Xbox One External Hard Drive Format: NTFS, FAT32, exFAT? [Best Choice] 

Cici updated on May 16, 2024 | Home >Computer Instruction

When you want to perform the Xbox One SSD upgrade, you need to format it. Do you know how to choose the best Xbox One external hard drive format? Xbox One is a home video game console developed by Microsoft in May 2013. And there exist several differnt formats in Windows, such as exFAT, NTFS, FAT32. All of them can be applied to Xbox One. 

But, not every format is suitble for Xbox One. When choosing a file system format for an external drive, you need to consider its size and function. If you don't know how to choose the correct format, this article will provide you with a detailed guide.

What Is the Best Xbox One External Hard Drive Format?  

Microsoft develops Xbox One. There are three general Microsoft file system formats: exFAT, NTFS, and FAT32. Let's have a brief understanding of these formats and compare them. Then you can figure out which one is more suitable for Xbox One.


NTFS is a proprietary logging file system developed by Microsoft and is the standard file system for modern Windows operating systems.

2. FAT32

FAT refers to the File Allocation Table, and FAT32 is the standard Windows file system before NTFS. Almost all operating systems widely accept it.

3. exFAT

exFAT is similar to FAT32 but without the limitations of the FAT32 file system. It can be used for solutions where NTFS is not feasible.

File System Format Compatibility Pros  Cons 
NTFS Windows XP/7/8/10, Linux, Xbox One
  • Higher security
  • Supports large files
  • Ability to compress files and drives
  • Incompatible with old operating systems
  • macOS is read-only
FAT32 Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Xbox 360/One, PS3, PS4
  • Supports all versions of Windows, mac, Linux
  • Compatible with any device with a USB port
  • Cannot store files larger than 4GB
  • Unable for partitions larger than 8TB
  • Insufficient file system built-in permissions and security features
exFAT Windows, Mac OSX 10.6.5 and above, Xbox One, Android
  • Broader compatibility than NTFS
  • Supports files over 4GB 
  • Not as compatible as FAT32
  • Lack of logging and other features
  • Microsoft limits its use through licensing obligations

From the above table, each format can be used for Xbox One. And it is clear that although NTFS is the most powerful and strongest, it is not as compatible as FAT32 with external devices. If you choose the wrong format, your Xbox hard drive may not working. FAT32 is compatible with all USB interfaces. But FAT32 will not support files over 4GB. You can choose it depending on different situations: 

  • Choose exFAT for external hard drive of Xbox One
  • Choose FAT32 for Xbox 360
  • Choose NTFS for internal hard drive of Xbox One

So, the most suitable Xbox One external hard drive format is exFAT. And exFAT has more efficient power and memory management for Xbox One. And you need to ensure the USB port is 3.0 for Xbox One.

Besides, NTFS is usually ideal for internal drives, while exFAT is for external drives. You can learn more about NTFS and exFAT by clicking the button below.

We know that Xbox One uses the exFAT file format instead of NTFS. However, most external hard drives are pre-formatted to NTFS. At this point, you need to format the external hard drive before applying it to the Xbox One. Next, I will provide instructions on how to format the external hard drive for the Xbox One. If you are interested in this, keep reading.

Set the Xbox One External Hard Drive Format to exFAT

To better enhance the gaming performance of your Xbox One, you can format your external hard drive to fit your Xbox One: exFAT. EaseUS Partition Master Free is a professional tool for managing your hard disk. It can help you easily format NTFS to exFAT. Here are the detailed steps to convert Xbox One hard drive format.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

If your external hard drive is other format, you can also convert it with EaseUS Partition Master. For example, if you want to set the FAT32 format for Xbox 360, EaseUS Partition Master can also be used to convert NTFS to FAT32


In this article, three different file formats are explained for Xbox One: NTFS, FAT32, and exFAT. By comparing them, we can find that the best Xbox One external hard drive format is exFAT, the most suitable file system with more compatibility and better file size.

And this article also provides a way to format other formats to exFAT easily with EaseUS Partition Master. So you can download it to enjoy a better gaming experience!

FAQs About Xbox One External Hard Drive Format 

This article describes the three formats suitable for Xbox One external hard drives. In addition, here are some more frequently asked questions.

1. Is Xbox One NTFS or FAT32?

Both NTFS and FAT32 are suitable for Xbox One, but NTFS is more suitable for Xbox One's internal hard drive. And FAT32 is ideal for Xbox One's external hard drive.

2. Does Xbox use NTFS or exFAT?

As mentioned in this article, NTFS and exFAT can be used for Xbox. But the best format for external hard drives is exFAT because it is best suited for portable storage devices and has efficient memory management.

3. How can I format an external hard drive for Xbox?

There are many ways to format an external hard drive. This article recommends EaseUS Partition Master. Here are the steps to format an external hard drive on Xbox One.

Step 1. Link the external hard drive to the Xbox One USB port.

Step 2. Select "Format storage device."

Step 3. Enter a name for the drive and format the drive.

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Updated by Cici

Cici is the junior editor of the writing team of EaseUS. She accepted the systematic training on computers at EaseUS for over one year. Now, she wrote a lot of professional articles to help people resolve the issues of hard drive corruption, computer boot errors, and disk partition problems.

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