Fix The File Is Too Large For The Destination File System

While copying over 4GB files using a Windows computer to external storage such as USB drive, micro SD card even external hard drive you may end up with the “The File Is Too Large For The Destination File System” error and no option to continue. It can be for several reasons. But most of the issues can fix just a few seconds without any software installation.

In some situations, fake USB drive manufacture shows its capacity as over  32GB even if you connected to a PC it shows fake storage, but that flash drive has only 2GB actual storage capacity. So make sure that you have a genuine device. Nevermind, you can try the following step by step guide to fix a file is too large for the destination file system without formatting your drive. You don’t need to download any software to change the USB drive, MicroSD card, or even a portable hard drive file system. It can change just a Windows command prompt (CMD).

Common Reasons for File Is Too Large For The Destination File System on Windows computers.

First, you have to make sure that your external storage device has enough free space. If you have, then it might be the issue with the file system. Normally FAT32 system can handle up to the 4GB size file, if you are going to copy over 4GB file, you receive the above-mentioned file is too large error. Converting FAT32 volumes into exFAT or NTFS will resolve this issue. I recommend the NTFS file system.

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USB with Laptop

In this post, I break the how-to guide into two parts. If you don’t care about saved files on your flash drive you can follow the first guide. If you don’t want to lose the files on the external drive you can follow the second guide. Just like the previous source path long guide, you need an admin account PC.


Solution 01 With Formatting USB Flash Drive.

We are going to use the Windows format manager. Before following these steps copy all the files on your USB storage to your laptop or desktop computer.

  • Open Windows file explorer and right-click on the USB drive that you need to format.
  • In the context menu click the “Format” option.

Windows context menu

  • Format option Windows change the file system as the “NTFS” and click the “Start” button.

Change USB flash drive file system

  • Now it formates the USB drive or external hard drive and you can copy over 4GB size files to your device without the “The file is too large for the destination file system” error.

Solution 02 Without Formatting USB Flash Drive.


Before starting following the “solution 02”, make sure that backup all your files on your USB device.

  • Open Windows start menu search “CMD” or “Command Prompt” and run it as an administrator. (right-click on the start menu icon and choose “Run as administrator”)
  • Type following command line in the CMD window. In that command window replace the “drive” word with your USB drive letter which is shown in the Windows file explorer. For instance “convert f: /fs:ntfs“.
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convert drive: /fs:ntfs

  • Hit the enter key to start the file system converting. You can see the progress and wait for a few seconds to complete.
File system convert FAT32 to NTFS Windows CMD
File system change from FAT32 to NTFS

Once it converted FAT32 to NTFS you can revert back. Eject the device from your PC and reconnect and check it fix “The file is too large for the destination file system” error by coping over 4 GB file.


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