Fix: File Is Too Large for Destination File System

February 24, 2016

A fix to the error: The file is too large for the destination file system when moving large files to a partition or USB drive.

File size limits

When you try to transfer files larger than 4 GB to a USB drive or a partition on your hard drive, you are likely to receive the error that the file is too large for the destination file system. This is because some file systems have file size limit. For example, the FAT32 file system, which is often used for USB drive, support files no larger than 4 GB, and FAT16 2GB. To fix this problem, you can use NTFS file system whose file size limit is 16EB. There are basically two ways to do it. One is to reformat the drive to NTFS file system, the other is to convert FAT32 to NTFS without data loss.

File Too Large

Format drive to NTFS file system

As you know, to format a drive will delete all the data on the drive, so copy or backup your files to another location before reformatting. There are many Windows built-in tools that you can use to format a drive with NTFS. The simplest way to break 4gb file size limit would be with File Explorer.

To format a disk with File Explorer:

1. Within the File Explorer, right click on the disk that needs formatting and select Format:

Format Flash Drive Menu

2. In the pop out window, select NTFS under File system. You can also change the volume label. Under Format options, the Quick Format option is ticked by default. If you don’t have a special need, don’t untick it. Then click Start to start the format.

Format Flash Drive

Then Windiws will start to convert flash drive to NTFS. After that, you can transfer far larger files to this drive. The file size limit should be the capacity of the drive.

Convert FAT32 to NTFS without data loss

To solve the file too large for destination file system problem without losing data, you can convert a partition from FAT32 to NTFS. For than, you can use a free partition manager software AOMEI Partition Standard. With its intuitive interface, you can easily understand it. Let’s see how it works:

1. Download this free partition software, install and open it.

2. Within its main interface, right click on the partition format with FAT16 or FAT32 that you want to convert to NTFS, and go to Advanced -> Convert to NTFS.

Convert to NTFS

3. In the pop-up windows, click OK to continue.

Select NTFS

4. Click Apply to apply this operation.


In a few seconds, the selected partition will be converted to NTFS file system without data loss. For the features of NTFS, you will never have problems of transferring data due to the file is too large for destination file system. Besides that, AOMEI Partition Assistant can also be used to convert dynamic disk to basic disk without data loss, move Windows 8/10 to USB drive, resize partition, migrate OS to SSD, break 2 TB file system limit, and many more.