By Emily / Last Updated December 3, 2019

Need to format hard drive to Ext4 in Windows

It is well known that Ext4 is the default file system for Linux system. If you are planning to switch to Linux from Windows, you may need to format your internal or external hard drive as Ext4 on Windows operating system, so as to make them be recognized by Linux successfully. Or if you are dual booting Windows and Linux, you will probably want to access files on your Linux system from Windows at some time, which requires you to format Ext4 Windows as well.

Can Windows format Ext4?

When it comes to formatting hard drive to a proper file system, most users will immediately turn to Windows built-in tools, like Diskpart, File Explorer as well as Disk Management. But can you format hard drive to Ext4/3/2 in Windows 10/8/7? If you plan to give a try, you will be stuck with following awkward situations.

1. In Disk Management and File Explorer, you will find there is no Ext 4/3/2 file system option for you to choose from.

2. In Diskpart Command Prompt, when you input format fs=ext4, you will receive anerror message saying Virtual Disk Service error: The file system is incompatible.

Obviously, Windows cannot format disks to Ext4 through the common methods since Ext4 file system is not compatible with Windows 10/8/7.

How to successfully format Ext4 Windows 10/8/7?

After walking through the content above, you might wonder “is there any way to successfully format Ext4 in Windows?”. Yes. If the Windows built-in formatting methods do not work, you can use a third-party formatting tool–AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard.

It is a free partition manager designed for Windows 7/8/10/XP/Visa. It supports almost all popular file systems including Ext2, Ext3, EXT4, exFAT, FAT32, NTFS. With it, you can create, format and copy Ext4 partition in Windows easily. Here we will focus on the formatting operation.

Before you format Ext4:

Three steps to format hard drive to Ext4 in Windows 10

Step 1. Run AOMEI Partition Assistant. Right-click a partition of the disk you want to format and select Format Partition.

Format NTFS To Ext4

Step 2. Choose Ext4 in the File System list and click OK. If you want to format to Ext3 in Windows 10/8/7, you can choose Ext3 instead.

Choose Ext4

Step 3.Click Apply and then Proceed to start the formatting process.


In simple steps, you can format SD card, USB flash drive or hard drive to Ext4 in Windows. But Windows can’t recognize the Ext4 file system, thus your Ext4 formatted partition will not present in Windows File Explorer. You can access the Ext4 disk in Linux operating system.

Final words

Besides allowing you to format Ext4 Windows as a nice Ext4 formatter, AOMEI Partition Assistant could also help handle many other tough disk management problems such as formatting 2TB hard drive to FAT32, which cannot be fixed via Windows tools since Windows built-in format utility does not support format a SD card or USB drive that larger than 32 GB to FAT32.

More importantly, its advanced Professional edition comes with many more amazing functions you may need. For example, it allows you to get back lost partitions, convert boot disk between MBR and GPT styles, convert primary partition to logical drive, and vice versa, migrate OS to SSD etc,