Fix File is too large for the target file system in Windows 10

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Philippe Gloaguen

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Many users have reported an error where, when they try to copy a file to a USB drive, they get the error:

The file is too large for the target file system.

This error typically occurs with USB drives when the user tries to copy a single file larger than 4GB, even if the USB drive has enough space. For instance. Let's say you have a 16GB USB drive, but you're trying to copy a 4,6GB file to it. Even if the USB drive is empty, you will face this error.


The cause is that the USB drive was formatted to FAT32. This enforces a policy on the USB drive that no files larger than 4GB can be copied to the drive. We could copy multiple files to the drive taking up total space equal to the drive volume, but no file can be larger than 4GB in size.


Solution 1] By format

The solution to this problem reformats the USB drive and changes the file system. However, this would erase all data on the USB drive, so you could temporarily copy it somewhere else and replace it after formatting.

1] Open File Explorer >> This PC.

2] Right-click the USB drive, then click Format.

3] Change the file system from FAT32 to NTFS.

4] Select the Quick Format option to speed up the process, then click Start.

Once formatted, unplug and reconnect the USB drive and you can copy your file now.

Solution 2] via command prompt

If the above procedure is problematic for any reason, try formatting the USB drive via command prompt.

1] Type command prompt in the Windows search bar. Right-click the command prompt icon and select Run as administrator.

2] Type the following command and press Enter to execute it:

convert X: /fs:ntfs /nosecurity

Where X: is the letter of the USB drive.

3] Curriculum vitae the system and try to copy the file. This time it would work.

I hope this helps!

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