How to Format SD Card to FAT32 in Windows 10?
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How to Format SD Card to FAT32 in Windows 10?

Anne

Updated on May. 27, 2021


Position: Resource - Partition Managerment - How to Format SD Card to FAT32 in Windows 10?

Summary
Are you wondering how to format 64GB/128GB/256GB SD card to FAT32 file system in Windows 10/8/7 when the FAT32 is provided in the regular Windows format tool? If your computer runs Windows 10, you will find it not possible to format partitions larger than 32GB with FAT32 without the help of a third-party formatting tool. No need to be panic if you cannot format a large SD card to FAT32. In this article, we are going to discuss detailed steps on how to format a large SD card, USB, external HDD to FAT32 in Windows.
DiskGenius

DiskGenius - A free SD card format tool which can help you format 256GB/128GB/64GB SD card to FAT32, exFAT or EXT4 file system in Windows 10.


Table of Contents



SD card cannot be formatted to FAT32 file system in Windows 10/8/7?

Most new SD cards you bought are preformatted, getting ready to store data. However, once in a while, you may want to perform the formatting on your own. Typically, you want to remove data, for instance, formatting enables you to quickly removes large amount of data off drive, which works much faster than deleting each file; Or, perhaps, you want to change the file system used on the drive. Each file system type has its own merits and demerits, and you can choose one based on your needs. You may use NTFS for internal hard drive and external hard drive on a Windows computer, use FAT32 or exFAT for USB drives and memory cards, or choose EXT4 for raspberry pi SD card, etc. FAT32 is a solid file system format for removable drives, and it is used by many memory cards as well. FAT32 is supported by almost all major operating systems and devices. As long as you don't store files whose single file size exceeds 4GB, you can use it on your SD card without problem.

It is known that formatting can be carried out with ease in Windows, and yet you will find it is not the case all the time, for example, the Windows built-in formatting tool cannot format SD card larger than 32GB with FAT32 file system (if you use CMD commands to format large partition with FAT32 file system, you are going to end up with an error: The volume size is too big.)

In Windows only drives between 2GB and 32GB can be formatted to FAT32 file system. Thus, the suggested way of formatting large SD cards or USB drives with FAT32 is using third-party formatting software. The rest part of this article will talk about how to complete the format using a free SD card format tool DiskGenius Free Edition.


A free SD card format tool – DiskGenius Free Edition

DiskGenius is effective disk partition software with which you can partition disk and manage partitions, taking full advantaging of disk space easily and safely. Meanwhile, it is a free SD card formatter and it is able to format SD cards larger than 32GB with FAT32, exFAT and Ext4 file system in Windows 10/8/7 and Windows Server 2019/2016/2012/2008/2003 and Home Server. In addition to managing disk partitions for storage devices, DiskGenius also includes various other useful functions, such as recover lost files from formatted partition, access EXT4 drive in Windows 10, recover files from RAW drive/SD card, restore lost partitions, clone SD card, check and repair bad sectors, convert dynamic disk to basic, migrate Windows 10 to HDD/SSD, create/load/manage virtual disks, support Windows Storage Spaces, edit hex RAW data and more. More features about disk partition management:

  • Resize partition: adjust the size of partition without damaging data, e.g. extend partition, split partition, add unallocated disk space to an existing partition, etc.
  • Partition disk: quickly divide a hard drive or USB drive into multiple partitions and newly created partitions are 4K aligned.
  • Wipe data permanently: a couple of options are provided to help you erase data, for instance, permanently delete some files, erase an entire partition or disk, erase files which had been deleted.
  • Convert partition format: convert primary partition to logical without losing data, and vice versa.
  • Disk format conversion: it can convert disk formats between GPT and MBR, convert virtual disk format among VMDK, VHD, VDI, HDD, convert dynamic disk to basic disk.

How to format SD card to FAT32 file system in Windows 10?

For whatever reason you want to format a large SD card such as 64GB, 128GB and 256GB with FAT32 file system, you can use the best free SD card format tool – DiskGenius Free Edition to fulfill the task.

Note:

  • The formatting process will surely remove all data off the SD card being formatted. Thus, you need to create backups for valuable data prior to formatting.
  • If you just format SD card by mistake, you can use DiskGenius to recover files from formatted memory card.

Step 1: Free download, install and run DiskGenius Free Edition on your computer.

format SD card to FAT32

Step 2: Select and right-click the partition you are going to format, and choose "Format Current Partition" option (or simply click Format button from toolbar).

format SD card to FAT32

Step 3: On the appeared window, you can choose FAT32 as the file system, and click "Format" button.

File system: There is a couple of options here including, NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, EXT4, EXT3 and EXT2, and you can choose one based on your needs. These options are available no matter whatever the size of the partition to be formatted.

Cluster size: The "Cluster Size" equals to "Allocation unit size" of Windows formatting tool. It is not recommended to modify the default value 4096 here unless you have a good reason to do so.

Volume label: This is the name of SD card shown in File Explorer.

format SD card to FAT32

Step 4: You will receive a warning saying all data on the drive will be lost. Click "Yes" to start the format.


Questions and Answers

1. Can you format a 128GB SD card to FAT32?

Yes, formatting a 128GB SD card to FAT32 in Windows is easy to achieve with the help of a third-party SD card formatter such as DiskGenius Free Edition. Here are steps of formatting a 128GB drive to FAT32:

Step 1: Run DiskGenius Free Edition on your PC.

Step 2: Right click the SD card you want to format and choose "Format Current Partition" item.

Step 3: Select FAT32 from the dropdown list of file system, and click "Format" button.

2. Can Android format SD card to FAT32?

It is mainly up to the Android device you are using. Some Android supports to format SD card to FAT32/EXT4/exFAT, and some does not. And still some Android devices even do not support to add an SD card. To format an SD card to FAT32 in Android, you can try these steps: Open Settings > Device Care > Storage > Advanced > SD card > Format > Format SD card > Wait for the formatting to complete.

3. How do I change from exFAT to FAT32?

For Windows users, there are three ways of converting exFAT to FAT32, and all of them are free of charge.

  • Format exFAT to FAT32 in Windows Disk Management or File Explorer;
  • Change exFAT to FAT32 using CMD formatting commands;
  • Use third-party exFAT to FAT32 converter DiskGenius.

4. How do I format a 256GB SD card to FAT32?

When formatting a 256GB drive with Windows Disk Management or File Explorer, FAT32 is not available for file system options. In this case, you can use a third-party SD card format tool - DiskGenius Free edition to complete the formatting.

Step 1: Connect the 256GB SD card to a Windows PC.

Step 2: Launch DiskGenius Free Edition on this computer.

Step 3: Select the SD card and click "Format" button. Then select FAT32 as the file system and click "Format" to start formatting.

5. Why can't I format my SD card to FAT32?

The probable cause is that your SD card is larger than 32GB. For Windows, the maximum partition size limit using FAT32 file system is 32GB. On Windows computers, you cannot format an SD card with 32+GB size to FAT32 file system, as the default and recommended file system is NTFS which is regarded as more efficient when deal with large partitions. Such limitation does not mean we cannot format 64GB/128GB/256GB SD card to FAT32 file system, for DiskGenius formatting tool can help you complete the formatting easily and quickly.


Conclusion

When your SD card is larger than 32GB, Windows File Explorer, Disk Management and CMD formatting commands will be unable to format it to FAT32 file system. In this case, you can use a third-party format tool like DiskGenius Free Edition to format 64GB, 128GB or 256GB SD card to FAT32 file system easily. For one thing, formatting will remove all data on the SD card, do back up important files in advance.


Related Articles

DiskGenius

DiskGenius - The best free software to format / reformat SD card, USB flash drive, HDD, external HDD to FAT32/exFAT/EXT4/EXT3/EXT2 file system for free in Windows 10.



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