How to Format NTFS to FAT32 without Losing Data

Home > HowTos > Troubleshooting Tips Updated by William on May 11, 2024 | Approved by Jennifer Allen

FAT32 is one of the oldest file systems while NTFS is a newer version. Although it is an older file system, it works just fine on many operating systems. It is compatible with DOS v7, Windows 98, 2000, and others. Additionally, the file system is compatible with popular game consoles, such as 3DS, PS3, and PS4, among others. There are different reasons why users may want to convert from NTFS to FAT32. One of these is the issue of compatibility. Many devices only support the FAT32 file system, which means that if you have a drive that has an NTFS partition, you will need to format it to FAT32 to use it.

Part 1. Basic Comparison between NTFS and FAT32
Part 2. How to Convert or Format NTFS to FAT32 in 3 ways

Part 1. Basic Comparison between NTFS and FAT32

Both NTFS and FAT32 are the two different file systems available for operating systems to write/read data on a drive. The newer version is NTFS, which has many benefits to offer. Let’s look at some of the differences between these two file systems.

We have looked at the major reason why computer users may want to convert NTFS to FAT32 USB. We have also explored the differences between these two files. Before going ahead to look at how to format NTFS to FAT32 without losing data, let’s talk about file backup or recover lost files after converting NTFS to FAT32.

How to Backup Data before Formatting NTFS to FAT32

Before using any of the methods available to format 500GB NTFS to FAT32, it is crucial that you backup your data to avoid data loss. If you don’t back up files, you will lose data in the process. To back up data, we recommend iBeesoft DBackup as the best software to backup files, folders, and the complete NTFS external hard drive.

This file backup software uses advanced technology to maximize the backup protection for your files, folders, partitions, disks, NTFS drive, and the whole operating system. With this, you don’t have to worry about the disaster because you can quickly and easily restore data without issues. iBeesoft Dbackup is reliable, fast, and offers complete backup for everything you need on your PC and it also has automatic backup options that make backing up of data very efficient and easier.

Guide to Backup Data with iBeesoft Dbackup

iBeesoft Dbackup supports the backup of any files from portable or hard drives connected to Your Windows PC. The first step is to download and install the software. When this is done, follow the steps below to backup data:

  1. Launch the iBeeosft Dbackup software and click ‘File Backup’ in the main window. This will open the directory of all hard drives on your computer.
  2. Select the files you want to back up in the hard drive's directory and click the ‘Start’ button to backup files in Windows 10, Windows 7 and more. It may take some seconds to backup and compress all the files in an image file.
  3. Preview the windows when the backup is complete. You can choose the next action based on your need. You can use the ‘Recovery’ button to recover lost data or click the ‘Backup settings if you want to explore the backup options available. You can also click the ‘Edit Backup’ to increase, decrease, or delete the backup.

Part 2. How to Convert or Format NTFS to FAT32 in 3 ways

Method #1. How to Format NTFS to FAT32 with Disk Management

This method is ideal for experienced Windows users. To use this method, the drive you want to format should not be more than 32GB in size. You would not see this option in the drop-down box if you have a larger drive. You should back up your data before you start. Follow the steps if you meet the requirements stated above:

  1. Right-click on ‘My Computer’ and click on ‘Manage’ and then ‘Disk Management’.
  2. Select and right-click the drive and then select ‘Format’. Next, click ‘Yes’.
  3. Rename the drive and select ‘FAT32’ as the file system and then click ‘OK’.
  4. When the formatting finishes, you will find FAT32 showing in Disk Management.

Method #2. How to Format NTFS to FAT32 with DiskPart

This method is a bit difficult and is only recommended for advanced users and administrators. It also works for drives that are no larger than 32GB. DiskPart does more than formatting devices. It also performs advanced management functions on the Windows Service machines. Here is how to format NTFS to FAT32 external hard drive with the DiskPart command line.

  1. Type ‘cmd’ in Windows Search and right-click on the Command Prompt and choose ‘Run as Administrator’.
  2. Type ‘diskpart’ in the Command Prompt window and tap ‘Enter’
  3. Type the command lines below and tap ‘Enter’ after each of them:
  4. Type ‘Exit’ to close DiskPart when the process finishes. You should check after this to see that your device has been formatted to FAT32.

Method #3. How to Convert NTFS to FAT32 using Windows Explorer

This is the easiest and efficient way to convert NTFS to FAT32. This uses the built-in FAT32 tool in the Windows system.

  1. Connect the external storage device or hard drive to the Windows system.
  2. Double-click on ‘My Computer’ to open File Explorer.
  3. Find and right-click on the drive and select ‘Format’.
  4. Choose FAT32 as the target file system and select ‘Quick Format’. Next, click ‘Start’ to begin the formatting. You will see the device is in FAT32 after the formatting.

This post shares three main methods to help you format NFS to FAT32 without losing data. You should always back up data before you use any of these three methods. If the drive convert from NTFS to FAT32, the data is lost. Don't worry, you can use iBeesoft Data Recovery software to help you get them back.