• There are numerous ways to format an SD card to FAT32 if for some reason you have to.
  • Regardless of the reasons, this format has its pros and cons that distinguish it
  • What are the steps to follow if we want to format an SD to FAT32 above 32 GB?

Although the FAT32 format has become significantly less popular than it used to be a few years ago, it is still very useful for many purposes that computer scientists may have today, and that is why it is still current. In this article, and given the constant demand for orders in this regard, We show you all the steps to know how to format an SD card to FAT32, and what are the advantages of this simple and fast procedure.

In the first instance, we have to say that these types of tricks still make sense because we cannot enjoy full compatibility between devices and, on the contrary, the more devices we use, the more problems related to support between them we suffer, which forces us to look for solutions that make things easier.

The idea is that, thanks to the conversion of a drive to FAT32, you save yourself many of the common headaches that we usually suffer when we want to work with the same SD card in different environments.

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But what kind of format is FAT32?

Before getting fully into the procedure that will allow you to format an SD card, you have to know some details about the new format that you are going to give it, such as what FAT is File Allocation Table. Until several years ago, all Microsoft teams used this format as their native file system.

Created for Windows XP, over time it lost relevance, but some basic features are still important until today, so we can’t rule it out entirely.

However, it is worth noting that the main problem with this format is its great restrictions around the volume of the disk, and although FAT32 is more generous than its predecessors FAT12 and FAT16, it can only handle files of up to 4 GB, which today can be a bit scarce.

As for its advantages, the most interesting is that it is compatible with all systems: MacOS, Windows and Linux. You will also have no problems with your consoles or digital cameras, and that is an outstanding benefit.

Format an SD card to FAT32 step by step

There are several ways to format an SD card to FAT32, but your memories should not be more than 32 GB. Of course there are exceptions if you have a 128 GB external driveAnd that is precisely where we are going to stop.

With Command Prompt, up to 32 GB

This is probably the most recommended tutorial, because the tool is accessible within the system itself:

  • Open Command Prompt
  • Type diskmgmt.msc, find the card and click Format
  • Customize the volume label and specify the size of the distribution unit or file system
  • Select the Quick format with folder compression option
  • You will receive a message warning that all data on the SD card will be deleted
  • Copy the data you want to keep and continue with the process
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After a few minutes it will finish, and then you will have your card formatted to FAT32 without further delay.

With Windows Explorer, up to 32 GB

This is another simple solutionwhich depends on Windows Explorer and no longer Command Prompt:

  • Click on the graphical user interface
  • Opt for the Format feature
  • Customize the volume label and specify the size of the distribution unit or file system
  • Select the Quick format with folder compression option
  • You will receive a message warning that all data on the SD card will be deleted
  • Copy the data you want to keep and continue with the process

After a few minutes it will finish, and as before you will have your card formatted to FAT32 without further delay.

With PowerShell, up to 128GB

Finally, if you have to handle larger capacity memory cards, the necessary tool is PowerShell:

  • Press Win + X keys
  • Find the PowerShell admin menu
  • Enter the following command once you are in the: format /FS:FAT32 X:
  • Click on Enter

You will be able to manage larger capacity SD cards and format them to FAT32 even when they exceed 32 GB. But we advise you to do it with plenty of time, because this format will take at least an hour.

Conclusions

As it is clear, there are several ways to format an SD card in Windows to FAT32 and take advantage of its virtues. Of course, you have to take into account that there is the issue of data recovery, and that is you will see that Windows tries to warn you in time that crucial files might be lost during formatting.

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Therefore, a backup of the contents of the SD card before proceeding would not hurt.

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