How to Convert an External Hard Drive From NTFS to FAT32

by Gabriel Dockery

Converting a drive from NTFS to FAT32 is sometimes desired for compatibility with other operating systems or devices. Converting an external device to FAT32 allows for compatibility with older device software and hardware. Converting an external hard drive to FAT32 is an easy process which only takes a few mouse clicks, and some time for the formatting to process.


Open Windows Explorer, and locate your drive by clicking the "Start," then "Computer" buttons.


Right click the external hard drive you wish to convert, and select the "Format" heading from the context menu that appears.


Select "FAT32" from the pull down menu under the "File System" heading.


Click the "Start" button to begin the formatting process. This process may take a few minutes to several hours, depending on the size of your external hard drive.


  • check Clicking the "Quick Format" radio button can help reduce long format times for larger drives.


  • close Formatting deletes all data from a hard drive. Ensure all pertinent data is backed up before proceeding with a file system conversion.

About the Author

Gabriel Dockery began writing in 2009, with his work published on various websites. He is working toward a Bachelor of Science in neuroscience in a transfer program between Ivy Tech College and Indiana State University.