Fixes for 'File Is Too Large for Destination File System' on USB/External Hard Drive

Daisy updated on Aug 28, 2019 to Partition Master | How-to Articles

Reason for the 'file is too large for the destination file system' error

"Yesterday, when I tried to copy some large files including Windows 10 ISO files, the backup images of my operating system, movies, personal video files, and other data to my 32 GB external hard drive, I received the error message saying "The file is too large for the destination file system." I don't know why it happened as there was enough free space on the disk. Can anyone help?"

The file is too large for the destination file system

When facing the "The file is too large for the destination file system" issue in Windows 10/8/7 or any other previous version, you might not figure out that why you would not be able to copy the file to your external hard drive, USB drive or some other storage devices when there is sufficient free space.

The problem occurs because one of the files you want to transfer is larger than 4 GB and your external hard drive or USB flash drive is using the FAT32 file system, of which the maximum file size is 4GB. There is a built-in limitation in the FAT32 file system: Although the total size of the files you can store on a FAT32 drive could be up to 2TB, you cannot save an individual file that exceeds 4GB on it.

Workable solutions

After figuring out the reason for "The file is too large for the destination file system" issue, you can fix it in Windows 10/8/7 or any other previous Windows version with ease by converting the file system to NTFS. Here we will introduce you with two easy solutions. We will show you how to use these two solutions to fix "The file is too large for the destination file system" error with simple steps.

Solution 1: Formatting FAT32 to NTFS for free with Windows built-in feature

Formatting is the easiest way for you to convert FAT32 to NTFS. But it will erase all the existing data on the drive. So, it is recommended only when there are no files on your external hard drive or USB flash drive. If there are files existing on your storage device, you can back them up by manually copying or using free backup software in advance. Here's how to do it for free with Windows built-in format feature.

Step 1: Right-click on the USB drive or external hard drive.

Step 2: Click "Format".

Step 3: Change the type to NTFS.

Fix the file is too large for the destination file system by formatting

Done!! Now you have fixed the issue "The file is too large for the destination file system" and can successfully copy a file larger than 4GB to the external USB drive or hard drive.

Solution 2: Converting FAT32 to NTFS without data loss using third-party software

And if there are important data on your external hard drive or USB drive, you might need a better solution. Converting FAT32 to NTFS without data loss using the partition tool - EaseUS Partition Master, popular third-party partition software is an optimal choice. It allows you to fix "The file is too large for the destination file system" issue without formatting. The program can work in Windows 10/8/7 or any other previous versions. Here is the guide.

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 Windows 10 is supported

 

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

open EaseUS Partition Master

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: Go to the upper left corner, click the "Execute 1 Operation" button and you will see the operation details. Click "Apply" and "Finish" when the process completes.

convert FAT32 to NTFS

After finishing all the steps, you can convert your USB flash drive, SD card, or external hard drive from FAT32 to NTFS and copy files larger than 4GB successfully.

The Bottom Line

Once you understand "the file is too large for the destination file system" is caused by the FAT32 file system, the solution is specific: change the file system. If you use the Windows built-in features or utilities to convert the file system, you need to back up the files on the storage device first since the operations will erase the files on your device. Thus, if you want to convert FAT32 to another file system directly without data loss, using EaseUS Partition Master is more advisable for you.

 
 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Will the "Migrate OS" feature transfer the Windows system files only or the whole C drive?

To ensure that the migrated system will boot normally, the Migrate OS feature will transfer all the files in the system and the boot partitions. Generally, the boot partition is the C drive so the transfer will include all the files in C.

Does EaseUS Partition Master license apply to multiple computers?

The license of Partition Master Professional and Server editions can be used on 1 computer only, while that for for the Technician and Unlimited editions can be used on multiple machines.

What is the difference between EaseUS Partition Master Trial version and the Free version?

Free is for home users only, with most basic functions available such as partition resize and clone. While trial can help you understand how this product works and test what a full license can do on a business or server OS machine.

Will it cause any data loss after resizing the partition in EaseUS Partition Master?

Generally, it will not cause any data loss or boot issue by resizing a partition. However, in order to protect your data, we suggest that you backup the partition before resizing, in case of any unexpected situations such as power outages, computer hardware failures, etc. You can use EaseUS Todo Backup to backup the partition and its trial version is fully functioned for 30 days.

What should I prepare before resizing the partition?

On the partition that is going to be operated, there might be some files being occupied by other programs. To ensure a successful operation, we suggest that you close all the unnecessary software before resizing that partition. Otherwise, EaseUS Partition Master will detect the partition being locked by the other software and require a reboot to resize the partition under boot mode.

About EaseUS Partition Master

All-round disk & partition management software for personal and commercial use. Let it manage your storage drive: resize, format, delete, clone, convert, etc.