to GPT and migrate OS to SSD. Download to experience more.