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 a file, the system says “file too large for USB” or “the file is too large for destination file system”.

But the available space is more than 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. Most USB flash drives use FAT32 which could not store a single file more than 4GB.

Hence, if you want to transfer a single file over 4GB in size, then you need to change the system from FAT32 to something else, like NTFS. Here’s how to do that.

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.

Switching from FAT32 to NTFS will erase data inside the flash drive. Make sure you have back up the files before proceeding.

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. On the File System section, replace FAT32 with NTFS and then click Start to format.

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Fix File Too Large for USB

4. Windows will warn you that this action will delete all data on the drive. If you already backed up all files, 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 flash drive is ready to use. Try to copy the file you want to store in that drive before. It should not reject it as the system has been changed to NTFS.

What are NTFS, FAT32, and exFAT?

Most USB drives use FAT32 as the default system. This format is chosen because it can be used on almost all operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android.

However, FAT32 has one major disadvantage; it can’t transfer big files to USB with over 4 GB in size. That’s why you need to replace it with NTFS (especially on Windows PC).

On the other hand, exFAT can be a good alternative since it supports Windows, Mac, and Linux and there’s no ‘4GB limitation’ like FAT32.

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

  1. Pingback: How to Transfer Photos from Tablet to USB Flash Drive – USB Tip

  2. Pingback: How to Transfer Photos from Mac to USB Drive – USB Tip

  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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