The Four Solutions for Windows Error “the file is too large for the destination file system”

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Anish Kumar

Posted on
July 21, 2022


The windows error “the file is too large for the destination file system” will probably pop up on your screen when you copy files to an external drive. This error is dedicated to the file system of the destination drive. It means the file system of the destination drive is not supporting the file that you […]

There are windows file systems, namely FAT (FAT16), FAT32 and NTFS, that support a limited file size in the device. FAT supports up to 2 GB maximum file size, FAT32 supports up to 4 GB file size, and for NTFS, the file size goes up to 16 GB. So, if you are getting this Windows error, the chances are that the destination drive file system is FAT or FAT32.
The key is to convert the files system into NTFS. Here are four ways you can resolve this error and easily store the files to an external hard drive.

1. Reformat in the “disk management”

To prevent the error, try converting the file system from FAT or FAT32 to NTFS with Windows disk management tool.
Press “Windows + R” for “run dialog”> input “diskmgmt.msc” in “Open” field> Press “enter”. In the “disk management” window, locate the destination drive> right click and tap “format” option> choose “NTFS” in the” file system” box in the popup dialog box> click OK.

2. Reformat Windows explorer

Start by following these instructions:

Go to “Start menu”> Click “computer”> find and pitch on destination drive in windows explorer> right click and tap on “Format” from the context menu> in the popup dialog box, select ”NTFS” in “file system” field >click “start”.

3. Convert file system in command Prompt

Open “run” dialog box> type “cmd”> press “enter”> in the command prompt windows type “convert drive “letter”: /fs: file system”> press “enter” and let the process begin.

4. File system convert tools

Other than inbuilt window tools for file system conversion, there are external tool options that you can use to start the process. Ensure the tool is reliable; unreliable tools can risk your drive and data leading to data loss. Or else, you have to visit a data recovery specialist to retrieve your files.


WIndows error “the file is too large for the destination file system” can be prevented when converting the FAT or FAT32 file system to NTFS. Destination drive with NTFS file system can store up to 16TB data which helps you copy any large files to the external hard drive. Make sure you have created a safe backup of your files before proceeding with these above file system conversion methods. Any interruption or failure in the process can cause inevitable data loss in the drive.

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