Convert FAT32 to exFAT | for Windows & macOS

Do you need to convert FAT32 to exFAT to enhance the disk performance? We'll introduce four different solutions to change file systems on Windows and macOS computers. After formatting, you can download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover data from formatted storage devices.

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21 May 2024

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9 Min

If you want to convert FAT32 to exFAT on a Windows or macOS computer, you should know what are the differences between FAT32 and exFAT, especially the advantages of exFAT. You can get information quickly from the following table:

  FAT32 exFAT
🗂️File size Maximum file size limit of 4 GB Over 4 GB and up to 16 exabytes (EB) in size
💻Compatibility Windows, macOS, Linux, and some gaming consoles Not as universally compatible as FAT32
📃File System Structure A file allocation table to keep track of files and their locations Improved design and better performance, especially when dealing with large files and storage devices
🔎File and Directory Timestamps Limited timestamp support Supports more accurate timestamps for files and directories
✅Licensing Allows free licensing for FAT32 Requires a paid license for usage in certain scenarios

However, you should know that FAT32 is widely used, but exFAT can help you deal with large files on larger storage devices. Can't wait to learn how to convert your storage device from FAT32 to exFAT? Keep reading to find out how to convert FAT32 to exFAT without losing data.

How to Convert FAT32 to exFAT Without Losing Data 🏅

If you don't want to lose data after converting FAT32 to exFAT, it is necessary to download a safe data recovery program for help. It is also wise to back up important files before converting.

Regarding data recovery software, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard should be the perfect choice to recover data from a formatted storage device. This data recovery program can help you recover data from multiple storage devices, and it is easy to install and operate the EaseUS recovery tool. The following download link will lead you to get a free trial version. If you think the software is helpful, it is better to unlock more by upgrading to the pro version.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

Is EaseUS safe? You can trust EaseUS, and here is the tutorial on recovering data from a formatted USB drive:

Step 1. Connect the USB drive to your computer. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Select the formatted SD card, USB flash drive, or Pen drive from which you what to restore lost files and then click "Search for Lost Data".

select the formatted memory

Step 2. After the scan completed, all scan results will be displayed on the screen. Use the "Filter" or "File Type" feature to find your target files. If you remember the file name, you can also search in the search box, which is the fastest way to find the target file.

search for lost files

Step 3. Choose the files you want to recover from your formatted external drive and click "Recover". A new window will appear, you need to choose a local storage or Cloud drive to store the files. Then, click "OK" to confirm.

recover data from formatted memory card

If you've had a great experience with our format data recovery software and found it helpful in retrieving files, we would be incredibly grateful if you could share your recommendation on social media.


Method 1. Convert FAT32 to exFAT with Windows File Explorer

Pros: Safe and quick Difficulty:

Some users will choose a professional converter to complete the conversion. Windows has its own built-in utility, and it is more reliable to use Windows File Explorer to convert the file system. We'll show you how to convert the file system from FAT32 to exFAT on Windows 11:

Step 1. Open Windows 11 File Explorer with the Windows + E shortcut or bring it up from the taskbar.

Step 2. Right-click the hard disk/USB drive you want to convert to exFAT.

convert file system from FAT32 to exFAT

Step 3. Change the File System into exFAT, and click "Start".

Format USB or external hard drive to exfat

If your Windows File Explorer is not responding, you can fix it by restarting it. You can check the detailed tutorials in the following article:

File Explorer not responding

8 Plans | Fix File Explorer Not Responding on Windows 11/10

Is the file explorer not responding on Windows 11/10? Do not panic; this article will help fix the issue with easy-to-follow methods! Read more >>

Method 2. Convert FAT32 to exFAT with Windows Command Prompt

Pros: Simp for those who are familiar with CMD Difficulty:⭐⭐⭐

You can change file format with Command Prompt, and this method is simple for people who are familiar with command lines. If you don't want to use CMD to convert the file system, skip to the next method.

Step 1. Bring up Command Prompt windows with the Windows search bar. If Windows 10 search bar is not working, try other methods.

run CMD

Step 2. Type in command lines in CMD, and you can copy the following command lines directly. Remember to change the drive letter and partition letter.

list disk
select disk X
list partition
select partition X
format fs = exFAT

After learning the two methods, you may get an exFAT disk now. Feel free to share these methods on social media and help more users!


Method 3. Format FAT32 to exFAT with Windows Disk Management

Pros: Can also check the partitions of the disk and change drive letter Difficulty:⭐⭐

You can also change the file system from FAT32 to exFAT in Windows Disk Management. This method is also very simple. Follow these steps to convert the file system to exFAT:

Step 1. Right-click the Windows icon and choose "Disk Management".

open Disk Management

Step 2. Right-click the disk you want to format into exFAT and click "Format".

format disk in Disk Management

Step 3. Change the file system from FAT32 to exFAT and click "OK" to start the format process. After the formatting, you can see the file system change to exFAT in Disk Management.

You can use these methods to change the file system from RAW to NTFS:

convert RAW to NTFS

How to Convert RAW to NTFS Without Formatting

How to fix a RAW drive without format? You can convert RAW to NTFS in three ways: convert RAW to NTFS via CMD without formatting. Read more >>

Method 4. How to Convert Disk to exFAT on Mac with Disk Utility

Pros: Safe enough, and it is an official method Difficulty:

After learning three methods for Windows, you may also want to know how to convert the disk to exFAT on Mac. Mac Disk Utility is a functional disk management feature on macOS. Follow these steps to convert the file system to exFAT with Disk Utility:

Step 1. Spotlight can open Disk Utility or boot your Mac into Disk Utility.

Step 2. Select the hard drive you want to format and choose the "Erase" tab.

convert FAT32 to exFAT Disk Utility

Step 3. Give a name for this disk and change the file system to exFAT. Then, you can click the "Erase" button to perform the formatting.

convert FAT32 to exFAT

If you lost files on macOS, you can return to Part 1 to download the EaseUS data recovery software macOS version.


When you need to format a USB drive or SD card to exFAT, you can use Windows File Explorer and Disk Management to format the disk safely and quickly. Using Command Prompt is also very convenient for advanced users. Disk Utility will be your best choice for a macOS computer. If you don't want to lose data on macOS or Windows, download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard or back up data before the conversion.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

Convert Storage Device from FAT32 to exFAT FAQs

This article offered four methods to help you convert a storage device's file system from FAT32 to exFAT. Here are some frequently asked questions about our topic:

1. Can I convert FAT32 to exFAT without formatting?

Actually, the formatting must be done when you need to convert the file system. If you don't want to lose essential data on the target disk, back up files to another device or use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard after formatting.

2. How to convert from FAT32 to exFAT on Windows 11?

You have four methods to convert from FAT32 to exFAT on Windows 11:

  1. 1. Format in Windows File Explorer
  2. 2. Use Windows Disk Management
  3. 3. Use Diskpart command in CMD
  4. 4. Use professional disk management software

3. Can I change the file system of a USB drive on macOS?

In addition to using professional software to change the file system of a USB drive, you can also use macOS built-in tool, Disk Utility. You just need to choose the target disk, click the Erase tab, change the file system, and click the Erase button.

4. Is exFAT run faster than FAT32?

Yes, exFAT is generally considered to be faster than FAT32. exFAT was specifically designed for USB flash drives and other external storage devices, offering better performance and support for larger file sizes than FAT32.

  • Updated by

    Finley is interested in reading and writing articles about technical knowledge. Her articles mainly focus on file repair and data recovery.…
  • Written by

    Dany is an editor of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. She focuses on writing articles about data recovery on Mac devices and PCs. She is devoted to improving her writing skills and enriching her professional knowledge. Dany also enjoys reading detective novels in her spare time. …
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