How to Format USB Flash Drive to FAT32?

July 22, 2019

This paper offers three ways to format USB flash drive or SD card to FAT32 in Windows 7/8/8.1/10, XP or Vista. Choose one way depended on your own demand.

Why format USB flash drive to FAT32?

FAT32, short of File Allocation Table 32, is a traditional file system. It can be supported by various external electronic media like XBOX, PS3 and Android etc. Besides, it is compatible with many operating systems including Mac, Windows and so on. Obviously, the most important reason to format USB flash drive, SD card or external hard drive to FAT32 is to make the storage device can work under different electronic media or operating systems.

Format USB to FAT32 via Windows built-in tools

When it comes to how to format USB drive to FAT32 in Windows, the first tool that you consider might be File Explorer. But sometimes, the USB flash drive will not be showing up in Windows Explorer as it doesn’t have a drive letter. In such condition, you can open Disk Management or Diskpart utility to format it to FAT32.

Using Disk Management

1. Access Disk Management.

(Press Windows+ R, inputdiskmgmt.msc and press Enter.)

2. Right click the partition on the USB flash drive and chooseFormat…among pop-up results.

3. In the next small window, choose FAT32 at the file system menu and click OK.

After a while, the USB flash drive will be formatted with FAT32 in a success.

Using Diskpart utility

1. Enter Diskpart interface.

(Press Windows+ R, input diskpart and press Enter.)

2. In the Diskpart window, run the commands given below:

  • list disk

  • select disk n

  • (“n” refers to the disk number of the USB flash drive that you want to format)

  • list partition

  • select partition m

  • (“m” is the USB flash drive partition number)

  • format fs=fat32 quick


Format USB Flash Drive using Dispart

PS.: After formatting your USB flash drive, you can assign a drive letter to it; then you can access it from File Explorer.

Failed to format USB flash drive in Windows

It is rather easy to format USB flash drive to FAT32 within Disk Management. But if you try to format a USB flash drive larger than 32GB, you’ll find that there is no FAT32 option in Disk Management or get an error message “The volume is too big for FAT32”. That is to say, you can’t format 64GB, 128GB or larger USB with FAT32 file system via Disk Management or Diskpart utility.

A 3rd party FAT32 format tool: Format USB flash drive beyond 32GB

If your USB flash drive is beyond 32GB and you want to format it with FAT32, what should you do? The answer is to employ a third-party free FAT32 format tool, such asAOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, which allows you to format USB flash drive beyond 64GB to FAT32 easily and effectively and format RAW USB drive to FAT32. Besides, it permits you to make conversion between NTFS and FAT32 without data loss, migrate OS from MBR to MBR disk and so on. It is compatible with different Windows operating systems, including Windows 10/83.1/8/7, XP and Vista. Then, let’s see how it works:

Step 1. Download, install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. In the main console, right click the USB flash drive partition and select Format Partition.

Format Large USB

Step 2.Choose FAT32 among listed file systems and clickOK icon.

FAT32

Step 3. Click Apply andProceed to commit your operation.

Apply

Verdict

If your USB flash drive is smaller than 32GB, you can format it with FAT32 using Disk Management or Diskaprt. But if your USB flash drive is larger than 32GB, it is recommended to apply AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard to format USB flash drive to FAT32. To solve other problems, such as coping system disk to SSD without reinstalling, converting system disk into GPT without deleting partitions and so on, you can upgrade it to Professional edition.