FAT32 Size Limits (Partition and File)


  • FAT32 file-size limit is (2^32)-1 bytes, or one byte less than a full 4GB.
  • FAT32 has a 2TB limit on partition size.
    • Whereas FAT16 has a 4GB limit on partition size.
  • The file system is not the only source of constraint:
    • Windows XP and Windows 2000 limit partition creation to no larger than 32GB on FAT32. This limitation is by design: Microsoft wants you to use NTFS for large drives.
    • Applications could potentially impose their own limits


  • The Microsoft OS imposed limit of 32GB can be side-stepped by formatting instead from the Apple Mac OS (OS X).

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