Convert NTFS partition to FAT32 without data loss
This page introduces why converting NTFS to FAT32 and how to convert NTFS partition to FAT32 without losing data using free partition software.
Both NTFS and FAT32 are common file system in Windows computers. Because of some advantages, NTFS is much more popular no matter format the disk partition DIY or from OEM manufacturers. However, sometimes you have to convert NTFS partition to FAT32. The typical example is that some NTFS USB disc and removable hard drive are not recognized.
Many people have Mac laptop and Windows desktop, if you want to transfer files via removable hard disk, partitions of this disk must be formatted as FAT32. NTFS partition cannot be recognized by Mac except you install some special utility.
The FAT (File Allocation Table) file system was the primary file system in Microsoft’s older operating systems and, for the most part, NTFS has replaced it. However, all versions of Windows still support FAT and it’s common to find drives formatted using it instead of NTFS.
FAT works like a chain and the Operating System maintains a hard disk by providing a map of the clusters (the basic units of logical storage on a hard disk). When you write a new file to a hard disk, the file is stored in one or more clusters that are not necessarily next to each other. When you read a file, the Operating System get the file list and locate file location via the table, and then get the entire data zone and other info.
The files that larger than 4GB can’t be saved to FAT32 partition.
NTFS (NT file system, sometimes New Technology File System) is a newer file system that came after FAT, thus it has some advantages including but not full listed:
- Use of a b-tree directory scheme to keep track of file clusters.
- Information about a file’s clusters and other data is stored with each cluster, not just a governing table (as FAT is).
- Support for very large files (up to 16 billion bytes in size).
- An access control list (ACL) that lets a server administrator control who can access specific files.
- Integrated file compression.
- Support for names based on Unicode.
- Support for long file names.
- Data security on both removable and fixed disks
How to convert NTFS to FAT32
It seems a bit complicated, but it is very easy to convert partition from NTFS to FAT32 with free partition software such as NIUBI Partition Editor Free.
If you don’t like to use 3rd party software, there is an option by Windows native Disk Management. There is no conversion functionality but you can achieve by reformatting. However, this destructive is not suggested.
Steps to convert NTFS to FAT32 in Disk Management:
1. Press and on your keyboard to open Run, then type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter. (Valid for all Windows client and server editions)
2. Right click the NTFS partition that you want to convert and select Delete Volume.
3. Right click the Unallocated space and select New Simple Volume Wizard, select FAT32 in the drop-down box when it ask you to format.
Delete Volume will destroy all data in this partition, so REMEMBER to back up or transfer files before doing this.
In new Windows 10 versions, there is NO FAT32 option to select.
Convert NTFS to FAT32 with freeware
Actually, it is much easier to convert a hard drive from NTFS to FAT32 with NIUBI Partition Editor Free, you just need 3 clicks and all files keep intact after converting.
Convert NTFS partition to FAT32 with NIUBI PE:Download NIUBI Partition Editor Free Edition, right the NTFS partition and select “Convert to FAT32“.
Click OK to confirm.
Click Apply on top left to execute, done.
Within several seconds, this NTFS partition will be converted to FAT32.
Watch the video how to convert partition NTFS to FAT32:
Windows Disk Management can’t convert NTFS partition to FAT32 without losing data, you have to back up data and recreate partition as FAT32. In addition, you cannot create FAT32 partition in Windows 10 Disk Management. With NIUBI Partition Editor Free, you can convert partition from NTFS to FAT32 fast and easily. As professional but free disk partition management software, it helps you shrink and extend partition to optimize space usage, clone disk/partition to migrate OS and data, convert MBR disk to GPT, convert Primary partition to Logical, defrag, wipe, hide partition, scan bad sectors and much more.