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How to convert NTFS to FAT32 without losing data? Help!

Hi guys! I want to access a 1 TB external HDD that was used on a Windows PC on my Mac. The hard drive is NTFS-formatted, so I can't save files to it on Mac. I'd like to convert it to FAT32 without losing data so that I can use this drive on Mac and PC. Is there any way to achieve the conversion?

Best Answered by

iBoysoft author Jenny Zeng

Jenny Zeng

Answered on Wednesday, November 22, 2023

To convert NTFS to FAT32 without losing data on Mac, you need to back up data on the drive to another storage device (computer or external drive) or a cloud service first and then reformat it in Disk Utility.

In fact, you should choose exFAT instead of FAT32 if the purpose of the drive is to transfer files on your Windows PC and Mac. That's because FAT32 only supports a maximum file size of 4GB and a maximum partition size of 2 TB. That being said, if you have a video file that's over 4GB in size, you can't store it on your FAT32-formatted drive. Or if you have a drive with more than 2TB of capacity, you can't format it with FAT32.

On the other hand, exFAT can store single files up to 16 EB and its maximum partition size is 64TB. To conclude, only use FAT32 when you don't need to save files larger than 4GB and the device you plan to use the drive with asks for FAT32.

Regardless, here's how to convert NTFS to FAT32 or exFAT on Mac without losing data:

  1. Back up files on your NTFS drive.
  2. Open Disk Utility from the Applications/Utilities folder in Finder.
  3. Click View > Show All Devices.
  4. Select your external NTFS disk and click Erase.
  5. Name your drive.
  6. Choose FAT32 or exFAT as the format.
  7. Select GUID Partition Map as the scheme.
  8. Click Erase.
  9. Copy the backed-up data to your formatted drive.

If that's not applicable to you, the only way to access NTFS drives on macOS and Windows without losing data is to use an NTFS for Mac tool like iBoysoft NTFS for Mac. It's a reliable NTFS driver that can mount your NTFS drive in read-write mode on Mac.

With it, you don't need to worry about transferring files to another drive so you can convert NTFS to FAT32 without losing data, as it allows you to write data to the NTFS-formatted drive without formatting. Just download and install it, then you can use your NTFS drive on your Mac without hassle.

Your drive will work like it's formatted with a native macOS file system. You're not required to reopen the app to enable write access to your NTFS drive after rebooting your Mac or reconnecting it, as it does the job automatically.

This tool is compatible with macOS 13 Ventura ~ macOS 10.13 High Sierra running on Intel-based and Apple Silicon Macs and can perform various tasks such as checking, repairing, and unmounting NTFS drives. Additionally, it can also format non-NTFS drives to NTFS.

Click the button below to get the best NTFS reader!

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