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[Fixed] There Is No exFAT Format Option in Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7

Updated by Jean on Jul 15, 2021

Q: Is There No Longer exFAT Option Available When Formatting in Windows 11?

"I cannot format the E drive to exFAT in both Windows 11 File Explorer and Windows 11 Disk Management, because there is no exFAT option at all. I've just upgraded Windows 11 from Windows 10. Is it because Windows 11 does not support exFAT format anymore?"

no exfat option when formatting

When you didn't see the exFAT format option, the problem is with the drive, not the Windows 11 operating system. In short, it's not Windows 11 that doesn't support exFAT format, but the restriction in the exFAT file system itself.

What's exFAT?

First, exFAT can be used where NTFS is not a feasible solution, but a greater file-size limit than the standard FAT32 file system (i.e. 4 GB) is required. You see, exFAT is a compromise solution for NTFS and FAT32.

Second, exFAT is with great compatibility across different platforms. Both Windows and macOS can read and write on an exFAT drive.

Third, exFAT has been adopted by the SD Association as the default file system for SDXC cards larger than 32 GB. 

We can infer from the above there aspects that exFAT is a file system that is widely used on external devices. That's why you cannot format an internal drive to exFAT using the regular ways in Windows 11 or Windows 10. If there is a flash drive or memory card at hand, you can try to connect it to your computer and format it. You won't be surprised to see that the exFAT option appearing in the options this time.

How to Format a Drive to exFAT in Windows 11 or Windows 10

Windows Command Prompt provide advanced users with an accessible solution to format any drive to exFAT. The next command can apply to the below cases:

Disk formatting is the configuring process that erases all dasta on a storage device. When you're ready to format a drive, make sure that you don't have important data to save, or you've made a copy of any data you concerned!

Guide - how to format a drive to exFAT in Windows 11 using cmd

Step 1. Search command in Windows 11, for example. Right-click on the Command Prompt and select "Run as administrator".

open command prompt windows 11

Step 2. On the Command Prompt window, enter the command format e: /fs:exfat and press Enter. (Replace e with your own drive's drive letter)

format drive to exfat using cmd

Step 3. Type "Y" to proceed with the format process.

Bonus Tip: How to Change exFAT Drive to FAT32 or NTFS

Each file system has its advantages and disadvantages, and the best decistion to format a drive to whether FAT32 or exFAT or NTFS depends on your purpose of using it. In case you want to format a exFAT external hard drive or USB flash drive to FAT32 or NTFS, we provide you with an additional easy-to-use method.

EaseUS Partition Master is third-party partition manager software that comes with an array of disk formatting options, including format any exFAT drive to FAT32, NTFS, EXT2/3/4, which has convered basically the most popular file systems for a storage drive.

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It's quick easy and fast to format an exFAT drive with EaseUS Partition Master in Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7. For example, the following guide is for exFAT to FAT32:

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the partition you intend to format and choose "Format".

Step 2. In the new window, enter the Partition label, choose the FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4 file system, and set the cluster size according to your needs, then click "OK".

Step 3. Then you will see a warning window, click "OK" in it to continue.

Step 4. Click the "Execute Operation" button in the top-left corner to review the changes, then click "Apply" to start formatting the partition to FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4.

Nevertheless, the most distinguished feature is the conversion from FAT32 to NTFS, which won't erase data or cause a single data loss. None of the Windows File Explorer, Disk Management and Command Prompt can achieve this zero data loss conversion on a storage media.

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Updated 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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