The file is too large for the destination filesystem: what to do and how to fix it?

This error occurs when transferring large files to a USB flash drive, such as movies or games. What does it mean?

The problem lies not in the amount of memory and the availability of free space, so do not rush to delete / transfer files. The fact is that most of the old-style Flash media and hard drives operate on the FATFAT32 file system, the architecture of which does not allow storing files larger than 4GB. Don’t worry – the problem can be easily solved, and here are some ways to fix it:

Transferring a file piece by piece

If you do not have to constantly drive large files to the USB flash drive and back, you can simply archive the original data file and split the archive into several volumes. Any archiver will do, let’s take the good old WinRar as an example

  • Right-click on the file and select “add to archive”
  • Find the line “divide into volumes in size” and set any value less than 4096MB
  • Transferring to a USB flash drive
  • We deliver the archive files to where the final file is needed and on any of the files, press RMB – “extract”


Such a maneuver will help you quickly solve the problem that has arisen, but if you have to constantly use a USB flash drive for such files, it is wiser to do the following:

  • Open “My Computer”
  • Select our flash drive and press RMB – “format”
  • In the second line from the top, select “NTFS”
  • At the bottom, in the “Formatting Methods” column, we tick the “quick formatting” checkbox – not necessary, but this way the process will take much less time
  • Click “Start”

IMPORTANT: For those who do not know – formatting will delete all files from the media! Before the operation, copy all the necessary files to disk, and transfer them back when finished.

Command line formatting

In rare situations, when formatting a flash drive will be problematic, or you are just too lazy to copy files, there is an option to convert the system to NTFS without formatting. You may have to feel like a bit of a hacker:

  • Press Win + R (Win – a button with a check mark between Ctrl and Alt)
  • We write cmd and click OK
  • In an ominous black window, enter the command convert L: / FS: NTFS in which the letter L is the letter of our flash drive. That is, if your flash drive has the letter F, then replace L with F
  • do not forget to put spaces and press Enter

The system will buzz and convert the flash drive from FAT32 to NTFS without formatting, and therefore data loss. By the way, this method can be used to change the system not only on flash drives, but also on any partitions of the hard drive. So, changing the file system completely solves your problem with large files. Don’t thank!

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