Difference between NTFS, FAT, FAT32 and exFAT file systems

NTFS vs FAT vs FAT32 vs exFAT

Terms like NTFS and FAT file systems may also appear to some. Indeed, many of us do not know the precise definition of these terms. In this article, we will attempt to answer some of these questions, such as: what are the FAT, FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS file systems and what are the differences between them.

NTFS vs FAT vs FAT32 vs exFAT

NTFS and FAT file systems are used in an operating system, but NTFS supports large files and large volumes, while providing an efficient data organization, compared to other file systems.

What are FAT, FAT32, exFAT and NTFS file systems?

NTFS and FAT are a file system that represents a technique of organizing and storing data on the drive. These file systems also specify the type of attributes that can be attached to a file, such as file names, permissions, and other attributes.

FAT file system

L & #39; Acronym FAT represent File Allocation Table. This is a simple file system originally designed for small disks and simple folder structures. In short, this is an organization method, a file allocation table, which resides at the beginning of the volume. In case of misfortune, two copies of the table are kept to protect the volume.

FAT32 is the de facto standard. However, there is a limit to this standard. Individual files on a FAT32 drive can not exceed the maximum size of 4 GB. In addition, the FAT32 partition must be less than 8 TB. This is why FAT32 is considered appropriate for USB flash drives or external media, but as an internal drive.

exFAT file system

As the name suggests, exFAT is the abbreviation for "Extended file allocation table"This is an upgraded version of FAT32 created by Microsoft. It is similar to the FAT32 file system but does not have the limitations of the FAT32 file system, that is. it allows users to store files much larger than the 4 GB allowed by FAT32.

NTFS file system

NTFS was created primarily for the purpose of removing the limitations of FAT file systems. Also enable robust security. As such, the NTFS file system prevents unauthorized access to the contents of the file by applying a cryptographic system named Encryption file system that uses the security of the public key.

Apart from the above, the FAT file system can not open files with file names that use non-English letters. This limitation is removed by NTFS. It can use any UTF character. As such, it can easily be named using even harsh languages ​​like Hindi, Korean or Cyrillic.

Difference between NTFS, FAT, FAT32, and exFAT file systems

The FAT system, in most cases, supports files up to 4 GB in size. NTFS can have files up to 16 TB. The other differences are:


  • Supports disks larger than 40 GB to 2 TB more than GB.
  • Allow extended file names, foreign characters.
  • Has a severely handicapped maintenance system in chkdsk.
  • Chkdsk is notoriously slow.
  • Increased security with file encryption
  • Faster on discs under 40 GB.
  • Small groups of files, 4 KB.
  • Compression to reduce disk space.
  • User permissions for files and folders.
  • File copies are "canceled" if the interrupted cluster is cleaned up.
  • Small files are kept in the master file table at the beginning of the drive.


  • Not compatible with the recent version of Windows
  • Support for drives larger than 32 MB to 2 TB
  • Better features and interactive recovery utilities
  • The operation of the disc is fast
  • Just a space for the operating system to read the files
  • Faster on drives under 10 GB (FAT 16 cluster size is 32 KB)
  • Cluster strings containing interrupted copy data are marked as damaged
  • The master file table is separate from the files.

FAT 32

  • Lack of security features in the more modern NTFS file system.
  • Fails to install modern versions of Windows (the file is large and can be installed on drives formatted with NTFS).


  • ExFAT readers are accessible under Linux by installing the appropriate software.
  • Works with all versions of Windows and modern versions of Mac OS X.

I hope this clarifies the matter.

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