What Is the Difference Between FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS?

The three most common file systems used by Windows operating systems are FAT32, exFATS and NTFS. Each one stores files differently and has its own pros and con. Let’s take a look at what makes each one unique.


FAT32 is the oldest file system still commonly used today. It was introduced in 1983 and it is the default file system used by USB flash drives. FAT32 uses 32 bits per sector and supports up to 2TB of storage space.


• FAT32 is easy to use and understand.


• FAT32 doesn’t support long filenames.

What exactly is FAT32?

FAT32 is an older file format that predated NTFS. FAT32 uses 32 bits to store data per sector, making it incompatible with modern operating systems like Windows 10. FAT32 supports up to 4 gigabytes of storage, while NTFS offers up to 16 terabytes.

What exactly is exFAT?

exFAT is an extension of the FAT file system used by Microsoft Windows operating systems. exFAT allows you to use flash drives, external hard disks, USB sticks, SD cards, etc., without having to convert them into NTFS format. exFAT is cross-platform compatible; it works with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows.

How Does FAT 32 Function?

A file is made up of several parts. These include a directory entry, a file name, a file size, a pointer to the next free area, and a set of reserved areas.

There are two columns in the Fat Table: the Busy Column and the Next Column. When we create a new File, we must assign a Starting Block Number and a Last Block Number.

When we delete a file, its Space is freed up immediately. We can use the Delete command to do this.

The FAT32 File System Stores Data in Blocks.

Each File Contains a Header Which Describes Where Each Part Of The File Starts And Ends.

What exactly is the NTFS File System?

NTFS stands for New technology File System. This is an old file system that is still being used today. NTFS is very good for large files such as video and photo files.

How Does NTFS Operate?

NTFS stands for New Technology File System. This file system is used to store data on hard drives, USB sticks, memory cards, and many other devices. NTFS is very similar to FAT32, except it uses some different algorithms to make sure that files are stored properly.

The main difference between FAT32 and NTFS is how each one stores information about files. FAT32 stores file names and sizes along with the location of where the file is located on the disk. NTFS stores file name, size, date modified, and attributes such as read-only, hidden, archive, compressed, and encrypted.

The distinction between FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS

The FAT32 file system is one of the oldest file systems used today. It was developed in 1983 by IBM and Microsoft. This file system supports up to 32 partitions per disk volume. It is still widely used because it is compatible with Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP operating systems. However, there are some limitations to this file system. For example, you cannot use FAT32 volumes on Mac OS X or Linux. Also, FAT32 does not support large files over 4 GB. In addition, FAT32 uses less space than exFAT and NFS.

exFAT is a modern replacement for FAT32. It was introduced in 2010 by Microsoft. It supports larger files and allows you to store data on multiple disks. exFAT is supported by Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, macOS Sierra, iOS 11, Android 9 Pie, Chrome OS, and Linux.

NTFS is another file system that is commonly used today. It was introduced in 1995 by Microsoft. Unlike FAT32 and exFATS, NTFS supports large files and allows you to access data across different platforms. You can install NTFS on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.

FAT32 Advantages

FAT32 file systems are used on many USB flash drives, external hard disks, memory cards, etc. They store files and folders on removable media such as USB flash drives, SD cards, Compact Flash cards, Memory Stick cards, etc. These devices use FAT32 file systems because it is easy to implement, fast, reliable, and compatible with most operating systems.

The FAT32 file system is one of the oldest file systems around. It was developed by Microsoft in 1992 and introduced in Windows 3.1. FAT32 uses 32 bits per cluster, 4 KB blocks, and 512 bytes sector size. It supports volumes up to 2 TB and can support up to 16 TB with 64 KB clusters. FAT32 file systems can boot records can be extended.

FAT32’s disadvantages

FAT32 is one of the most common file system types used today. However, it does come with some disadvantages. Here are five things you should know about the filesystem format.

1. FAT32 Can Only Handle Files Up To 4GB In Size

The maximum size of a single file supported by FAT32 is 4 gigabytes (GB). This limit makes it difficult to store larger files such as photos, videos, or music. If you want to use FAT32 to store large amounts of data, you’ll need to break up your files into smaller chunks.

2. FAT32 Doesn’t Support Large Volumes

Another limitation of FAT32 is that it cannot hold very large volumes. A volume is simply a collection of files stored together. For example, a DVD contains several movies and songs. When you insert a disc containing a large number of files, FAT32 won’t recognize the entire contents of the disk. Instead, it will only see individual files within the volume.

3. FAT32 Lacks Many Security Features Found On Modern Operating Systems

One of the biggest advantages of modern operating systems like Windows 10 is built-in security measures. These include encryption, digital signatures, and access control lists. While FAT32 supports some of these features, it isn’t nearly as robust as what’s offered by modern operating systems. For instance, FAT32 doesn’t encrypt files by default. You must manually enable this feature. Also, FAT32 doesn’t support the ability to restrict access to specific groups of people.

Benefits of exFAT

exFAT is an extension to the file system used by Windows operating systems. exFAT stands for Extended File Allocation Table. exFAT is designed to allow large volumes of data to be stored on hard drives without running out of space. exFAT supports up to 16 TB per volume. exFAT is backward compatible with existing FAT32 volumes. exFAT is supported by most versions of Microsoft Windows since Windows Vista.

ExFAT disadvantages

exFAT is a Microsoft proprietary file format introduced in Windows Vista. exFAT is used to store large volumes of data such as digital photos, music, videos, etc. exFAT is very popular because it provides high performance and reliability. However, there are some disadvantages of exFAT.

1. exFAT cannot support long filenames

2. exFAT does not provide security features like encryption

3. exFAT stores metadata separately from the actual file contents

4. exFAT cannot handle large numbers of files

5. exFAT uses FAT32 partition table

6. exFAT is not compatible with Linux operating systems

Benefits of the NTFS file system

NTFS stands for New Technology File System. This technology allows us to store data on hard disks in such a way that it is protected against corruption and accidental deletion. In addition, we can use this technology to protect our data against unauthorized access.

The advantages of NTFS are many. For example, it supports large volumes of data. You can easily increase the volume of your hard disk. Also, it provides support for large files. We can use it to compress files, folders, or even entire drives.

In addition, NTFS enables us to restore the consistency of the filesystem. This feature helps us to recover lost information quickly. Finally, it uses a change journal to help us recover information quickly.

Disadvantages of the NTFS file system

The NTFS file system is one of the most popular file systems used today. However, it does have some disadvantages. Here are five things you should know about the NTFS file format.

1. NTFS is proprietary

NTFS is owned by Microsoft Corporation. This makes it difficult for third parties to develop software that works with NTFS. In addition, NTFS is closed source, meaning that developers cannot see how the code works. As a result, many people believe that NTFS is less secure than other file formats.

2. NTFS is slow

NTFS is designed to work well with hard disks. Hard disks store data magnetically, which requires moving parts inside the disk. These moving parts make hard disks slower than solid state devices like flash memory cards. For example, a typical USB thumb drive can read and write data 10 times faster than a hard disk.

3. NTFS is limited

NTFS supports up to 16 TB of space per volume. If you want to use more space, you must buy additional volumes. You can add multiple volumes to a single folder, but each volume must be formatted separately.


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