How to Format USB Drive to FAT32 – Best USB Format Tools

How to Format USB Drive to FAT32 – Best USB Format Tools
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USB drives are most commonly used today in all aspects of the daily life. For USB drives, FAT32 is the 1st-choice file system due to its outstanding compatibility. In this article, I will show you four Windows built-in USB format tools to format USB drive quickly.

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Warning: Formatting will lead to data loss on the selected drive, make sure you have the latest backup before you proceed.

Option 1: Format with PowerShell

See how to format USB to FAT32 by using Windows PowerShell:

Step 1. Click the Windows Search bar and type “powershell”. From the best match, run Windows PowerShell as Administrator.

open Windows Powershell

Step 2. Next, type “get-disk | get-partition” to let PowerShell show all your disk partition information. At this time, please pay attention to find the drive letter of the USB drive you want to format to FAT32.

Step 3. In this step, you need to type “format-volume -driveletter F -filesystem FAT32 -newfilesystemlabel TECHSCSI”. Please take care that you need to change the drive letter to your owns and the file system label to your preference.

Step 4. Finally, type “exit” to leave PowerShell.

 how to format USB in Powershell

Tip: Using Windows built-in USB format tools, you are able to format partitions smaller than 32 GB to FAT32. To overcome, use top-rated free partition manager instead.

Option 2: Format via CMD

If you are more familiar with Command Prompt, here you can follow this easy guide to format USB drive:

Step 1. From Windows Search menu, type “cmd” and run Command Prompt with administrator privilege.  

run CMD

Step 2. Now do the followings:

  1. Type “diskpart” and hit Enter;
  2. Type “list volume” and hit Enter; Meanwhile, identify the volume number of your USB drive.
  3. Type “select volume volumenumber” and press the Enter key.
  4. Type “format fs=fat32 quick” where quick is optional and then press Enter.
  5. Type “exit” and press Enter to leave diskpart. Repeat to leave command prompt.
format USB drove to FAT32 in CMD

Option 3: Format through File Explore

For most average users, they are likely to format USB to FAT32 through File Explorer. Here is what they did in order to format:

Step 1. Right click This PC (named My Computer in Windows 7 and the earlier versions) to show Devices and Drives connected to your computer.

Step 2. Find the USB drive you want to format to FAT32. Right-click on it and choose “Format…” from the context menu.

Step 3. In the new emerging window, make sure you are select FAT32 as the target file system. You can also customize the allocation unit size as well as the volume label before your continue.

Step 4. Click “Start” to proceed.

how to format USB to FAT32 in File Explorer
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Option 4: Format in Disk Management

Finally, it is also very easy if you try to format in Disk Management – a build-in disk management tool that can resolve a lot of hard disk issues without reboot.

Step  1. Press Win + X to call out the power user menu.

open Disk Management

Step 2. From the disk map, right-click on the USB drive to be formatted and choose “Format…

choose Format option

Step 3. You may see or not see the warning message as the image shows under, depending on whether the USB drive is and Active Partition or not. Whatever, to format, click “Yes” to confirm.

click YES to confirm you want to format

Step 4. Now, set your volume label, the file system (as FAT32), the allocation unit size if you want a larger cluster size (otherwise, just keep the default settings) and hit “OK”. By doing this, Windows will warn you all data on the drive will be erased. To format USB drive to FAT32, click “OK” and wait for Disk Management to finish.

set formatting parameters and confirm the operation

Note: When your USB drive has FAT32 file system, you are likely to see “file too large for USB” error when copying or moving large files to the USB, as the maximum file size FAT32 support is 4GB. To overcome, NTFS and exFAT are two good choices on Windows operating system.  

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