How to Change EXFAT to FAT32 Without Formatting

Blog Summary – Have you ever wondered how to convert exFAT to FAT32 on your Windows 11/10 PC? It may sound a little confusing, but don’t worry! Let’s break it down in a way that all types of users can understand.

When you use Windows, you come across different file systems like exFAT, FAT32, and NTFS. These are special ways of organizing and storing your files on your computer. Each file system has its own unique features and uses. They determine how your files are saved and accessed. Although they may seem similar, they certainly have different functionalities. Now, you may wonder why anyone would want to convert between these file systems.

What is FAT32?

FAT32 is a type of file system that helps your computer organize and store files. It’s used in different operating systems like Windows, Mac, and even some gaming consoles. FAT32 is known for being able to handle big storage spaces and large files, which makes it great for everyday tasks. 

What is exFAT32?

exFAT32 (Extended File Allocation) is an upgraded and improved version of FAT32, created by Microsoft. It’s specifically designed to eliminate the restrictions that FAT32 had, such as file size limits and compatibility issues with other operating systems. People often use exFAT32 on external devices like USB flash drives and SD cards because it works better with large files and can be used on both Windows and Mac computers.

Why use FAT32 instead of exFAT?

Well, converting from exFAT to FAT32 is often necessary for compatibility reasons. Some devices, like game consoles, cameras, or older storage devices, only support the FAT32 file system. Since exFAT and FAT32 have different functionalities, files stored in the exFAT format may not be recognized by these devices. By converting to FAT32, you ensure seamless usage and compatibility.

Additionally, if you want to use a USB drive or external hard drive with various devices, including those that only accept FAT32, converting the file system becomes essential. For example, transferring files from your Windows 11/10 computer to a game console or smart TV may require the FAT32 format.

Moreover, FAT32 is more widely supported than exFAT. Some older operating systems lack built-in support for exFAT, making it difficult to access files in that format. By converting to FAT32, you ensure that your files are accessible across a broader range of devices and operating systems.

So, if you’re interested in learning how to convert exFAT to FAT32 on Windows 10 without losing your files, keep reading! We’ll guide you through the process step by step! 

How to Change exFAT to FAT32 Without Formatting?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to directly convert exFAT to FAT32 without formatting the drive. The process of converting file systems typically involves reformatting the storage device, which erases all existing data. Therefore, before attempting any conversion, make sure to back up all important files to avoid data loss. Once you have a backup, you can reformat the drive using the desired file system (in this case, FAT32) using the appropriate tools provided by your operating system or third-party software. 

The good news is that you can effortlessly convert from exFAT to FAT32 without formatting your device. This means you don’t have to erase everything on your device just to change the file system. It’s a handy trick that can save you time and hassle.

Also read: How to Fix File System Error on Windows 10

How to Convert exFAT to FAT32 without Formatting?

Several ways can help you convert exFAT to the FAT32 file system without losing your data or formatting your disk drive.

Before you begin, we still recommend you to take a quick backup of all important files and documents, just to be sure.

1. Using Windows Disk Management Tool

You can use the Disk Management tool to convert exFAT to FAT32 in just a few simple steps. Disk Management is a built-in tool on Windows that allows you to create disk partitions, delete partitions, extend/format/shrink disk partitions on your device. Follow these quick steps to get started.

Launch the Start menu search box, type “Disk Management” in the search box, and hit Enter.

In the Disk Management window, right-click on the partition with exFAT file extension and select the “Format” option from the context menu.

Convert exFAT to FAT32

In the pop-up window, change the file system type value to “FAT32”. Check on the “Perform a Quick Format” option. Performing a quick format will completely erase the contents of the disks but we can easily recover it by using a data recovery tool. (Refer to the latter section of the post)

FAT32 files

Press the OK button to proceed.

The disk formatting process will begin automatically. Windows will pop up a notification alert on the screen to confirm if you’re sure about erasing the disk’s contents. Hit the OK button to proceed.

disk formatting process

Once the formatting process is completed, the file system will be changed to FAT32. You can verify the same on the main interface of the Disk Management window.

You can use the same set of steps to convert exFAT to FAT32 on other disk partitions as well.

Once you’re done, close the Disk Management window.

2. Using Command Prompt

You can also use the Command Line tool to convert exFAT to FAT32. Here’s what you need to do.

Launch the Start menu search, type “Command Prompt”, right-click on it, and select “Run as Administrator”.

In the Command Prompt window, type the following commands:

Using Command Prompt

List disk

Select Disk * (The preferred disk whose file system needs to be converted to FAT32)

List partition

Select Partition *

Format fs=FAT32 quick

After executing the above-mentioned commands, the file system of the specified disk will be converted to FAT32 format.

3. Use a Third-party Drive Formatting Tool

The third method to convert exFAT to FAT32 is by using a third-party drive formatting tool. A variety of disk formatting tools are available online that can help you get the job done, without losing your data.

MiniTool Partition Wizard is one of the best drive formatting tools you can use for changing the exFAT32 into FAT32.

Download and install the MiniTool Partition Wizard tool on your Windows PC. Launch the tool once the installation process is completed.

First, pick the exFAT partition from the main window that needs to be converted. Then select the “Format Partition” option from the left menu pane.

Third-party drive Formatting Tool

From the pop-up window, select the “FAT32” option, hit the OK button to confirm.

Tap on the “Apply” button placed at the bottom. The moment you hit the APPLY button, the conversion process will begin.


In just a few seconds, the file system will be converted to FAT32 format by following the above-mentioned steps.

Download Advanced Disk Recovery on Windows to Recover Lost Data

Lost your data while converting exFAT into FAT32 file system? Don’t worry! Download the Advanced Disk Recovery tool on your Windows PC to instantly recover lost/formatted data in just a few clicks.

Advanced Disk Recovery

Advanced Disk Recovery is one of the best data recovery solutions for Windows that allows you to restore lost/deleted/formatted data from disk partitions and external storage media, including USB sticks, SD cards, portable hard drives, and more.

Also read: EaseUS Data Recovery VS Advanced Disk Recovery: Which Is The Best

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1. How do I convert my USB stick from exFAT to FAT32?

To convert your USB stick from exFAT to FAT32, you can use a disk management tool or a command prompt utility. These methods allow you to change the file system without formatting the entire USB stick. Remember to back up your data before proceeding with the conversion.

Q2. Which is better, FAT32 or exFAT?

The choice between FAT32 and exFAT depends on your specific needs. FAT32 is more widely supported across different devices and operating systems. However, it has limitations, such as a maximum file size of 4GB. exFAT, on the other hand, supports larger file sizes and is more suitable for modern devices. Hence, you should consider the compatibility requirements and file size limitations when deciding which one is better for your situation.

Q3. Is the exFAT format good?

Yes, the exFAT format is widely used and considered good for several purposes. It is designed to overcome the limitations of the FAT32 file system, such as file size restrictions. Additionally, it works well for handling larger files on external storage devices like USB drives and SD cards without any compatibility hiccups across different OSes. 

Q4. Can a 64GB USB be formatted to FAT32?

Yes, a 64GB USB can be formatted to FAT32. However, please note that the default formatting options in Windows may not allow formatting drives that are larger than 32GB as FAT32. In such cases, you can use third-party formatting tools like MiniTool Partition Wizard which are specifically designed to format larger drives as FAT32.

Q5. How can I convert exFAT to FAT32 without losing data?

One of the most secure ways to convert exFAT32 to FAT32 file system is by using quick formatting. You can use any of the above-listed methods for conversion. Even if you lose the files, you can use a data recovery solution to retrieve back your lost data.

Q6. How do I convert my 64GB USB to FAT32?

To convert the 64GB USB to FAT32, follow these steps:

  • Connect the USB flash drive to your PC.
  • Open File Explorer.
  • Right-click on the USB flash drive, select “Format”.
  • Select “FAT32” as the file system.
  • Press the OK button to begin the conversion process.

Conclusion | Hassle-Free Ways To Convert exFAT to FAT32 (2023)

In conclusion, we have discussed three simple methods for converting exFAT to FAT32 without the risk of data loss. Whether you choose to use the Windows Disk Management Tool, the Command Prompt, or a third-party drive formatting tool, each method offers a straightforward way to convert your file system.

Furthermore, we have emphasized the importance of data recovery in case of any unexpected data loss during the conversion process. By utilizing an exceptional data recovery solution like Advanced Disk Recovery, you can retrieve lost or formatted data effortlessly.


  • comment_avtar
    only file types I’m being given the option for are NTFS and exFAT, there is no FAT32 listed

    2 years ago
    • comment_avtar
      Dheeraj Manghnani
      Hi Colin, Try using the Windows Disk Management Tool and you wil get the FAT32 option.

      2 years ago

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