NTFS, FAT32, exFAT … what are the alternatives to USB flash drive?
Usually these are the three types of format you can use under Windows with a USB flash drive. Let's take a look at what each of them contains:
It is one of the oldest, and in fact the oldest, currently in use, since its creation began during Windows 95 when it replaced the previous FAT16. One of the benefits of this format is that It is very versatile, and just about any tool supports it.
The bad part is that it has many limitations, and most important of all is that it doesn't file storage greater than 4 GB
Therefore, we will need to install our pendrives on FAT32 only when we want it to be compatible with a large number of devices, but rest assured that they will not have files larger than 4 GB (more than anything since we can't install them internally).
This type of format is special for Windows, because it was built by Microsoft precisely to replace FAT32. Remove the previous limit, so we can use it for the desired size files, and for unlimited size split. In addition, it includes a series of improvements, such as the possibility of setting up file permissions, storing change logs, instant backups and the most interesting ones, supporting encryption.
The disadvantage of this is that, being Microsoft, it is not compatible with all devices. Without further ado, for MacOS or Linux systems we will need third-party tools to write drive data in NTFS format. In any case, this format is the best one for us to use large pendrives and only in Windows applications.
This third type of format, unknown and widely used, is the modern version of FAT32 (although its creation dates back to 2006). Specified for external units, and suggests a ground between FAT32 and NTFS: removes the size limit, but has no advanced NTFS features regarding security and encryption.
The recommended use of this type of format is for external drives where we store files larger than 4 GB and want them to be compatible with a large number of active devices.
How to format a pendrive in Windows
The easiest way to format a USB pendrive in Windows is to open a file browser window, right-click on the drive we want to format, and then click "Format …".
A new window will appear where we can select the volume, file system (format type), allocation unit size (it is recommended to leave it at default), label (unit name) and if we want to format quickly or completely.
Once the desired parameters are found, click on Start and in a few seconds we will have a blank pendrive format for the type we selected.