How to Fix “File Too Large for USB Drive” in 5 Steps

Fix File Too Large for USB

Ever got a message like that? When copying or transfer some files, the Windows says “file too large for USB” or “the file is too large for destination file system”.

But the available space is big enough, why this can’t be transferred?

Well, the problem is not from the USB drive, instead, it’s caused by the type of system on the drive.

No matter how much free space available on the USB storage device, it will deny any new files larger than 4GB.

It caused by the FAT32 system as the main type of system used by modern flash drive. You have to replace the system type to transfer larger files, especially over 4GB do the drive.

The following steps could allow your USB drive to store large file.

How to fix “File Too Large for USB Drive” error

1. First, plug in your USB drive to the USB port on your computer or laptop. Then, backup all files from USB to your computer storage.

Since changing the USB chip’s system requires formatting, this means all data will be erased. You can backup USB drive simply by copying all files to the computer.

2. Go to My Computer or Libraries. Right-click on USB Drive you want to replace its system. And then click Format…

Fix File Too Large for USB

3. A new window will appear. Look at the File System section and replace FAT32 with NTFS and then click Start to format the memory.

Fix File Too Large for USB

4. Windows will warn you that this action will delete all data on the disk. If you already backed up all file, click OK to continue.

Fix File Too Large for USB


4. The formatting process usually takes about several seconds. After it finished, a new window will pop out and you can close it by clicking OK.

Fix File Too Large for USB

Finally, the USB drive is ready to use.

It would be able to store a single piece of a file with 4 GB or larger in size.

And don’t forget to restore your backup file.

What are NTFS, FAT32, and exFAT?

All USB drive, including SD memory card, set FAT32 as the default system. This format can be used for almost all operating system, such as Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android.

Meanwhile, the FAT32 format has one major disadvantage. I can’t transfer big files to USB with over 4 GB in size. That’s why you need to replace with NTFS.

NTFS developed by Microsoft and introduced in 1993. This format currently supports for Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10. To be fair, this system doesn’t support non-Windows OS.

How about exFAT?

This format is more compatible cross-platform. The exFAT is supported the newest version of Windows, Mac, and Linux. This also giving you an option to store a larger file. But the downside, some console like Xbox 360 and PlayStation didn’t support it.

Although exFAT is not as advanced as NTFS, it was a favorite format because only occupying less storage for firmware software.

Alright, I hope this guide helps you to fix file too large for USB stick!


4 thoughts on “How to Fix “File Too Large for USB Drive” in 5 Steps”

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  3. This was so helpful! I was getting frustrated trying to copy an 8G file to a 16G USB Drive and it kept stating, “the file is too large for destination file system”. It was making me crazy!!

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