NTFS vs exFAT vs FAT32 Difference between them6 min read

FAT32 vs NTFS vs exFAT are the three storage types used to store data in computer,It is created by microsoft. Let’s campare the compatibility, pros, cons and usage of exFAT, NTFS and FAT32

These types mainly used in windows and android running operating system.We can notice windows os is installed in NTFS file system.For removable or Usb drives is formatted with Fat32, This drives can be also formatted with exFat which is derivative to Fat32.


The biggest difference between exFAT vs NTFS is Mac os support. exFAT offers full read-write support for mac while NTFS offers only read only support for mac. exFAT is also compatible with some devices that don’t support NTFS like digital camera.


FAT32 means File allocation Table. It is the oldest file system.It was introdued in 1977 with standalone disk. It has three varients are Fat12 , Fat16 and Fat32.Fat32 is almost universally used in Hard disk throughout DOS and Windows for 20 years.

With the introduction of more powerful computers and operating systems, as well as the development of more complex file systems for them, FAT is no longer the default file system for usage on Microsoft Windows computers.

FAT file systems are still commonly found on floppy disks, flash and other solid-state memory cards and modules (including USB flash drives), as well as many portable and embedded devices. FAT is the standard file system for digital cameras per the DCF specification.

Compatibility – Windows XP and later versions, Mac OSX 10.6.5 and above, Linux (using FUSE), Android.

Pros – Cross-platform compatibility, lightweight.

Cons – Limited file size (up to 4GB) and partition size (up to 16TB).

Usage – Removable storage devices.

FAT32 Limits and Compatibility

FAT32 surmounted the limited volume size offered by the FAT16 file system. The 32-bit File Allocation Table was released in August 1995, with the launch of the Windows 95 operating system. FAT32 allows you to store files of size up to 4GB and the maximum disk size can go up to 16TB.

As a computer era rised with heavy computers and modern computer so fat32 is no longer used in Computers.Almost all versions of Windows, Mac, and Linux are compatible with FAT32 filesystem.


NTFS means New technology File system was introduced in 1993 by microsoft with Windows NT 3.1 OS.NTFS has several improvement to FAT file sysstem.NTFS is supported in other desktop and server operating systems as well. Linux and BSD have a free and open-source NTFS driver, called NTFS-3G, with both read and write functionality. macOS comes with read-only support for NTFS; its disabled-by-default, write support for NTFS is unstable.

Compatibility – Windows, Mac (Read-only), Linux (read-only for some distributions), Microsoft Xbox One.

Pros – Inexhaustible limits for file and partition size.

Cons – Limited cross-platform compatibility.

Usage – Best for internal hard drives. Use it for Windows system drive and any other system partition which may be used to install software.


exFAT means Extensible File Allocation Table. It is the file system introduced by Microsoft in 2006 which optimzed for SD cards and USB drives.exFAT has been adopted by the SD Association as the default file system for SDXC cards larger than 32 GB.

Compatibility – Windows XP and later versions, Mac OSX 10.6.5 and above, Linux (using FUSE), Android

Pros – Behaves as a fusion between FAT32 and NTFS by providing practically unlimited file size and partition size.

Cons – Microsoft restricts its usage by license obligations.

Usage – Use with external hard drives or flash drives if you want to transfer files larger than 4 GB. Always prefer exFAT over FAT32, if the operating system supports it

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