If you'd tried to copy files to a flash drive formatted with the FAT32 file system, you had probably discovered that while the drive worked perfectly for smaller files, it would give an error for large files (such as videos):
If you were wondering why an otherwise perfectly good drive would refuse to accept large files, it's most probably because it was formatted with the FAT32 file system, which has a rather low limit for how large a file it can have. This limit is 4GB-1, or exactly 4,294,967,295 bytes. If a file is larger than that, the FAT32 file system can't store it, and an attempt to copy such a file to a FAT32 formatted drive gives an error.
How to work around the FAT 32 max file size limit
One way to solve the FAT32 file size limit is not to use the FAT32 file system at all: there are more recent systems to replace it, such as exFAT or NTFS. If you only intend to use the drive with your PC, then either of these systems should work just fine. If you plan to use the drive with non-microsoft devices, then exFAT would probably be a better choice, because exFAT system is supported by a wider range of third-party manufacturers. For example, if you format a micro-SD card with exFAT, chances are your Android phone would be able to recognize it, too.
It's quite easy to change the file system using your PC: you just need to use the format command on the drive. The most important thing to remember is that changing the file system destroyes any existing files on the drive, so before you begin, attach the drive to the PC and make sure it contains no important files of yours. If it does, save them for later by copying them out of the drive to some other folder on the PC.
To actually change the file system, open the This PC folder, right-click on the drive in question, choose Format... from the menu, and finally select the desired file system on the Format screen:
After the formatting is finished, your drive should be ready to accept files larger than 4GB limit with no problems.
What if formatting the drive is not an option for some reason? In such a case you could still use a FAT32 formatted drive, for example, to transfer a large file between two PCs, but you need to split such a file into several chunks, smaller than the 4GB limit. Unfortunately, Windows does not have a built-in command to split a file into parts. However, you should be able to do that with a third-party tool such as our AB Commander, that offers, among many other tools, the Split and Merge commands designed specifically for such a task. (A free 30-day trial is available, no credit card required.)
Happy file managing!
If you want to link to this article, you can use this HTML code: <a href="https://www.winability.com/fat32-max-file-size-limit/">What is FAT32 maximum file size limit?</a>
- How to restrict access to Task Manager with Folder Guard
- Take ownership of your files after access denied due to NTFS permissions
- How to disable CAPS LOCK key
- Encryptability vs Folder Guard: which one to choose?
- Troubleshooting software removal problems using MSI files
- Encryptability: Compare Personal and Business Licenses
- Solved: How to add Group Policy and Local Security Policy to Windows 10 Home
- File too large for USB drive? Here is how to fix it.
- Forget your WI-FI password? Find it in Windows 10 settings
- What is FAT32 maximum file size limit?
- How to create a secret folder with Folder Guard for Windows 10
- How to easily password-protect Windows 10 Linux folders with Folder Guard
- How to reset the root password after upgrading MariaDB
- How to upgrade MySQL or MariaDB properly
- Force DISKPART to delete EFI system partition on Windows 10
- How to make Windows 10 recognize a cloned hard drive again
- How to stop Windows 10 from using thumbnail preview icons for folders
- How to hide pictures from the Photos app in Windows 10
- How to save Windows Spotlight photos to your computer
- How to move the OneDrive folder to an encrypted drive
- Windows 10 fails to upgrade? Here is how to fix it.
- How to stop Microsoft Edge from hijacking PDF files
- Preventing installations of specific programs with Folder Guard
- Folder Guard licensing explained
- Speed up the updates of the network folders
- Make your Windows laptop work as a Wi-Fi access point
- How to stop automatic updates on Windows 10
- Windows cannot connect to the printer. Access is denied.
- Migrating encrypted data from TrueCrypt to USBCrypt
- Enhancing a photo CD collection with PhotoLauncher
- “The Microsoft account service is unavailable right now. Try again later.”
- Using DiffMerge as the external tool of AB Commander to compare plain text files
- How to erase the icon cache and/or thumbnail cache in Windows 10
- Transferring images between your PC and an Android device: Part 2
- Transferring images between your PC and an Android device: Part 1
- Case study: Using SoftDetective to suppress Corel Guide sign-in prompt
- Using junction points to change the iTunes backup folder location
- How to tell if my Windows is 32- or 64-bit?
- How do I stop Windows from rearranging my desktop icons?
- Organize your photo library with the Rename tool of AB Commander
- Windows does not offer the NTFS format option? Here is how to bring it back.
- Encrypt Firefox profile, bookmarks, and cookies with USBCrypt
- Restarting Windows 10 and Windows 8 in the safe mode
- Integrating AB Commander with Universal Viewer
- How to delete a protected EFI system partition with Windows 10, 8, or 7
- Using Folder Guard to protect from the social engineering attacks
- How to erase Windows login password if you forget it
- How to unhide a folder hidden with Folder Guard
- How to repair Windows desktop icons with AB Commander
- Slow network in Windows 7 Virtual PC? Speed it up!
- How to show drive letters first in AB Commander and Windows Explorer
- What is my IP address?
- Why can’t I copy large files over 4GB to my USB flash drive or SD card?
- Test the strength of your password with USBCrypt
- How to set up an external text editor for AB Commander
- How to restrict Internet Explorer from downloading programs from the Internet
- Personal vs business license for USBCrypt
- Use Folder Guard to restrict access to Control Panel
- Compare MySecretFolder and Folder Guard
- Hide folders and make files invisible with Folder Guard
- WINEXIT vs ActiveExit: automatically log off users from Windows 10
- Password protect folders, lock files and folders with passwords
- How to restrict access and lock external drives with Folder Guard
- How to password-protect Dropbox folder with USBCrypt
- How to set up Folder Guard to stop downloading from the Internet
- Is [Wipe the content] the same as [Secure Delete]?
- How to encrypt and protect the system C: drive with USBCrypt
- Make it easier to return your lost encrypted drive
- USBCrypt for users of Microsoft® Office
- How to start programs elevated from a batch file
- How to make elevated programs recognize network drives
- How to disable hibernation with AB Commander
- Using names and labels to organize USBCrypt drives
- How to password-protect a USB flash drive
- Always have a backup of your important files