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How to Fix USB won't format to FAT32, Check Three Easy Ways

Updated by Tracy King on Nov 28, 2022
Written by Roxanne

Looking for easy solutions to fix "USB won't format to fat32":

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Format USB Drive with EaseUS Partition Master

Free download software > Connect the USB drive...Full steps

Fix 2. Use PowerShell to Format Drive Open PowerShell as an administrator...Full steps
Fix 3. Remove Write Protection by Diskpart Open the Command Prompt as an administrator....Full steps

Are you having trouble formatting your USB drive to FAT32? Don't worry. You're not alone. Many people have been struggling with this issue for a while now. But don't fear, we have a solution! This blog post will show you how to easily format your USB drive to FAT32 using a few simple steps. So don't wait any longer. Follow these instructions and get started today!

Why Does "USB Won't Format to FAT32" Happen?

There are a few reasons why your USB drive might not be formatting to FAT32. 

  • The first reason is that your USB drive might be larger than 32 GB. As a result, it can't be formatted to FAT32. 
  • The second reason is that your USB drive might have been formatted using a different file system, such as NTFS. This means that the drive needs to be reformatted using the correct file system to work correctly. 
  • The third reason is that the file system on your USB drive might be corrupted. This can happen if the drives get damaged, or you try to format them using an incompatible file system. In this case, you'll need to use a data recovery tool to extract the data from the drive before you can format it correctly.

How to Fix "Can't format to FAT32" on Windows 10/11?

If you're having trouble formatting your USB drive to FAT32, you can try a few things. First, try using a program like EaseUS Partition Master. This software can often fix common format issues. If that doesn't work, try using Powershell to format your drive. Finally, if all else fails, you can try changing a setting in the Diskpart. These three solutions should fix the problem and allow you to format your USB drive to FAT32.

Solution 1. How to Format USB to FAT32 with EaseUS Partition Master

When you try to format a USB drive to FAT32 in Windows 10, you may receive the "The volume is too big for FAT32" error message. This error occurs because Windows formats drive using the NTFS file system by default. However, several devices can only read drives formatted with the FAT32 file system. Luckily, there is an easy fix. With EaseUS Partition Master, you can quickly and easily format your USB drive to FAT32. Download and install EaseUS Partition Master on your PC:

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Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

Here's how format USB to FAT32 with EaseUS USB FAT32 formatter:

Step 1. Select the USB drive to format.

Connect the USB drive or pen drive to your computer. Download and launch EaseUS partition software. Right-click the USB drive you intend to format and choose "Format".

Step 2. Set the drive letter and file system on USB.

Assign a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4/exFAT), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Step 3. Check "Yes" to confirm formatting USB.

Click "Yes" if you see the Warning window. If you have important data on it, back up the data in advance.

Step 4. Apply the changes.

Click the "Execute 1 Task(s)" button first, and then click "Apply" to format the USB drive.

More worthy features in EaseUS Partition Master: 

If you need to extend partition storage space, convert to another file system, or clone a hard drive on a disk or partition 

  • Manage Windows 10/11 disk space: Resize, Move, Shrink, Extend partition.
  • Disk Converter: Support converting MBR to GPT or vice versa, convert primary to logical or vice versa, etc.
  • Disk Cloner: Safely copy all data and OS to another drive - Support to clone HDD to SSD in Windows 11.

Solution 2. Format USB Drives (Larger Than 32GB) to FAT32 Using PowerShell

One of the most common file formats for removable storage devices like USB drives is FAT32. However, Windows 10 does not have a built-in way to format USB drives to FAT32. This can be a problem if you need to use FAT32 for compatibility reasons.

Fortunately, there is a way to format USB drives to FAT32 using PowerShell. 

Step 1. To do this, open PowerShell as an administrator.

Open the start menu and search PowerShell on the search bar. Right-click it and select "Run as administrator."

Step 2. Run the following command: Format- /FS:FAT32 + drive letter

e.g. format /FS:FAT32 D:

Be sure to replace D: with the actual drive letter of your USB drive. Once the command has been executed, your USB drive will be formatted to FAT32.

format usb drive with powershell

Solution 3. Remove Read-only Using Diskpart

If your USB drive shows read-only, you can turn to diskpart to remove write protection. Then try to format the device again.

To clear the read-only attributes of a USB drive using Diskpart, follow these steps: 

1. Open the Command Prompt as an administrator. 

2. Type in "diskpart" and press Enter. 

3. Type in "list disk" and press Enter. This will list all of the disks connected to the computer. 

4. Type in "select disk 1" and press Enter. Replace "1" with the number of the USB drive you want to modify. 

5. Type in "attributes disk clear readonly" and press Enter. This will clear the attributes and make the drive writable again. 

6. Type in "exit" and press Enter to exit Diskpart. Your USB drive should now be writable again. If you continue to experience issues, you may need to format the drive or try a different USB port on your computer.

Final Thoughts 

If you're having trouble formatting your USB to FAT32, you can try a few other things.

1. Use EaseUS Partition Master and PowerShell to format the USB drive to FAT32.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

2. Run Diskpart to remove write protection.

FAQs About USB Won't or Can't Format to FAT32

In this part, we listed some further questions about Can't format USB to FAT32, if you are interested in, follow and find answers here:

1. How do I force FAT32 to format?

  • Unlock USB drive by moving its physical switch to the off side.
  • Run chkdsk to check and fix file system error on target drive.
  • Open Disk Management, right-click on target drive you tend to format and select "Format".
  • Reset the drive label and set the file system format as FAT32, and tick "Perform a quick format".
  • And click "OK".

2. Why can't I format USB to FAT32?

There are many reasons that could prevent you from formatting your USB drive to FAT32 successfully, including:

  • USB drive gets locked or write-protected.
  • USB becomes RAW and Windows cannot format it successfully.
  • USB is having a Windows unsupported file system and computer cannot recognize it.
  • USB is having virus or malware.
  • USB capacity is too large than 32GB and Windows has 32GB maximum volume size limit in FAT32.

3. How do I format my USB to FAT32 instead of exFAT?

If the USB drive storage capacity is 32GB or smaller, you can directly connect it to PC and run File Explorer or Disk Management to format it to FAT32.

If the USB is 64GB or even larger, apply EaseUS Partition Master to format the USB to FAT32 instead of exFAT successfully.

How Can We Help You

About the Author

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.

Read full bio

Written by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created multiple posts on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, Mac, etc. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interest.

Read full bio

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  • I love that the changes you make with EaseUS Partition Master Free aren't immediately applied to the disks. It makes it way easier to play out what will happen after you've made all the changes. I also think the overall look and feel of EaseUS Partition Master Free makes whatever you're doing with your computer's partitions easy.

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