Is formatting a 64GB USB drive to FAT32 on Windows the easiest thing? Well, probably not. However, we’re here to save the day!
Being a tech geek comes with great responsibility. By great responsibility, we mean sharing our knowledge with you guys!
Just as any great tech geek would, we will explain to you what FAT32 is and how to quickly format your 64GB USB drive to it in a few simple steps.
So, if you’re having trouble with this, read on to find out how to format a USB to FAT 32 on Windows.
What is FAT32 and Why It’s a Good Format for USB Drive?
Technically, FAT refers to File Allocation Table and 32 refers to the number of bits this filing system uses. In more simple terms, it is a filing system that helps in organizing files stored on a disk drive.
Now, why would you want to use FAT32?
Simple, it can save you a lot of trouble! It is the only format that can be read by both Windows, Linux, and Mac. This guarantees you a working USB, no matter what PC you decide to plug it into (or any other USB port).
Now, let’s dive into how to format to FAT32 on Windows.
How to Format 64GB USB Drive to FAT32 on Windows
Unfortunately, because the built-in Windows format tool does not give us the option to format files larger than 32GB to FAT32, this process is not simply one click away. However, don’t get discouraged, the process is still pretty straightforward.
The way to get around this is by using either Windows PowerShell or a third-party tool (arguably, the faster and less pain-free method).
To format by using PowerShell, follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Search PowerShell in your desktop search bar. Click Run as Administrator
Step 2: Type format /FS:FAT32 D: (replacing D: with the drive letter you want to format), and then hit Enter.
A small heads-up: We’ve heard this could take hours upon hours to complete and you won’t know if it worked until the process is over.
For a more straightforward process, you could use a third-party tool. With these tools, generally, there are a few steps to follow:
- Install & download the tool
- Launch program
- Select the file you want to format
- Select FAT32 as the file system & select the cluster size
- Wait for the tool to work its magic
Another Heads-up: Don’t go for paid tools, there are many great free tools out there (some of which will be listed below) so you won’t have to spend a dime!
Best Free FAT32 Format Tools
As mentioned above, we recommend using a free third-party tool to format a USB to FAT32 on Windows when you’re dealing with a 64GB USB. This is a straightforward and non-time-consuming process that you can complete in just a few minutes.
Here are a few of the best free FAT32 format tools you can use.
This software is easy to use and very straightforward, however, it is limited to formatting only to FAT32. So, if you plan on getting an app that you need for formatting different types of filing systems, then maybe opt for another one. One downside is that it hasn’t been updated in years, so it is a piece of older software.
You can use the link in the name to download it.
Although it doesn’t offer a ton of features, it has a good set and it performs very well. Not only is it lightweight, but it also has an easy-to-use interface.
Some of the features it offers include but are not limited to, changing the filing system, changing the name, creating bootable flash drives from ISO files, fixing defective sectors tool, etc. You can download it through the link in the name.
Similar to Tokiwa’s FAT32 Formatter, the IM-Magic Partition resizer is limited in the features it offers as well. It only allows reformatting to NFTS and FAT32. however, the tool allows you to change, delete, create, and format partitions really easily.
It is very easy to use and you access the download page by clicking on the link in the name.
DiskGenius is an up-to-date software that allows you to not only format but also keep track and manage any disks on your PC. It has a range of different features and if you’re on the lookout for an all-in-one bundle, this might be the best option for you.
Similar to all on this list, you can access the download link by clicking on the heading.
Just like their neighbor above, EaseUS Partition Master is useful for a range of processes you may need it for. However, it is still very user-friendly and easy to use even for people who are quite tech literate.
The download file is linked in the heading.
FAT32 vs NTFS vs exFAT: Which Is The Best Format for Your 64GB USB?
Before we go any further, let’s dive into the main differences between these filing systems by defining each one.
exFAT: It is compatible with all versions of Windows, macOS X, and needs additional software for Linux. It doesn’t have any file size or partition size limit, making it most compatible with flash drives.
NFTS: Similar to exFat, NFTS is compatible with all versions of Windows. However, it’s not compatible with Linux and it is read-only with macOS and some Linux versions. It doesn’t have any size limitations, provides encryption, and supports file permissions among others.
FAT32: It is one of the oldest filing systems and because of that, is supported by all OS. It’s easy to use, doesn’t need special software for macOS; however, it does come with limitations. The maximum file size is 4GB and the maximum partition size is 8TB.
FAT32 will be the best option for a removable storage device (that is, unless, you have files larger than 4GB on it, then uh oh). So, when it comes to your 64GB, especially if you plan to use it with different devices, it’s best to go with FAT32.
We hope this article helped you format your 64GB USB to FAT32. If you’re having any troubles with it, feel free to leave a comment and we’ll be happy to help!