By Emily / Last Updated April 30, 2019

Why need to format SD card to FAT32?

FAT32 stands for File Allocation Table 32 (FAT32). It is a traditional file system, old as Windows 95 and originally developed to replace the older FAT16. You might have found that most flash drives, or SD cards you purchased are formatted to be FAT32 by default. That’s because FAT32 comes with the maximum compatibility. It works with all versions of Windows, Mac, Linux, game consoles and anything with a working USB port.

Therefore, when it comes to why need format SD card to FAT32 file system, its incredible reading and writing compatibility with the widest range of devices should be the most important reason.

Can you format a very large SD card to FAT32 in Windows 10/8/7?

Basically, you can use Disk Management, File Explorer and Diskpart command prompt to format SD card, pendrive or other devices to FAT32. But they just work well when your chosen drive is smaller than 32GB. What will happen if you try to format a large SD card to FAT32?

Two true stories found in famous forums:

"I have a 128GB SD card and I tried to format it into FAT32. But Windows 10 Disk Management tool failed to complete this job because the drive is larger than 32GB. What can I do to solve this problem? Is there any specialized FAT32 formatting tool can help?"

"Well, I just bought a new SanDisk 64GB micro SD card and want to use it for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Unfortunately, it is with exFAT that does not support these two games consoles. So I tried to format it to FAT32. But when I formatted it via Disk Management, it failed, then I turned to Diskpart command prompts, but it showed an error message:The Volume Is Too Big for FAT32. So is any other solution to it?

All these happen because of the 32GB size limitations of FAT32 formatting. But don’t panic. You can try a professional SD card formatter FAT32 that can help you format an over 32GB hard drive to FAT32 without difficulties.

What’s the best SD card FAT32 formatter for Windows?

Although there are many different types of SD card formatter FAT32 available on the market nowadays, here we would like to strongly recommend AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It is a free yet powerful software that does a great job of hard disk formatting. Its clear user interface and perfect features allow both computer experts and newbies to format all SD cards, SDHC memory cards, and format SDXC to FAT32 in Windows 10/8/7 in a safe and easy way.

Now you can download the freeware and learn how to format SD card to FAT32 in Windows 10 by following our detailed instruction below. (Same apply to Windows 7/8/8.1/XP/Vista)

Note: since formatting process will destroy or erase all data on the SD card, you should copy partition, which you plan to format, to another disk for data security.

Then do as follow:

Step 1: Connect your SD card to a computer running Windows 10 and make sure it is detected successfully.

Step 2: Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant, find and right-click the SD card to select Format Partition from the given list.

Format Partition

Step 3: Verify FAT32 under File System tab and click OK.

FAT32 128GB USB

Step 4: In the main interface, click on Apply to start formatting process.

Apply

After finishing all the steps listed above, you will be able to successfully format SD card to FAT32 in Windows, no matter how large it is. Moreover, this SD card formatter FAT32 could also format SD card from RAW to FAT32.

Bonus tips you may want to know

  • In the second step of formatting SD card, you can add a partition label in order to better recognize your partitions in future.

  • In addition to FAT32, you can also choose to format SD card to Ext3, Ext2, Ext4, NTFS and exFAT via this versatile freeware.

  • AOMEI Partition Assistant could also format write-protected disk if the disk becomes read only due to corrupted file system.

  • If you want to unlock more advanced functions like recovering missing partition, migrating OS to SSD, you can upgrade to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.