How to Convert FAT32 to NTFS Without Losing Data?

Almost every person with a modern computer knows that converting FAT32 to NTFS requires formatting the drive. That, in turn, requires deleting everything on that drive. Formatting a drive to convert FAT32 to NTFS is not a problem if you have a tiny USB thumb drive and a computer with free space. Things go sideways when you need to convert FAT32 to NTFS without losing data on a large external drive. If you have found yourself in need to convert FAT32 to NTFS or NTFS to FAT32 without losing data, this article will help you with that.

Convert FAT32 to NTFS Without Losing Data

Many will be surprised to learn that converting FAT32 to NTFS without losing data (and vice versa) does not require third-party apps. All you need is a Command Prompt and a couple of commands.

  1. Press Win + R and enter the cmd command.
  2. Press Shift + Ctrl + Enter to run the command with Administrator privileges. Note that the commands you are about to execute to convert FAT32 to NTFS without losing data will not work in a Command Prompt without elevated privileges.
  3. You can also press Win + S, enter cmd, then click Run as Administrator in the search results. That is just another way to launch Command Prompt as Administrator in Windows 10.
  4. Run the following command:
     chkdsk X: /f

    Replace X with your drive’s letter. This step is not necessary, but we still recommend checking the drive for errors to prevent possible problems with converting FAT32 to NTFS or NTFS to FAT32. convert fat32 to ntfs without losing data

  5. Wait for Windows to check your drive for errors. The system will try to fix problems if it finds any.
  6. Now you need to enter a command to convert FAT32 to NTFS without losing data. Enter the following:
     convert X: /FS:NTFS
    

    Again, replace X with your drive’s letter. convert ntfs to fat32 without losing data

  7. Wait for Windows to convert FAT32 to NTFS. The process will not format your drive; thus, you will not lose any data.

It is worth mentioning that converting FAT32 to NTFS (and vice versa) might take a lot of time, depending on how large your drive is, how much data it has, and its type (HDD, flash drive, memory card, SSD).

How to Convert NTFS to FAT32 Without Losing Data?

If you want to convert NTFS to FAT32 without formatting a drive, repeat all the steps above. On step 6, use a slightly different command:

convert X: /FS:FAT32

Do not forget to replace X with your drive’s letter, for example:

convert E: /FS:FAT32
Cyril Kardashevsky

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