[Solved] How to Fix The File “is Too Large for the Destination File System” Error When Copy or Move

Windows show the following error message when copy or move the large files from computer to a USB drive or external hard disk although there was sufficient free storage space on the destination disk drive:
The file is too large for the destination file system.

[Solved] How to Fix "The File is Too Large for the Destination File System" Error
[Solved] How to Fix “The File is Too Large for the Destination File System” Error
You get only to click the Cancel button to stop the operation.

This problem occurs when you try to copy or move a file larger than 2 GB and 4 GB to an external hard disk or USB flash drive which was formatted using FAT/FAT16 and FAT32 file system respectively due to the internal structure of file system limitations.

The most common cause of this sort of error message is making a conversion from NTFS file system, which is the default format for hard drives under any Windows going back to Windows XP, to a portable media like a USB stick that came pre-formatted from the factory with the FAT16 or FAT32 file system. Unfortunately, under those two file systems, the largest a single file can be is 2GB/4GB respectively, even if the media overall can store more data.

With large video files routinely exceeding those size limits, attempting to copy one from a hard drive to FAT-formatted media will cause this problem if the file is large enough. Solutions are to reformat the destination with NTFS, or to split the source file if possible so that it’s no larger than 2 (or 4GB) per chunk. Follow the various solution outlined in this article to fix this error message.

Content Summary

Solution 1: Format FAT/FAT32 to NTFS File System in Windows Explorer
Solution 2: Format FAT/FAT32 to NTFS File System in Disk Management
Solution 3: Convert FAT/FAT32 to NTFS File System using Command Prompt
Solution 4: Convert FAT/FAT32 to NTFS File System using Command Prompt (diskpart)

Solution 1: Format FAT/FAT32 to NTFS File System in Windows Explorer

!: This method will erase all data on USB drive. Make sure you have a backup of the important data before formatting it.
Step 1: Open My Computer or This PC the select and right-click on USB drive.

Step 2: Select the Format option from the context menu.

Step 3: Select the NTFS option from the File system drop-down box and check the Quick Format option.

Format FAT/FAT32 to NTFS File System using Windows Built-in Feature
Format FAT/FAT32 to NTFS File System using Windows Built-in Feature

Step 4: Optionally, you can select the Default allocation size option from the Allocation unit size drop-down box.

Step 5: Click the Start button.

Solution 2: Format FAT/FAT32 to NTFS File System in Disk Management

Step 1: Press the Windows logo key + R at the same time to open the Run dialog box.

Step 2: Type diskmgmt.msc in the box and click OK to open the Disk Management console.

Step 3: Locate the destination drive, right-click on it and select the Format option from the context menu.

Step 4: Select the NTFS option from the File system drop-down box and check the Quick Format option.

Step 5: Optionally, you can select the Default allocation size option from the Allocation unit size drop-down box.

Solution 3: Convert FAT/FAT32 to NTFS File System using Command Prompt (Convert)

Step 1: Click on the Start button or go to All programs> Accessories.

Step 2: Right-click on Command Prompt shortcut and select Run as Administrator option from the context menu.

Step 3: Execute the following command in Command Prompt, replace X with the drive letter of USB drive then press Enter: convert X: /fs:ntfs /nosecurity

Convert FAT/FAT32 to NTFS File System using Command Prompt
Convert FAT/FAT32 to NTFS File System using Command Prompt

Solution 4: Convert FAT/FAT32 to NTFS File System using Command Prompt (diskpart)

!: This method will erase all data on USB drive. Make sure you have a backup of the important data before formatting it.
Step 1: Press the Windows logo key + R at the same time to open the Run dialog box.

Step 2: Type diskpart in the box and click OK.

diskpart command
diskpart command

Step 3: Type the following commands into the Command Prompt one at a time and press Enter after each command.
list disk
select disk n (n represents the disk number of your external hard drive)
clean
create partition primary
format fs=ntfs quick
or format fs=fat32 quick

diskpart command to convert to NTFS
diskpart command to convert to NTFS

Step 4: Type exit and press Enter.