Difference between FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS File Systems.

File System for an operating system provides a way to organize files and to manage the drives. It specifies how data will be stored in form of file and folders and provides the meta data about the files like name, permission, size and other attributes. FAT32, exFAT and NTFS are file systems used by Windows Operating System. FAT32 is the oldest one, exFAT is replacement of FAT32 and is compatible on multiple devices. NTFS is the latest file system.

Following are some of the important differences between FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS File Systems.

1IntroductionFAT32 was introduced with Windows 95 to replace older FAT16 file system used in DOS and Windows 3.exFAT was introduced in 2006 with Windows XP and Vista.NTFS was introduced with Windows NT and widespread usage happened with Windows XP.
2FeaturesEasy to use and format. Quick to access.Suited for Flash drives. Lightweight. Have features but no overhead of NTFS file system.NTFS supports file permissions, change journal, helps quickly recover from error when computer crashes, shadows copies for backup, provides encryption, disk quota limits, hard linkings etc.
3CompatabilityWorks with all versions of Windows, MAC, Linux etc. Any drive having USB port can use FAT32.Works with all versions of Windows, MAC OS X. Requires additional softwares on Linux.Compatible with all versions of Windows, Read-Only with MAC and some version of Linux
4LimitationMaximum file size 4 GB, Maximum partition file size 8 TB.No file size or partition size limits.No file size or partition size limits.
5Ideal UseBest for removable drives having max size of 8 TBBest for flash drives.Best for Windows System and Internal Drive used by Windows.
Updated on 06-Jan-2020 06:40:49