Writing files larger than 4GB to a USB flash disk

Today we have very large USB flash disks : 4GB 8GB 16GB 32GB.

The problem is due to the file system of a flash disk (usually FAT or FAT32) you are limited by the maximum size of the files to be written (2GB for FAT and 4GB for FAT32).

The solution is to format your flash disk to NTFS. and here is how to do it:


First you must know that NTFS was never meant to be used on solid stat flash disks, It requires many transactions of data and much more read/write than any other file system, and as you probably know any flash disk no matter how fancy the brand is has a life time calculated in write/erase cycles. this life time is usually very large, but when using NTFS as your file system you will run out of cycles much faster.

If you still want to do it here is what you need to do.
– remove all the data you need from the disk because we are formatting.

-with the flash disk inserted, right click my computer and select “manage”

-from the right side of the window double click “storage” then double click disk management (local).

Allowing NTFS format for flash disks
Allowing NTFS format for flash disks

Right click the flash disk you want to format and select “properties” as shown in the picture.

From the new window select “Policy” then click “Optimize for performance” then ok

You will be asked to restart the computer. Do so!

After the restart. open my computer, right click your flash disk and select format. from the file system menu select NTFS (you will not find this option without the procedure above).


You are ready to go.

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