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Convert FAT32 to NTFS Without Losing Data

Updated by Tracy King on Apr 16, 2021
Written by Jean

This page compares FAT32, FAT16, FAT12, and NTFS to help you choose a suitable file system for your storage device. In the following, you will uncover 5 practical ways that will convert FAT to NTFS without losing any data. Pick up one and follow to switch the file system on your storage device to NTFS by keeping your data intact now:

Provided methods for FAT to NTFS conversion are applicable on SD card, USB flash drive, external or internal hard drive in Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista.If you want to optimize the usage of your computer hard drive, follow to set your disk with a more reliable file system - NTFS without losing any data.

Why Do You Need to Convert FAT to NTFS

Many ordinary people don't know how to choose the right file system for their storage devices. If you are having the same issue of unknowing setting NTFS or FAT32 for your external hard drive, USB, or SD card, continue reading and you will learn.

NTFS vs. FAT, Which Is Better

Here is a comparison table of NTFS, FAT32, FAT16, and FAT12 that can help you decide which format suits your device the best.

Comparison of NTFS, FAT32, FAT16, FAT12.

  • NTFS: Support for transferring big files with no limit. The most ideal file system for hard drive and external hard drives.
  • FAT32: Support for transferring a single file within 4GB. Used as the file system for SD card, USB flash drive. 

From the comparison table, it's clear that NTFS contains more advanced features than FAT, for example in performance, security, reliability. NTFS supports big file storage on high capacity storage devices like an internal or external hard drive. While for SD card, USB flash drive, FAT32 will be the best.

If you have decided to set NTFS as the file system for your device, follow and try any method in the below to switch your device file system to NTFS without losing any data.

How to Convert FAT32, FAT16, FAT12 to NTFS

Changing a volume's file system is not an easy task for those who are not familiar with computer management and command line. Thus, an easy and safe solution is needed. In this part, you will find two reliable methods for FAT to NTFS conversion without losing any data. Pick up either method to get the desired file system for your drive now.

Method 1. Convert FAT to NTFS without Data Loss [Automated]

Applicable for all levels of users - beginners, amateur, and professional computer users, free & 3-step operation.

Comprehensive partition manager software - EaseUS Partition Master can fully meet this requirement. It enables you to convert FAT to NTFS without any data loss. All Windows users can execute this task with the following steps:

If you need to convert a storage device such as external hard drive or USB drive to NTFS, insert it into your PC and then follow the steps below to continue.

Step 1. Install and launch EaseUS Partition Master on your computer.

Step 2. Select a FAT32 partition, right-click on it and select "Convert to NTFS". If you need to convert a storage device such as SD card or USB flash drive to NTFS, insert it into your PC first and repeat the previous operation.

convert FAT32 to NTFS

Step 3. Click "OK" on the pop-up dialog box to continue.

convert FAT32 to NTFS

Step 4. Now the converting process will start automatically. Wait until the operation process is finished.

convert FAT32 to NTFS

Apart from converting FAT to NTFS, EaseUS Partition Master also allows users to resize and move partitioncopy partition, copy disk, explore partition, etc.

Method 2. Convert FAT to NTFS by Using CMD [Manual]

Applicable for experienced computer users who know Command Prompt lines very well. 

Users who are familiar with computer management can use CMD convert command to switch the FAT partition or storage device to NTFS.

Convert a FAT or FAT32 drive to NTFS:

1. Find the letter of drive you want to convert. 

2. Press the Windows logo key + R to open the Run dialog box.

3.Enter cmd to open the command prompt window.

4.Type help convert and then press "Enter".

Information about converting FAT volumes to NTFS is made available as shown below.

Convert FAT to NTFS

5.At the command line prompt, type convert drive: /fs:ntfs.

Convert FAT to NTFS in CMD

6.Type exit when the converting process completes.

The file system of the target device is now NTFS. You can view and use the saved data on the drive again.

Bonus Tips for FAT32 to NTFS Conversion (By Formatting)

Besides using CMD or third-party conversion software, there is another way that can help users to change their device file system. It is to format storage devices from FAT to NTFS. 

As we know the formatting operation will cause file loss on devices. Therefore, if you plan to format the device so as to switch the file system, do remember to back up valuable data to another secure location in advance.

There are three ways that you can apply to format device to NTFS. The former the tip listed, the easier it would be for you.

# 1. Format to NTFS in File Explorer

Step 1. Connect your external storage device to PC and open Windows File Explorer.

Step 2. Locate and right-click the target device, select "Format".

Step 3. Tick "Quick Format", set the file system as "NTFS" and click "Start" to begin the formatting.

Format to convert FAT to NTFS.

When the formatting finishes, close the formatting window. It's now NTFS and you can copy the backed up files back to the formatted device.

# 2. Format FAT32 to NTFS in Disk Management

Connect your external hard drive or USB drive to the PC before you start the formatting with the following steps:

Step 1. Right-click This PC or My Computer, select "Manage".

Step 2. Enter Device Manager and click "Disk Management"

Step 3. Open Disk Management and right-click the target device, select "Format".

Step 4. Set "NTFS" for the selected device, tick "Quick Format" and click "OK" to confirm. 

Format to NTFS in Disk Management.

# 3. Quick Format FAT32 Device to NTFS in CMD

Step 1. Right-click on the Windows icon, select "Search" and type cmd.

Step 2. Right-click to run Command Prompt as administrator, type diskpart, and hit Enter.

Step 3. Type below command lines and hit Enter each time:

  • list disk
  • select disk 2 (Replace 2 with your USB disk number)
  • list volume
  • select volume 10 (Replace 10 with the volume number of the USB drive that you want to format)
  • format fs=fat32 quick

Step 4. Type exit and hit Enter to close DiskPart when it reports to successfully format the volume.

Format to NTFS in CMD

Conclusion

This page covers the answers of which is better between NTFS and FAT32 and offers two reliable methods to assist users in converting FAT32, FAT16/12 to NTFS without formatting in using EaseUS partition manager software or CMD conversion command.

Apart from the two FAT32 to NTFS conversion methods, this tutorial article also shows the other three manual formatting ways to help you format the device from FAT32 to NTFS. If you choose the formatting way, remember to back up data from the target device to another location first.

Note that if you format the device without backup, always remember to apply a reliable file recovery software like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for help. 

People Also Ask

Besides converting FAT to NTFS, some people have more questions on file system conversion between FAT32 and NTFS. And here below, we collected 4 top concerned questions and left answers below each question. Let these answers release your doubts and help you out.

1. Can I convert NTFS back to FAT32 after FAT32 to NTFS conversion?

Once you converted FAT to NTFS, you cannot simply convert it back to FAT or FAT32. You will need to reformat the drive or partition which will remove all saved data, including programs and personal files, on the partition.

You can also refer to this page and find solutions for converting NTFS to FAT32. Remember that it is always a good idea to back up your data before the conversion.

2. Will converting from FAT32 to NTFS erase data?

If you choose using CMD convert command line convert G: /fs:ntfs (G is the drive letter of target device) or using Convert to NTFS feature in EaseUS Partition Master, your data will be securely saved on the device. No data will be erased.

However, if you prefer to use the formatting method, your saved data on the target device will be formatted. To avoid this issue, you should always remember to back up your valuable files in advance.

3. How can I change FAT32 to NTFS without losing data?

The best way to protect your data from loss while converting FAT32 to NTFS is to create a backup in advance. 

You can also use the Convert to NTFS feature in EaseUS Partition or CMD conversion command as shown on this page for help. No data loss will happen in using either method.

4. How do I change my USB from FAT32 to NTFS without formatting?

The ways to change USB from FAT32 to NTFS are similar to the provided ones on this page. If you prefer a conversion method rather than formatting, both Convert to NTFS feature in EaseUS Partition Master and CMD conversion command as recommended on this page can all help.

Using EaseUS Partition Master: Connect USB to PC > Run EaseUS Partition Master and right-click USB > Select "Convert to NTFS" > Execute the operation.

Using CMD: Open Diskpart > Type list disk and hit Enter > Type select disk 2 (Replace 2 with USB disk number) and hit Enter > Type help convert and hit Enter > Type convert G: /fs:ntfs (Replace G with USB drive letter) and hit Enter.

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Updated by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

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Written by Jean

Author Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!

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