FAT32 format tool for Windows 10

by Jane / Thu Jan 18 2018 / UPDATED in Partition Magic Guide

Windows 10 has default tools to format a partition to FAT32 from NTFS or other file systems, but most of time users just don’t want to format and delete anything on the original system, if there’s a way to convert one file system to another without data loss, that’ll be great, since time spend on backing things up and restoring them afterwards are saved.

(As for the FAT32 file system limiations, we cannot create a FAT32 partition larger than 32GB, but we can use PowerShell to format large volume (64GB, e.g.) to FAT32 ).

powershell format fat32
powershell format 64G fat32 partition

Disk management or command prompt or third-party partition manager software is able to format file system to FAT32, which is the file system most of the external hard drive, USB flash drive for game console (PS3, PS4, XBOX) would prefer.

  • Right-click menu’s Format option in File Explorer
  • Disk Management format option
  • The ‘format’ command in diskpart.exe.

All of three methods perform alike and result in the same, delete previous data stored and create a file system, which is fine and quick when there’s no importance of data, but when the partition size is very large and data stored on it is too import to delete, format, under this circumstance, is not the best option.

Don’t format the partition, convert it instead.

Here’s how to convert a partition to FAT32:

  • Run Partition Expert
  • Click on the partition you want to convert
  • Click <kbd>Convert to FAT32</kbd> and click OK when prompted
Convert to FAT32

An alternative way of doing this is to use the Freeware NTFS to FAT32 Converter, steps are the same:

Click a partition > click Convert Now > Confirm

FAT32 Converter

This Freeware is also lightweight, portable, 32-bit and 64-bit capable, supports Windows 10, and lower system to Windows XP.

Besides the converting way, here’s the conventional way of formatting partition:

Windows File Explorer
Press Windows + E to open file explorer and right-click on the partition, choose Format
Disk Management
Press Win+R and type: diskmgmt.msc to open it and right-click on the partition to Format
Diskpart command
Win+R and type: diskpart, click Yes to the UAC dialog and type:
list disk > select disk # > format fs=fat32 quick

Note: Before formatting partition please make sure all the important data has a backup and it’s better to keep the ‘Quick format’ checked when formatting.