How to Convert a FAT32 Partition Into NTFS (And Why You Might Need to)

Sandeep Agarwal

Last week we published an article which briefly described differences between FAT32 and NTFS file systems. We talked about the various features and capabilities that each one has in its bag. Now, for any reason, if you have been using FAT32 and intend to convert to NTFS, we are out to help you today.

The best strategy would be to take a backup of your data, format the disk and change its file system.. but that isn’t why you are reading this article, is it? 🙂 So, we will tell you how to do the conversion (and why you may want to) without formatting your disk.

Note: The process we are going to talk about is one way. If ever you wish to switch back FAT32 you will need to format your disk (though I have heard Partition Magic can do it, I am not quite sure of it). And we still suggest you take a backup of important files and folders (never know when things can go wrong).

If you read the article that we pointed to earlier, you must have learnt that NTFS has quite a few advantages over FAT32. Until you really need FAT32 for compatibility (to support older programs) reasons, you may be interested in NTFS for its security, encryption and other features. It also has better fault tolerance and compression capabilities. Check the table given below.


Steps to Convert FAT32 to NTFS

Once you are sure of what you want to do, follow the steps given below:-

Step 1: Launch Command Prompt in administrator mode. Go to Start and type cmd in the search bar. Right click on the result and choose Run as administrator.


Step 2: Take note of the drive letter and label that you want to convert. Double check this before you proceed.

Step 3: Type the command convert drive-letter: /fs:ntfs. For example, if I want to convert f drive I would enter convert f: /fs:ntfs.

Now, the process won’t begin right there if your disk is in use. It shall be scheduled and will trigger when your machine boots the next time.

Step 4: When the conversion process is complete, you will get a message saying Conversion Complete. Quit the prompt and enjoy your new setup that you got without formatting and without any loss of data (hopefully).


The command is quite simple but not many people are aware of it. And since we talked about the different file systems we thought we should put this up as well (in case you wish to convert). For more help on the convert command, type convert /? in cmd.

Also See
#hard disk#How-to/Guides

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