How to Convert FAT32 to NTFS Without Losing Data on Windows 10

Do you want to switch the file system on your USB drive to NTFS without losing data?

In this tutorial, you will discover the right way to convert the FAT32 file system to NTFS on all your storage devices (SD card, USB flash drive, external or internal hard drive) without format.

Many choose NTFS over FAT32 for better performance and file sizes, also NTFS is more stable compared to FAT & FAT32 which offer more security and supports large drive sizes.

You will also uncover the differences between file systems available on Windows operating systems from Windows 2000 until Windows 10.

Let’s go!

FAT32 vs NTFS: Pros & Cons

Table of File Systems Comparison

This is a comparison between NTFS, FAT32, FAT16 and FAT12.

Features NTFS FAT32 FAT16 FAT12
Max Partition Size 256TB 32GB 4GB 16MB
Max File Size 16TB 4GB 2GB Less than 16MB
Cluster Size 4KB 4KB to 32KB 2KB to 64KB O.5KB to 4KB
Fault Tolerance Auto Repair No No No
Compression Yes No No No
Security Local and Network Only Network Only Network Only Network

In short words, NTFS is used for external hard drives because of the support of large disk space and maximum file sizes. While FAT & FAT32 is used for flash drives and SD cards.

Advantages of NTFS

Here are some advantages of the NTFS file system:

  • NTFS is the best file system for huge drives. In contrast to FAT and FAT32, execution with NTFS isn’t ruined as drive size increments.
  • One of the significant security features in NTFS is encryption or, at the end of the day, the way toward camouflaging a message or information so as to shroud its substance.
  • Another feature in NTFS is drive portions. It enables you to screen and control the measure of drive space utilized by every client.
  • Utilizing NTFS, you can keep access control on files and envelopes and bolster restricted records. In FAT and FAT32, all files and envelopes are accessible by all clients regardless of what their record type is.
  • Tweak security options using domains while keeping administration simple.
  • Compress files to save more space in your NTFS drive.

Convert FAT32 to NTFS Without Format Using CMD

Now we will see how to convert my USB drive to NTFS using CMD without losing data.

Here as you can see my USB drive is using the FAT32 file system.

First, open the Command Prompt as administrator from Start.

Type help convert to view information about how the conversion from FAT32 to NTFS is done using the convert command-line tool.

Suppose the drive is located in F:, then use this command convert F: /fs:ntfs.

Type exit or close the window after it’s complete, now your drive is using the NTFS file system! Congratulations ;)

BONUS: Convert Any File System to NTFS with Format

Format Your Drive to NTFS Using File Explorer

Open your Explorer using the Windows+E keyboard shortcut.

Right-click on your USB drive and choose “Format“”.

Choose “NTFS” as a file system, check “Quick Format” and click “Start“.

Click “OK“.

The format is completed, click “OK“. Now your USB drive is on NTFS file system.

Format Your Drive to NTFS Using Disk Management

Open Run using the Windows+R keyboard shortcut and type in diskmgmt.msc, hit Enter.

Right-click on your USB disk and click “Format“.

Click “Yes“.

Choose NTFS as a file system and click “OK“.

Click “OK” again.

Format Your Drive to NTFS Using Diskpart in CMD

Open Start and search for “CMD“, right-click on Command Prompt and choose “Run as administrator“.

Type and run these lines of commands (replace * with numbers):

list disk
select disk *
list volume
select volume *
format fs=ntfs quick

There you have it!

You just learned how to convert FAT32 file system to NTFS with and without losing data.

If you have any question feel free to leave them in the comments section below ;)

The author:

Soufiane is a young computer scientist and specialist in web design, knows a lot of things in the computer world. This enthusiast enjoys helping people innovate and learn more about the IT world...

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