How to Format SD Card to FAT32 in Windows 10/11?

How to format SD card to FAT32 Windows 10/11? Follow our detailed guide and try 4DDiG Partition Manager to format your SD card to FAT32 within a few minutes!

5 mins read

Updated on 2023-12-07 15:51:18 to SD Card

A memory card FAT32 conversion may be required in numerous scenarios. Is it secure to modify a 64GB SD card to FAT32 without information loss because producers establish various memory cards to the exFAT file system when memory cards exceed 32GB? You need to format SD card to FAT32 to make it usable. How about swapping out the 128GB FAT32 memory card or something else that makes you want to convert a FAT32 memory card? This guide will recommend the best and free approaches on how to format SD card to FAT32 on Windows 10/11 for your SD card that you have used for your phone, camera, or other digital technology.

format SD card to fat32

Part 1: What is the FAT32 Format?

Before we get into how to format an SD card to FAT32, let's first define the FAT32 Format. FAT is the acronym for File Allocation Table. FAT32 Format is a disk formatting utility build to format memory cards with storage capacities more significant than 32GB using the famed FAT32 classification scheme. Some operational system initiatives or experimentations require or support FAT32 exclusively.

It is designed solely for Windows XP, which endeavors much harder than other operating systems. This Format is incompatible with CD and DVD drives because it only works with drive systems that have 512-byte sectors. It is compatible with all windows versions, gaming systems, Linux, and Mac. The FAT32 Format supports the following characteristics: read-only, obscured, system, volume, directory, and archive.

Once you've become acquainted with the FAT32 Format, the next step is to proceed to the main point, i.e., Format the Memory card to FAT32. So, without further controversy, here's everything you need to understand about Memory card FAT32 formatting with numerous storage capabilities.

Part 2: Why Can't I Format My SD Card to FAT32?

SD cards with 32GB or less storage capacity, like USB drives, are typically formatted in FAT32 by definition. While exFAT is the predefined file system for significantly bigger Memory cards with 64GB or 128GB. Because in unique circumstances, such as the 3Ds SD card, sustain the FAT32 file system, users must format SD card to FAT32 regardless of its size.

Because of FAT32 limitations, the Windows study does not cover creating a FAT32 partition on a physical device larger than 32GB. As a result, neither a 64GB memory card nor a USB drive can be directly formatted to FAT32. So, what are you going to do if you need to format a 64GB SD card to FAT32?

Luckily, if you cannot format your 64GB Memory card or Flash drive to FAT32 using the Windows constructed utility, you still have an opportunity. This problem can be effectively resolved with the help of a third-party and powerful FAT32 format tool. Continue reading and download the fantastic formatting tool for assistance.

Part 3: How to Format SD Card to FAT32 in Windows 10/11?

Solution 1: Format 32/64/128GB SD Card to FAT32 with Professional SD Card Formatter

Compared with built-in Windows tools like Disk Management or Diskpart, we recommend using professional SD Card Formatter-4DDiG Partition Manager, which provides advanced disk management features, including the ability to format SD cards.

Its user-friendly interface can help you get started quickly, don't worry about encountering any operational problems during the process of formatting the SD card. Besides, this powerful tool can help you format SD card of any size, including 32/64/128GB. Here's how to do:

  • Download and launch 4DDiG Partition Manager on your computer. Ensure your SD card is connected to your computer. Then select "Partition Management" and right-click the SD card partition that you want to format and select the Format option.

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  • Select the desired file system (such as FAT32 or exFAT) and specify the volume label.

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  • Review the formatting settings and click "OK" to start the formatting process.

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  • Wait for the process to complete, and once finished, your SD card will be successfully formatted.

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Solution 2: Format 32 GB SD Card to FAT32 with Windows Disk Management

Beginning with the formatting available option on your device, the simplest solution would be to use Windows disk planning to format the memory card to FAT32, i.e., an SD card with a volume of 32GB or less. This built-in tool is simple to use, and the graphical user interface is easy to grasp. Windows Disk Management supports NTFS, FAT, FAT32, and exFAT file systems. Here are all the steps to format an SD card to FAT32:

  • Begin by typing diskmgmt.MSC into the CMD prompt. The Disk Management tool appears. Locate the SD card that needs to be formatted, and then choose Format from the right-click tab.

    format SD card to fat32 with Disk Management
  • You can change the volume tag, file system, and distribution unit size in the format popup. You can now choose whether to undertake a quick format and enable folder compression before clicking OK to proceed.

    format SD card to fat32 with Disk Management
  • A disk management alert will display on the screen, stating that formatting this storage capacity will remove all data contained within it. Before design, make a backup of any data you would like to retain. Do you want to go on? To continue with formatting the memory card to FAT32, click OK.

    format SD card to fat32 with Disk Management

In a matter of minutes, you'll have finished formatting your memory card to FAT32.

Solution 3: Format 32 GB SD Card to FAT32 with Windows Explorer

Aside from Windows disk management, there is indeed a potential alternative for formatting memory cards to FAT32. In this case, all you must do is follow the steps outlined above, and you'll be done with formatting in a couple of moments.

  • In the GUI, right-click and select Format.

    format SD card to fat32 with Windows Explorer
  • The next challenge is to decide the file system and distribution unit size, enter a quantity label, and select a rapid format appropriate for you. To proceed, click Start.

    format SD card to fat32 with Windows Explorer
  • You will see an alert message that says, 'Formatting will erase ALL files on this disk.' Click OK to format the memory card. To exit, press the "CANCEL" button. Click OK to continue with the Format.

    format SD card to fat32 with Windows Explorer

When you click OK, the formatting process begins, and you will soon be finished with your required outcome.

Solution 4: Format 64/128GB SD Card to FAT32 with PowerShell

The SD card is formatted to FAT 32 using PowerShell. It aids in formatting a 64GB SD card to FAT32 and also formatting a 128GB SD card to FAT32. It allows users to go through the formatting process without having to download third-party software applications. The steps for formatting the SD card to FAT32 are listed below.

  • Press the Windows key + X. PowerShell (admin) is selected from the dropdown menu, and PowerShell operates as administrator.
  • Insert command in the PowerShell dropdown menu, such as format /FS: FAT32 X:

    format SD card to fat32 with PowerShell
  • The formatting activity will begin and will take approximately 1 hour to accomplish.

Part 4. How to Recover Data from Formatted SD Card?

What if you accidentally formatted SD card which contains important files for you? You need a professional data recovery tool to help you out. Tenorshare 4DDiG Data Recovery Software makes it simple to retrieve any removed, formatted, or lost data from your desktop or memory card. Recover your deleted files from formatted memory card drives with this amazing tool. Here is how you can use this powerful tool to recover your data:

  • Connect and Select the Card

    First and foremost, download and install Tenorshare 4DDiG Windows Data Recovery. Run the program, connect your SD card where you lost data with your PC, and then select it to Start.

    select SD card
  • Scan SD Card and Preview Data

    Once you have clicked on the "Scan" button beforehand, 4DDiG promptly performs a comprehensive scan of your card, thoroughly searching for lost files. After the scanning process is complete, you can select files to preview before proceeding with data recovery.

    scan the SD card that won't format
  • Recover Data from SD Card

    Once you click on "Recover," 4DDiG will prompt you to specify the desired location where you want to save the retrieved documents.

    recover lost data from SD card

Format USB to FAT32 | 32GB/64GB/128GB Supported!!!

Part 5. FAQs

1. How do I know if my SD card is FAT32?

The easiest way to view file system format of SD card is in Windows Explorer. Find the Memory card drive, then right-click it and select "Properties."You can change the Format of your SD card in the "Properties" screen.

2. What is FAT32 vs. exFAT?

FAT32 is an aged file system that is less efficient than NTFS. ExFAT is a contemporary replacement for FAT 32, and more devices support it than NTFS, but it is not as widely used as FAT32.

3. Why does my 128GB flash drive only showing 32GB?

If you formatted it to FAT32, as it only supports a maximum of 32GB. Please back up your files and reformat them to NTFS to take advantage of the total amount of storage.

4. How to Show and Recover Hidden Files on SD Card?

Here are 5 ways on how to show and recover hidden files on SD card:

  • Check Hidden Items in File Explorer
  • Change Settings in File Explorer to Show Hidden Files
  • Unhide Files from SD Card by Using CMD
  • Show Hidden Files by Using Google Chrome
  • Assign New Driver Letter

Conclusion:

After reading this article, hope you gain a deep understanding of how to format SD card to FAT32. All you have to do is carefully follow the methods given above. We recommend you use 4DDiG Partition Manager, which provides a reliable and user-friendly interface for formatting an SD card. In case you've lost important files during the formatting process, the powerful tool 4DDiG SD Data Recovery can smoothly recover your files in no time. So, just give it a try!

William Bollson (senior editor)

William Bollson, the editor-in-chief of 4DDiG, devotes to providing the best solutions for Windows and Mac related issues, including data recovery, repair, error fixes.

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