How to Format USB to FAT32 [32GB/64GB/128GB]

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how to format usb to fat32

Standard file systems for USB flash drives and SD memory cards are FAT32. It works well with several hardware and operating systems, making it portable.

Part 1. Preparing to format a USB drive to FAT32

Backup important files on a USB drive before formatting. Copy them to your PC or utilize a trustworthy backup program. Remember FAT32’s limits. NTFS or exFAT must be used for files over 4GB. FAT32 formats 2GB–32GB drives only per manufacturer specifications. Windows Explorer does not support “FAT32” for USB drives beyond 32GB. 

Part 2. Format USB to FAT32 in Windows 10/11 [32GB or less]

There are several ways you can use to format a USB drive to FAT32 in Windows 10/11 which is well compatible with this file system.

Method 1: USB format to FAT32 through file survey

This method is suitable for 32GB or less USB drives. Please note that formatting will delete all data on the USB drive. So please check the backup of important files before proceeding.

  • Connect USB drive to your Windows computer
  • Open the file search by clicking on the Start button and selecting “This PC”.
  • Right-click on the USB drive you want to format and select the “Formatting” option from the menu.
  • Select “FAT32” from the file system removal menu if it is not selected. Click “Start”
  • There will be a warning that all data on the USB drive will be deleted. Click on “OK” to proceed with the formatting process.
  • When formatting is complete, click “OK” to finish.

Method 2: USB format to FAT32 through disk management.

If your USB drive does not appear in the file scanner due to problems such as missing fonts or corrupted file system, you can use Disk Manager to format it.

  • Use the Win+X abbreviation to open the admin short menu.
  • Select “Disk Management”. You can also search and activate it from the Start menu by searching for its name.
  • To manage a disk, you will see a list of storage devices and partitions. If your USB drive is working properly, it should be specified there. You can format each partition separately, or delete all partitions to use all disks as a single block.
  • If your USB drive looks empty, right click on it and select “New Easy Sound”.
  • Follow the instructions of the “New Simple Volume Wizard” to create a partition and format it.
  • If you want to split your USB drive into multiple partitions, you can specify smaller volume sizes. This will create space on your disk for more partitions.
  • During the formatting process, you can assign a drive character or partition map to an empty NTFS folder without a drive clarifier.
  • Select the file system, the size of the distribution unit, the volume number, and whether a quick format should be used, as does the formatting process in the file survey.
  • Check your options in the wizard before clicking “Finished” to start formatting the USB drive.

Part 3. Format USB to FAT32 [64GB/128GB or greater]

To format a 64GB or 128GB USB drive to FAT32, you can use CMD (Diskpart and PowerShell) or third-party tools such as Aomei Partition Assistant.

Method 1: Use PowerShell to format USB to FAT32 in Windows 10/11

With Windows PowerShell, you can format USB drives larger than 32GB to FAT32. However, please note that formatting larger drives may take longer and be less efficient. Here’s how you can formatting 64GB USB drive into FAT32:

  • Click “Win + X” to open the Start menu and select “Windows PowerShell (Admin)” to open as an administrator.
  • In the PowerShell window, type the command “format /FS: FAT32 #: ” (replace “#” with your drive character) and press Enter to start.
  • The formatting process will begin and may take several hours to complete. For faster and more efficient formatting, please consider using a third-party program.

Method 2: Use instructions to format USB to FAT32

Another option to format a USB drive to FAT32 is to use a built-in command in Windows.

  • Connect the USB memory stick to your computer and wait for recognition.
  • Open the command by typing “cmd” in Start > Accessories > Command Prompt or Start > Run. Enter
  • Replace “F” with your drive letter in the Command Prompt: F: /fs:FAT32
  • Click “Y” or “N” to continue or stop formatting. 

Part 4. The last way to format USB to FAT32 [32GB, 64GB, 128GB]:

If you have a USB flash drive larger than 32GB and want to format it to FAT32 quickly, a third-party tool such as AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard may be your solution. It makes the process easier and easier to use in formatting a 64GB larger USB Flash drive and a USB RAW driver to be FAT32.

In addition, the AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard allows you to migrate your operating system from MBR drive to MBR disk and convert from NTFS to FAT32 without losing data. It works with various versions of Windows including Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7, XP and Vista. Here’s how you can format 128GB USB drives into FAT32.

  • Install and open AOMEI FAT32 Formatting Tool
  • Right-click the USB flash drive partition in the main panel and select “Format Partition”.
  • Select FAT32 from the file system list and click “OK” to format the USB drive to FAT32.
  • Click “Application” and “Execute” to complete the formatting process.

Part 5: How to recover lost data after formatting USB drive to FAT32?

Formatting a USB drive is simple, but you may worry about losing essential files. Various apps can rescue files from damaged or defective USB sticks. WinfrGUI can recover data from USB drives, forms, big documents, and films. 

WinfrGUI – Data Recovery from USB Flash Drive:

Recover data from empty USB devices due to infection, damage, or unintentional erasure.

USB drivers, SD cards, SSDs, HDDs, Floppy Disks, and Pen Drives can be recovered.

  • Check the file before recovering.
  • Stop and resume scanning. 

Step 1: Select external device/drive

Select the USB drive as the target location for searching and scanning data.

Step 2: Scan the removable media

Start the complete scanning process by clicking on “Start”. This may take a long time depending on the size of the USB drive. You can search and filter the desired files during the scan process.

Step 3: File Preview and Recovery

After the scanning process is complete, you can view the address files, including photos, videos, documents, and audio. Select the files you want to recover and click on the “Recover” button.


In this article, we have covered several ways of formatting USB drives to FAT32 for USB drive sizes smaller than 32GB. You can use disk management or Diskpart in Windows. However, formatting a large USB drive such as USB 128GB into FAT32, can be even more challenging. In such cases, consider using a third-party FAT 32 formatting tool such as AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. Keep in mind that you need to do an important backup before formatting. Also, if you’re mistakenly formatting your USB drive and want to recover lost files, programs such as WinfrGUI can help you restore them.

>>Also Read: 4 Methods to Retrieve Data From USB Stick