How to convert FAT32 USB drive to NTFS

The following steps show how to convert a USB drive that is formatted in the FAT32 format to NTFS.

Method 1: Reformat the drive

Please note: This method removes all existing data from the USB drive.

  1. Make sure the USB drive is connected to the computer
  2. Open the Start menu (Windows button) and type ‘File Explorer’ and click on it when it appears
  3. windows10-formatfatntfs1
  4. Using the navigation pane in the left of the window, open the drive and confirm it is the drive you want to reformat
  5. In the navigation pane, right-click on the drive and choose ‘Format’
  6. windows10-formatfatntfs2
  7. The Format window will open
  8. Change ‘File system’ to ‘NTFS’ and make sure ‘Quick Format’ is ticked
  9. windows10-formatfatntfs3
  10. Click ‘Start’
  11. The process should take under a minute to complete.

Method 2: Convert using the CONVERT tool

CONVERT is a command line tool that allows you to convert a drive from FAT32 to NTFS without removing files or folders. I do however recommend you backup the files and folders first if they are in any way important.

  1. Make sure the USB drive is connected to the computer
  2. Open the Start menu (Windows button) and type ‘File Explorer’ and click on it when it appears
  3. windows10-formatfatntfs1
  4. Using the navigation pane in the left of the window, open the drive and confirm it is the drive you want to reformat
  5. Make a mental note of the drive letter, in this case the drive letter is F
  6. Open the Start menu (Windows button) and type ‘cmd’
  7. When it appears, right-click on ‘Command Prompt’ and choose ‘Run as administrator’
  8. windows10-formatfatntfs4
  9. Enter the following command, replacing F with the drive letter noted earlier
  10. convert f: /FS:NTFS
  11. Press enter on the keyboard to run the command
  12. windows10-formatfatntfs5
  13. The process will start running. The more files and folders on the drive the longer it will take.
  14. When finished you will see ‘Conversion complete’. You can then close the Command Prompt window and confirm your drive is working.

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles