How To Convert a USB Drive to NTFS

A friend requested a large file (5GB) from me and gave me a USB thumb drive to put it on. When I tried to move the file to the drive, I received the following error message:

Error when trying to copy a file larger than 2GB to the FAT32 formatted thumb drive

The USB drive he gave me was formatted as FAT32. You can check the drive format by right-clicking on the drive in Windows Explorer and choosing “Properties”.

A FAT32 formatted drive

It turns out the largest file size which can be stored on a FAT32 file system is 2GB. In order to fit the file on the drive, I needed to change the file system type to NTFS. This can be done right from a command prompt run as administrator.

Type the following at the command prompt to format the drive as NTFS:

C:\> convert [Drive Letter]: /FS:NTFS

If your driver letter is G, then the command is

c:\> convert G: /FS:NTFS

You should see similar output in your command window:

Drive conversion to NTFS output in the console

The process does not take too long, but will vary depending on the size of the drive. Once complete your drive should show “NTFS” as the file system.

NTFS formatted drive

Now you will be able to copy files larger than 2GB to the flash drive.

For more information, check out the following blog post:

How to Format USB Flash Drive to NTFS in Windows 10/8/7