Format FAT32 on 64GB, 128GB, 256GB USB flash drives on Windows

Need to format a > 32GB USB flash drive as FAT32 but Windows won’t let you? No problem, here is a free and safe utility that you can use to format your thumbdrive:


(dl website)

More details and background:

Recently I needed to format a 64GB USB flash drive as FAT32. This was for use in a Chevrolet vehicle that requires FAT32 and 32K cluster sizes in order to read from high capacity USB flash drive. I ordered a snazzy flash drive from Amazon, prepared to format it in Windows 8.1 and discovered that Windows would not format a drive larger than 32GB as FAT32 🙁 This issue will likely occur on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

Thankfully, there was an easy fix:

#1 Download fat32format

#2 Extract the downloaded ZIP file in a directory of your choice (C:\Users\User\Documents\X\fat32format in my example below)

#3 Open a command prompt and run the fat32format command, with the drive letter you want to format as the parameter.

Here is a transcript of my command prompt session where I formatted my drive:

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.3.9600]
(c) 2013 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\Users\User>cd C:\Users\User\Documents\X\fat32format

Volume in drive C has no label.
Volume Serial Number is 70CE-03EB

Directory of C:\Users\User\Documents\X\fat32format

04/22/2015 12:10 AM <DIR> .
04/22/2015 12:10 AM <DIR> ..
04/22/2015 12:10 AM 49,218 fat32format.exe
1 File(s) 49,218 bytes
2 Dir(s) 62,225,920,000 bytes free

C:\Users\User\Documents\X\fat32format>fat32format d:
Warning ALL data on drive ‘d’ will be lost irretrievably, are you sure
(y/n) :y
Failed to allow extended DASD on deviceSize : 62GB 121438208 sectors
512 Bytes Per Sector, Cluster size 32768 bytes
Volume ID is 7ea:93d
32 Reserved Sectors, 14821 Sectors per FAT, 2 fats
1897008 Total clusters
1897007 Free Clusters
Formatting drive d:…
Clearing out 29738 sectors for Reserved sectors, fats and root cluster…
Wrote 15225856 bytes in 0.51 seconds, 28.20 Megabytes/sec
Initialising reserved sectors and FATs…

That is all there is to it! 🙂


64GB USB flashdrive formatted at FAT32

64GB USB flashdrive formatted at FAT32


  • F$!*Fat32

    Oh god why, FAT32 is just terrible.

    • Hello and thank you for your comment. Agreed, compared to modern file systems, FAT32 has some limitations. However, in my instance it is what my 2011 vehicle (Chevrolet) supported so I was willing to deal with it 🙂

      Best regards,

  • GPO

    FAT32 is not terrible. It is the most appropriate filesystem for USB flash drives.

    • Hi GPO,
      Thank you for your comment 🙂 FAT32 definitely gets the job done for basic tasks and I use it regularly for flash drives.

      However, as big USB flash drives get cheaper (like this 256GB flash drive which is $49.99 at Amazon today) there are some attributes of FAT32 that may be limiting:
      -FAT32 only supports up to 4GB file sizes (can be a problem for videos/movies)
      ~FAT32 only supports up to 2TB volume sizes (not really a problem for USB flash drives today, maybe in 5 years)
      -FAT32 is not journaling, thus file corruption can sometimes occur more easily (vs NTFS etc.)
      +FAT32 does not support permissions (this is almost a plus though for USB flash drive and ease of accessibility/sharing/transfer)

      I do like FAT32 though as it is nearly universally supported and it is simple to use. 🙂

      Sorry for the long response, I just wanted to go into a few of the pros/cons.

      Thanks again for commenting and have a great day!

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