What is the difference between exFAT and FAT32 and NTFS?
Windows supports three kinds of file system and you can see them when you format an internal drive, external drive or removable drive. They are NTFS, FAT32 and exFAT. Partition file system determines how you store information and what you can store and how you access those data on that partition.
NTFS, as the most modern file system, has been used in Windows system drive by default since it works perfect with large-sized partition and file, and has many advanced properties that are helpful for operating system.
FAT32 is the first of three file systems available to Windows so it has strong compatibility among different operating systems and old devices. Nevertheless, it also has obvious disadvantage that is not practical. For example, 4GB maximum file size.
exFAT makes up for the limitation of FAT32 so that you can store file that is larger than 4GB. It also works well with large-sized partition and file. However, exFAT has less compatibility than FAT32 yet still more than NTFS’s. For user who requires strong compatibility and stores large files on device, exFAT would be the best choice.
With the expansion of removable device capacity, SD cards can be used as large storage as well. Many Android phones support expanding memory with SD card. To use SD card more flexible, a Samsung Galaxy S4 user want to format SD card to exFAT32 so that he can connect it to his PS4. Well, how can you perform formatting?
How to format SD card to exFAT on Windows with built-in tools?
The three file systems can be switched to each other with some help of particular tools. For example, you can convert FAT32 to NTFS in three ways. Windows brings you partition manager with which you can do the formatting. If you want to format SD card to exFAT of Android phone, please unplug it out of phone first. To make SD card readable, you may need an SD card reader. Let’s take a closer look.
Format SD card to exFAT in File Explorer
1. Connect the SD card to your computer via SD card reader or slot and make sure it can be detected. Open Windows File Explorer by double clicking Computer, This PC or My Computer.
2. Find your SD card. Usually, it is located under “Devices with Removable Storage”. Right click it and select “Format”.
3. At the pop-up window, select “exFAT” from the file system list. Click “Start” to begin the formatting on SD card.
Wait patiently and you’ll get the SD card formatted with exFAT. Make sure you have checked “Quick Format” which does a great job in making things move faster.
exFAT format SD card in Command Prompt
Aforementioned is a GUI formatting method which is easy-to-use and suitable for common users. For user who is fond of command line operations, this method meets their appetite.
1. Run diskpart as administrator.
2. Input following commands in order and each command comes with an Enter.
select disk n (where n is the number of your SD card)
select partition m (where m is the number of your SD card partition)
SD card should be formatted with exFAT in a short while. If you have more than one partition or have unallocated space on that SD card, to format entire SD card or micro SD card with exFAT, try following commands.
select disk n (where n is the number of SD card)
create partition primary
Windows unable to format SD card to exFAT
It is easy to find that Command Prompt and File Explorer are convenient ways to format SD card to exFAT or FAT32 or NTFS. However, some users report that Windows can’t format SD card to exFAT file system.
There are some possible reasons for SD card cannot be formatted. First, the SD card is write-protected. You may need to remove SD card write protection first. Second, your SD card is corrupted or damaged. You can run “chkdsk” to confirm that and fix error accordingly. If your SD card works well before and just cannot be formatted with Windows tools, or you find DiskPart takes too much time to format, try another powerful format utility instead.
Better freeware to format SD card to exFAT without hindrance
AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a free disk partition manager that can assist you format SD card including micro SD card, SDXC, etc. to exFAT with ease. With new added technology, this software will complete SD card exFAT formatting in simple steps. You can also format SD card to NTFS, FAT32, Ext2 and Ext3. The user-friendly interface makes it suitable for every PC user. Download (Windows 10, 8, 8.1, 7, XP, Vista supported) this freeware and have a try. This tutorial will take format SD card to exFAT in Windows 7 for example.
Step1. Connect SD card to your PC as instructed before. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant.
Step2. Right click your SD card at main interface and select “Format Partition”.
Step3. In the pop-up small window, select “exFAT” from the drop-down menu. Specify Partition Label and change Cluster Size if you want to. Then, click on “OK”.
Step4. Preview the virtual result. If everything looks good, click “Apply” and then “Proceed” to execute pending operations.
If your SD card is brand new, you’ll see “Unallocated” in that space instead of partition. Right click the unallocated space and select “Create Partition” to format it with exFAT.
This software support format a 64GB SD card from exFAT to FAT32 as well. No limit of 32GB partition size as you’ll see with Windows tools.
Within only a few steps can you successfully format SD card to exFAT in Windows 7/8/10. AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is all-around free hard drive manager. Except for formatting SD card, you can also format external hard drive to exFAT file system. This software also provides arrangements for hard drive data wiping.
AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, the advanced edition of Standard, embeds with more helpful features like SSD secure erase. Besides, you can quick partition a hard drive, change partition type ID and serial number.