Which File System Is Better to Be Used on an External HDD? exFAT or NTFS?

I want to format a 500 GB external HDD that is older. Which file system is preferable if the HDD will only be used with Windows 10? exFAT or NTFS? And could you explain why to me?

Best Answered by

Roxanne· Answered on Sep 25, 2023

Are you confused about choosing a suitable format for your external hard drive? The most frequently used file systems are exFAT and NTFS, so how do you choose? This post will teach you to select a perfect format for your needs.

Which Is Better: exFAT or NTFS?

Before deciding, let's review the comparative information about the two file systems, including system compatibility, data security, and size limitation:

System Compatibility: NTFS can only be used for the Windows system, while exFAT applies to Mac, Windows, Android, and smart TVs.

Data Security: The only disadvantage of exFAT is the absence of logging, which raises the risk of data loss. The NTFS owns a logging feature that can prevent the data from corruption or accidental loss. ExFAT requires manual encryption, while NTFS can do so automatically.

Size Limitation: NTFS has a 16TB storage limitation stipulated by Windows. exFAT has no storage limitation.

To sum up, the NTFS has high compatibility with the Windows system and is safer regarding data safety. exFAT is available in multiple devices without storage size limitation. Still, there is a lack of logs, and more tend to lose data. To help you smoothly format your external disk to the file system you want, I will show you a straightforward way:

How to Format External HDD - EaseUS Partition Master

EaseUS Partition Master is a famed disk manager that can assist users in formatting their hard drives to NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4. Follow the detailed instructions for formatting the external hard disk to NTFS.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

Step 1. Right-click the external drive partition and utilize the "Format" option.

Step 2. Set the Partition label, File system, and Cluster size for the partition in the new window, and then click "OK."

Step 3. Hit "OK" in the warning dialog. Tap on the "Execute 1 Task(s)" and "Apply" buttons to start formatting.

You will learn what you should do if you want to format your disk to the exFAT file system:

Read More: NTFS or exFAT: Which Format is Better for External Hard Drive

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