Programs to format in FAT32
So you bought a brand new external hard drive but, unfortunately, did you realize that your TV or your media player just did not recognize it, and doing some research did you realize that the guilt is wrong file system ? Can not you “digest” a USB stick or microSD on your Android tablet? I’m telling you immediately that everything is perfectly normal: despite the fact that better file systems are born, optimizing both space and loading files from the disk, FAT32 is still the one with the highest degree of compatibility; That’s why it’s not strange to find out with devices that support only external disks (or USB flash drives, or microSDs) formatted in FAT32.
The best way to ensure that your device is read correctly is to format it using this file system: but can it be done? Of course, yes, and fortunately you’ve just come to the right place to learn how to do it: below I’ll list you a list of great programs to format in FAT32 , some already installed on Windows, MacOS and Linux operating systems , others download for free .
Now relax, cut a few minutes of time and read all that I have to say: after reading this guide, you will have the knowledge to format disks, keyboards and microSDs in the desired format and use them where you feel most appropriate. Before proceeding, however, I would like to remind you that the formatting operation results in the loss of all the data already present on the formatted drive (so be sure to create backups of the data). Made this due premise, I just have to wish you good reading and good fun!
Disk Formatting Utility (Windows)
The Windows operating system is the one with multiple tools already integratedto format disks, keyboards, and memory cards in FAT32. The first thing I want to introduce is the File Formatting Utility integrated into File Explorer , which in just a few clicks can complete the desired operation.
At this point, right-click on the disk icon, key or SD card to format and select Format … from the menu that appears. In the window that opens, select from the drop down File System item FAT32 , then from the drop down menu Allocation unit size item 4096 bytes , and if you want, by typing assigns a drive name in the Volume label .
Now you have to choose whether to perform a fast formatting in-depth formatting: in the first case, the device is only formatted; in the second it is both formatted and controlled to search for and correct errors. If you want to run a fast formatting, certainly shorter in terms of time, put the check mark on the Fast Formatting box .
Once all has been set, click the Start button to start the process, then the OK button in the next window (which warns you that by formatting, you will lose all the data already present). Wait for the process to complete, then click the Close button : your disk is now formatted in FAT32 and ready to use!
Disk Management (Windows)
Another good program already included in Windows to format devices in FAT32 is the Disk Management utility . This, unlike the previous program, also allows to format single partitions without having to intervene necessarily on the entire disk; Disk Management really allows full partition control, as I have already explained in my guide on how to partition hard disk , but today I will only deal with its unit formatting function.
Returning to us, formating it in FAT32 using Disk Manager is really very simple: Click the Start button (the flag in the lower left corner of the screen), type in the Disk Management phrase in the search field , then click on the Disk Management result or Create and format hard disk partitions . If for some reason the Start menu search does not work, you can call Disk Manager by pressing the WIN key (the Windows flag button) + R , typing in the box diskmgmt.msc and pressing Enter on the keyboard.
Click on the icon for the device to be formatted (at the top of the window), then move to the large rectangular block at the bottom and representing the device, right-click on it and select Format … from the menu that appears . Next, from a name to your device by typing it in the Volume Label box , choose the FAT32entry from the File System drop down menu and finally choose the Default item from the Allocation Units Dimension dropdown menu .
You can now choose to perform both fast and in-depth formatting: in the first case, the device is formatted only; in the second it is formatted and controlled to search for and correct errors. If you want to run a faster, much faster time format, place the check mark on the Fast Formatting box . Now click on the OK button , then again on OK : wait for the formatting process to be completed, click the Close button, and use your newly formatted device as you wish.
Although they know a few, DiskPart is part of the FAT32 formatting programs included with Windows; Unlike the other, however, this program runs entirely from the command line , so it does not have a graphical interface and is less easy to use for less experienced users.
That being said, DiskPart is often the most appropriate solution when it comes to resuscitating storage devices that seem to be irretrievably damaged! Before showing you how to use DiskPart, I would like to advise you to be careful and to be attentive to the instructions I’m going to provide you – enough to lose data completely on other disks. If you do not feel ready or if you are afraid of mistakes, feel free to use any other graphic solution I have proposed to you.
All clear? Well, then let’s move on: Connect the device to be formatted in FAT32 to the computer; type the WIN key (key with Windows flag) + R on the PC keyboard and, in the window that appears, write the diskpart.exe command followed by Enter to start DiskPart.
Now go to the Yes button, and in the window that opens, type the list diskcommand followed by Enter. So take a look at the list of disks, recognize the one you want to format (you can recognize it easily by scanning its dimensions), and note the number of the disk you find in the leftmost column ( Disk No. ).
Now type the command select disk # followed by Enter (replacing # the number found in the previous step) and, at this point, by the clean command (this will erase all the data on the device), then create the primary partition and press Enter. Type, again, select partition 1 , press Enter, type active and then again Send.
In this way, you have created an empty primary partition, which now only needs to format in FAT32: to do so, type the command FS = FAT32 prompt followed by Enter and exit diskpart by typing the exit command, followed by Enter. I know, it’s a bit cumbersome, but I’m sure it’s going to be a great deal of fun!
In some operating systems, especially older ones, there is a structural limit that does not allow you to format in FAT32 devices larger than 32GB. fat32format is a great Windows program to format in FAT32 by overcoming the 32GB limit: therefore, thanks to this program, you can format disks and devices of any size without sacrificing the convenience of the “digested” historical file system from computers, tablets, DVD players, televisions and other devices.
To download fat32format on your PC, linked to the fat32format site and click on the screenshot of the program to start downloading it. When the download is complete, connect the device to be formatted to your computer and start the executable guiformat.exe to start using fat32format.
In the window that opens, select from the drop-down menu Drive letter that identifies your device (if you’re not sure, you open a dialog File Explorer, click on the item This PC and identifies from there Lettra unit), then select 4096 from the Allocation Unit Size drop-down menu , and, if you want, from a name to your device by writing it in the Volume Label box .
Here too, you can choose whether to run fast formatting or in-depth formatting: in the first case, the device is only formatted; in the second it is both formatted and controlled to search for and correct errors. If you want to run a fast formatting, put the check box on the Quick Format box, click Start, then the OK button and wait for the procedure to complete.
Disk Utility (macOS)
Apple has accustomed its users to have everything at their fingertips, and it does not deny even the format of disks and devices! To format in FAT32 on macOS, you can rely on the Disk Utility already integrated with the operating system.
To format a drive with Disk Utility, connect the disk, memory, or key you want to format to your computer, click the finder icon on the Dock bar and go to the Go> Utility menu at the top (or press the combination of CMD keys X+ U ).
Now, start Disk Utility , click on the device icon to format (you can find it to the left of the window), click on the Initialize button at the top, enter the name to give to your device in the Name box , then select MS -DOS (FAT) from the Format drop-down menu , set the Master Boot Record (MBR) option in the Schema drop-down menu , finally click on the Initialize button and formatting the device in FAT32 will be completed in a few seconds.
If you feel a little geek and want to use something more advanced than Disk Utility, macOS gives you the ability to format it in FAT32 using the manual commands via the Terminal and the Diskutil program . Before showing you the procedure to follow, I would like to advise you to be careful and to be attentive to the instructions I am going to provide you: it is enough to lose all the data on your disks. If you do not feel ready enough, use Disk Utility.
Ready to get started? Perfect, then connect the disk, memory or key you want to format to your computer, click the finder icon (the smiling face in the Dock bar), go to the Go> Utilities menu (top) and, in the window you open, double-click the Terminal icon .
Now type the diskutil list command and identify the device to be formatted from the list; helping you rely on size ( SIZE field ), and consider that an external device will always be listed with the term ” external, physical “. In my example, the identifier is disk1 (remember to replace it with what suits your case).
To format the device in FAT32, type the command diskutil EraseDisk FAT32 NomeDisco disk1 and press Enter on your Mac’s keyboard. Wait, then, that the procedure is completed and the terminal appears the word ” Finished erase on disk1 “. Then disconnect your device from the Mac and use it as you feel most appropriate.
GParted Live (Windows / MacOS / Linux)
Not many people know this practice Utility, but GParted Live is a real boot disk that helps in disk partitioning and partitioning; and even to say it can safely format disks and external devices in FAT32. GParted Live is based on Debian Linux and is a real boot disk that you can use with any computer and any operating system since it acts in an “isolated” environment from what is installed on your PC.
To get you GParted Live, linked to the official program site and download its ISO image (by clicking on the i686 link if you have a 32-bit computer or the amd64 link if your computer is 64-bit). Download completed burns Gparted ISO image onto a DVD or USB stick, insert the disc or key just created on your computer, set your computer’s BIOS or UEFI to boot from DVD or USB and let GParted Live starts. Then bring it with the keyboard on the GParted Live (Default Settings) entry and send it.
Now, press the Enter key again, type the number 14 and again Enter twice for consecutive times. When you see the graphical interface of GParted, connect the device to be formatted in FAT32 to the computer, click on the GParted menu, and then on the Devices Update item.
Now, from the drop-down menu on the right, choose the device to format, marked with the / dev / sdX (helped by looking at its size); right-click on the large rectangle you see under the menu bar, the one that represents your device, select the Format As, and then click fat32 .
Make sure now that everything is fine and that the device you choose is correct since once formatting is started you will not be able to recover lost data by mistake; To proceed, click the Apply button at the top and then the Apply button to confirm the next warning.
Once completed, you can click the Close button, reboot your computer, and use your formatted device in FAT32. If you want, know that you can also install GParted from the package manager of your Linux distribution, call it from the Applications menu and use the program from your operating system exactly as I explained in this section.
To format in FAT32 using Linux you can rely on the Disks program , which is already installed in the operating system. Similar to GParted but easier to use, Disks allows you to format external devices and internal disks with ease: to use it, connect the disk or device to format to your computer, then start Disks from the Ubuntu Tasks screen or from your main menu distribution (be careful to press on the Disks icon and not on Disk Management ).
In the window that opens, click the icon for the device to be formatted in the left sidebar, then click on the button menu ☰ from the header, and again on the item Format disk ... . Select Do not overwrite existing data (quick) from the Delete, then Compatible with All Systems and Devices (MBR / DOS)drop-down list from the Partition drop-down list. Click the Format button, and again on the Format button .
At this point, click on the small button (+) you find right below the disk bar: in the new window, drag the cursor up the bar to occupy all available space, then choose Do not overwrite existing data from the menu pulldown Delete , select Compatible with all systems and devices (FAT) in the drop-down menu type , if you want to give it a name to your device using the box name and click finally on the button Create . After completing the procedure, you can extract your device to use it elsewhere, or mount it in Linux by clicking on the small Play button.
Even Fdisk is a great program for formatting devices in FAT32 , it is already installed in almost all Linux distributions. It is used via command line. In fact, given its great potential, Fdisk is used more than anything else to bring USB killers and USB disks out of existence , but if you want to feel the feeling of being a terminal wizard , follow my instructions carefully and you can format it without problems a device in FAT32.
To use Fdisk, connect the device to be formated on your computer, wait a few seconds for it to be mounted automatically, open the Terminal from the main menu of your distro and type mount | grep / media / followed by pressing the Enter key. Take good note of what appears on the screen: helping you with the illustrated dimension identifies the disk you want to format and notes its identifier (eg / dev / sdb1 ).
Including the name of the device to be formatted, you unmount by typing umount / dev / sdXX (replacing XX what you found in the previous step, in our example, / dev / sdb1 ) and presses Enter . Now, to format the device in FAT32, type sudo mkfs.vfat -n ” DeviceName ” -I / dev / sdXX , press Enter (taking care to replace the NameName with the name you want to give it), enter your administrative password (if required ) and still picks up on Send . Once the procedure is completed, you will be able to use the device as you like!
Format microSD (Android)
So are you looking for a method to format the microSD inserted into your smartphone or tablet on FAT32? You can do this directly from Android , without installing additional apps, taking advantage of an integrated operating system feature. You do not need to specify the file system because Android formats in FAT32 by default. But I want to warn you that once the process is started, even in this case the loss of data will be total : after formatting, there will be nothing on the microSD.
To format in FAT32 using Android, go to the Settings menu (the gear icon that is on the home screen or on the list of apps installed on your device), select the Storage and USB entry and click on SD Card . Then tap the ⋮ button on the top right, select the Settings item from the menu that appears and choose the Format option . Press the red button to DELETE AND FORMAT and wait for the procedure to complete, then press the green button Finish . Your microSD is ready!
SD Formatter (Windows / MacOS)
If you’ve come up here, I’m sure you’ve learned all the methods to format in FAT32 using multiple programs and operating systems; as you can see the techniques are so many, it is up to you to choose the one that best suits your needs! But wait, are you saying you want something that is a bit more specific to microSDs or SD cards ? Then I invite you to try SD Formatter free Windows and macOS software developed by the SD Association, the association that collects all the major SD card manufacturers, and that allows you to properly format your SD and microSD cards from your computer.
Programs to format in FAT32
The operation of SD Formatter is extremely intuitive: after downloading and installing the software, start it, select the card drive you want to format from the Drive drop down menu , click on the Format button and the game is done. If you want to know more, see my guide on how to format microSD , where you will find more specific instructions on how to operate this software.