Easily Format External Hard Drive to NTFS without Data Loss in Windows 10/8/7

November 12, 2019

On this page, you will learn how to format external hard drive to NTFS in Windows 10/8/7 via several different methods. Choose a proper one according to your requirements.

Need to format disk to NTFS

How can I format USB drive from FAT32 to NTFS. I tried to transfer a 4.33 GB File to USB Stick,14.5 GB Free Space, message popped up saying File Is Too Large For The Destination File System. Please advise. Thanks.

I recently bought a Kingston 64GBUSB flash drive. I would like to format this external hard drive to NTFS so that I can use it on my windows computer. Can anyone help? Thank ahead of time.”

How to format external hard drive to NTFS file system?

Users might need to format hard drives to NTFS for many different reasons. So how can you format the external hard drive to NTFS Windows 10/8/7? There are four different tools you can use to perform such formatting job.

Warning: Because the formatting process will delete all your data on the external hard drive, please make sure you have already made a clone/migration/copy of important data in advance, so you may want to know how to clone hard drive to another one.

Method 1. Disk Management

1. Right click “My Computer/This PC” on the desktop, select “Manage”>“Storage”> “Disk Management” to open Disk Management.

2. Right click on the external hard drive to format and click on “Format…”in the drop-down menu.

3. Select “NTFS” in the “File system” box and then tick “Perform a quick format”.

4. Click “OK” to format the drive and wait until finished.

DM Format NTFS

Method 2. Window File Explorer

1. Double click “My Computer/This PC” to open File Explorer. Right click the drive you need to format and select “Format…”.

2. In the pop-out mini window, choose “NTFS” under File System volume. Tick “Quick Format” and click “Start”.

File Explorer Format Disk

Method 3. Diskpart Command Line

1. Open Command Prompt windows: click “Start” button, input “cmd” in the “Search” box, right click the Command Prompt icon and select “Run as administrator”.

2. Type the following commands in sequence and press Enter after each.

  • diskpart

  • list disk

  • select disk #: # represents the disk number

  • list partition: to get how many partitions on the chosen disk

  • select partition #: # represents the partition number

  • format fs=ntfs quick


3. Then type “exit” to leave the Diskpart service.

Method 4. AOMEI Partition Assistant

The first three methods are Windows built-in tools, and they work well in normal situations. But when the external hard drive is write-protected, becomes RAW file system, or gets damaged/corrupted, these three tools might disappoint you.

So here we introduce you a much more powerful disk formatting tool: AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. This free software is able to format RAW/corrupted/read only external hard drive to NTFS as well as other popular file systems like FAT32/exFAT/Ext2/Ext3/Ext4. Besides, it can resize/move/delete/merge/copy partition and convert data disk between MBR and GPT without data loss.

1. Download, install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. Right click the partition you need to format to NTFS file system and choose “Format Partition”.

Format Hard Drive

2. In the mini window, choose “NTFS” from the file system drop-down menu and click “OK”. You can also set partition label to quickly distinguish it from others in future and change cluster size.

Choose NTFS

3. Click “Apply” and then “Proceed” to start formatting process.


Bonus features

If your external hard drive is with FAT32 file system, now you need to format it to NTFS. AOMEI Partition Assistant offers “NTFS to FAT32 Converter” allows you to execute “convert” operation between FAT32 and NTFS file systems. That means you can directly convert FAT32 to NTFS instead of formatting and vice versa, so your data on the partition will stay safe.

FAT32 NTFS Converter


With so many effective methods, you can easily format external hard drive to NTFS file system in Windows 10/8/7. If you want to manage your disk more conveniently like migrating Windows drive between MBR and GPT disk, quick partitioning a hard disk, and recovering lost partitions, you can upgrade to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.