Use the FAT32 formatter to force Fat32 format USB drives larger than 32GB. Some Operating Systems and disk utilities impose limitations preventing you from formatting partitions larger than 32GB as FAT32. In Windows, for example, the built-in format utility only allows partitions up to 32GB to be formatted as FAT32.
However, third party tools such as this can still be used to format those large drives as FAT32.
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A Fat32 Formatter for large USB drives
How to Fat32 format USB drives larger than 32GB?
You can use the following FAT32 formatter to FAT32 format USB drives larger than 32GB with a FAT32 file system from within Windows. This free fat32 formatter windows 10 will force a FAT32 format on drives of any size up to 2TB, automatically adjusting the partition to fit the space. Yes, even when the volume is larger than the 32GB limit imposed by Windows.
By default, Microsoft Windows will not let you format a volume bigger than 32 GB with a FAT32 filesystem. Which is exactly where this handy tool comes in! This free and portable formatting utility easily works around this limitation. You can use its intuitive GUI to quickly format your USB flash drives, sd cards, or even large internal or external hard drives. Making it easy to format drives with FAT32 regardless of the size.
Note: A key benefit to using a format to FAT32 over the other filesystems, is BIOS USB Bootability. Though one important limitation to note when compared to modern exFAT or NTFS formats, is that files larger than 4GB can not be stored on a FAT32 filesystem. However you could work around this limitation by using multiple partitions of differing types by creating a NTFS or exFAT partition for storage, and a FAT32 partition for boot, etc.
It is worth noting that using a USB FAT32 formatter isn't always the best approach and that there are some limitations to using FAT32 on drives larger than 32GB. For example, the maximum file size is limited to 4GB. If you try to copy files over that exceed 4GB, you will likely encounter an error stating the "File is too large for the destination file system". The only way to resolve this is to either split the file up using a file splitter or use a different filesystem such as NTFS or exFAT.
The maximum number of files you can store and directories you can create is also limited to 65,536. Each file and subdirectory can take 2 to 13 entries, based on the length of its name. Additionally, some modern operating systems and applications may not work well with FAT32, so it's not always the best choice for every situation.
In general, if you're formatting a large drive and need maximum compatibility and file size support, it's better to use a modern file system such as NTFS or exFAT. However, if you specifically need to use FAT32 for compatibility with legacy systems, third-party FAT32 formatter tools can be used to format those larger drives for you.
Fat32 Format Specs
In my opinion, this is the best free FAT32 formatter software. It supports formatting to FAT32 any USB drive all the way up to 2TB in size. So it is at least near future proof.
- Extracted Size: 72KB
- Authors Website: Project Page
- Creator: Tom Thornhill of Ridgecrop Consultants Ltd.
- License: Open Source/Freeware
- Supported Operating Systems: Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP
Download the Fat32 Formatter Tool
You can get the GUI version of this free utility directly from the authors by clicking on the image from the project page.
Download the Free FAT32 formatter
You can also Download the command line version to fat32 format USB drives. The command line version enables you to pass variables to the tool using commands or batch scripts. Since it is Open Source, it's even possible to integrate the tool into your own projects.
If you find this tool helpful and useful, you might also like BOOTICE which can also be used to easily format flash drives.