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How to Format SD Card to FAT32 on Windows 11/10

Updated by Tracy King on Aug 27, 2021
Written by Brithny
mins read

Q: In windows 11/10, when you want to format a partition specifically as FAT32 (for example an SD card that is going to be used in your phone). When you right-click the disk and choose format, only NTFS and exFAT are shown as possible format options. What's the problem? Is there another way, preferably without booting into a different mode to format SD card as FAT32?

format sd card fat32 windows 10

Why You Cannot Format SD Card to FAT32 in Windows

You may fail to format SD to FAT32 in Windows 11/10 Explorer or Disk Management because there is no FAT32 option at all, which is not a usual thing. There are many reasons behind. But first of all, you should check by yourself whether your SD card storage has exceeded 32GB or not. Also, make sure that your SD card is not currently write-protected. If your SD card is with larger capacity such as 64GB, 128GB, or even 256GB, you'll certainly fail to format the SD card to FAT32 in Windows 11/10 due to the mechanism on the file system. 

File Allocation Table 32 (FAT32) is the oldest among the three file systems available to Windows: FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS. The biggest advantage of FAT32 is that it's market-standard with great compatibility on Windows and macOS. To verify this aspect, you should see many flash drives you purchased coming formatted with FAT32. Nevertheless, it has dead limitations.

  • A FAT32 drive can't save Individual files over 4GB.
  • A FAT32 drive's maximum volume size limit is 8TB.
  • Native Windows tools can't create/format SD card or USB flash drive or any disk partition over 32GB to FAT32.

For whatever reason, the option to format a removable disk larger than 32GB with the FAT32 file system is not present in the regular Windows format tool. But in many situations, you have to format an SD to FAT32 so that it can be normally recognized and put into use. Despite the inbuilt Windows programs are unable to help, here we have a brilliant way to get around that.

How to Format SD Card to FAT32 in Windows 11/10 (2GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB...)

Due to the insufficient FAT32 support of the default Windows programs, people cannot make full use of the SD card unless they can find the most reliable way to solve the FAT32 limitation in Windows. Luckily, EaseUS Partition Master can perfectly make up for what Windows Explorer and Disk Management don't support. Everyone who has a similar demand could rely on the all-in-one partition manager without hesitation.

Has been serving in the market for over a decade, EaseUS partition magic always provides customers with the best disk & partitioning experience in managing all kinds of storage devices in every way. The program allows you to format all-size SD memory cards, SDHC memory cards, and SDXC memory cards to FAT32 in Windows 11/10. In addition, it's also good at resizing a partition, converting FAT32 to NTFS without formatting, migrating OS to HDD/SSD, converting between GPT and MBR and so many practical features waiting for you to explore!

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Here's the full guide for you to format all-size SD card to FAT32 in Windows 11/10:

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the partition on your external hard drive/USB/SD card which you want to format and choose the "Format" option.

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 1

Step 2. Assign a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4/exFAT), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 2

Step 3. In the Warning window, click "OK" to continue.

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 3

Step 4. Click the "Execute Operation" button in the top-left corner to review the changes, then click "Apply" to start formatting your external hard drive/USB/SD card.

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 4

Finish all the above steps, you can successfully format SD card to FAT32 in Windows 11/10 with ease. This solution can be also used to format USB flash drive in Windows 11/10. Just try it whenever you need. Good luck!

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Format SD Card to FAT32 - FAQs

1. What's the best FAT32 format tool?

EaseUS Partition Master is an all-in-one internal drive and external USB, SD, memory stick FAT32 formatting/reformatting solution in Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista. The problem with FAT32 that you cannot solve in Windows Disk Management can be easily overcome by EaseUS free partition manager. It is the best free FAT32 formatter tool you should trust.

2. How do I format a 128gb SD card to FAT32 for free?

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the 128gb SD card you intend to format and choose Format.

Step 2. In the new window, enter the Partition label, choose the FAT32 file system, and set the cluster size according to your needs, then click OK...Read more>>

3. Should I format SD card to FAT32 or NTFS?

If you're looking to decide which file system to use when formatting an SD card or USB drive, most of all, you should consider two of the most important aspects: portability and file size limits when made your own decision. FAT32 is almost supported by all operating systems, only to notice that it cannot transfer or store a single file larger than 4GB & max partition size should be under 2TB in size. However, NTFS seems to have no limit in dealing with extremely large files and partition sizes...Read more>>

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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 Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech life easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. On her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

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Product Reviews

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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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  • Partition Master Free can Resize, Move, Merge, Migrate, and Copy disks or partitions; convert to local, change label, defragment, check and explore partition; and much more. A premium upgrade adds free tech support and the ability to resize dynamic volumes.

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  • It won't hot image your drives or align them, but since it's coupled with a partition manager, it allows you do perform many tasks at once, instead of just cloning drives. You can move partitions around, resize them, defragment, and more, along with the other tools you'd expect from a cloning tool.

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