File System – Types & Differences – NTFS, Fat32, exFat

by Chaitanya Vankadaru 0

File System

Did you notice some features whenever you format a SD card or USB Drive or Flash-Drive or a Memory Drive?

Windows will give you different options of the File Systems. NTFS, Fat32, exFat are the options suggested to users by Windows among the File Systems. However, many of you don’t know the Concept hidden behind these File Systems and their uses.Let us dive into topic then. I’ll make you swim in Inner depths of File systems literally.

First of all, what is a File System actually? I think this may revolve in your mind, after reading this thing out. I’ll explain it elucidatively for you. Actually, a File System is nothing but a collection of Methods and Data structures, which are traced out by an OS on a Disk or Partition, a way of self organizing files in a Disk.

It is indeed most important criteria in every OS. However, Many Operating Systems can handle more than one File System appropriately. In some cases, Operating System and File System are bonded in such a way that no action can separate them from each other.

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1.NTFS: It is the modern file system, which is likely to be use by Windows. Actually, Windows introduced NTFS it with the Windows NT Operating System in 1993. So, by default when you install Windows OS into your PC or Laptop, it sets the Default File System formatted in NTFS type. NTFS could rely for Huge Space Partitions or Disks. So, Windows intorduced this feature for it’s OS sophistication. However, if you want to install programs in any other drive, rather than of Windows OS Drive, you should make it NTFS too for proper working of the offliberated programs.


Features of NTFS: A Heap of all Modern User Friendly Options. It supports File Security Claims, Help assistance to recover errors quickly,whenever your computer crashes or slows down, shadow copies for backups, encryption, hard links, disk quota limits. Most of them are compulsory for each and every OS drive.

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Compatibility : NTFS can work with all latest versions of Windows,but has Limited Section Compatibility for all other operating systems.

*Mac OS X :Read, but cannot Write on NTFS drives.

*Some Linux distributions may enable NTFS-writing support, but some can have read-only permissions.

*Sony’s PlayStation consoles(PSP’s) doesn’t support NTFS.

*Microsoft’s Xbox 360 can’t read NTFS drives, and the new ones of Xbox are an exception.

 2. Fat32: FAT32 is considered to be the oldest file system. It came into force in Windows 95 to replace the clumsier old FAT16 file system. Fat32’s age has advantages and disadvantages. As it is so old, it’s a de-facto standard. Pen drives or Flash drives you use are formatted with Fat32 by Default.


Features of Fat32 : The FAT file system family is accepted and supported by almost all Operating Systems. But, it is likely to be used for external storage purposes only. Because, it lacks the standards of File Security and Permissions features, as if in a Internal Storage File System.

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Compatibility: Works and Supported by almost all the Operating Systems.

3. exFat: exFAT is a file system with ownership based permissions and rights, along with fractioned security. It is introduced in 2006.


Features of exFat: Alike NTFS, exFat also has very large file size and partition limits. It means you can store files that are larger than 4 GB apiece on a flash drive or pen-drive or SD card, if it is a exFat formatted.

Compatibility: exFat file System is supported by all Windows systems.

Finally, I conclude that NTFS is good to use for internal drives, and exFAT is generally efficient for flash drives. Sometimes, you may use FAT32,if exFAT isn’t supported by your device.

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