How Do I Fix The file is too large for the destination file system?

This is the error you you get when attempt to transfer files to an external drive (portable disk, usb flush/thumb drive). Let’s get straight to the point on why you’re getting this error even after clearing up your drive to enough free space.

The answer is that the external drive is formatted as FAT32 or FAT16B and the limitations with these formats are

Limitations Of Fat32/16B

– 4,294,967,295 bytes (4 GB – 1) with FAT16B and FAT32 – they only support 4 GB as maximum file sizes.

Whereas, exFAT and NTFS supports 16GB.  NTFS is faster on Hard Drives and exFAT works better with SSDs.

Since you’ve understood the issue in theory now, let’s get practical.

To fix this issue copy files to an external (disk/drive) larger then 4GB in size, you will need to format it as NTFS.

If you have any files on the drive that you do not wish to lose, then you may temporarily copy them to the computer and once the drive has been reformatted you can put them back.

To format the drive as NTFS, open My Computer -> Right Click the “drive letter”, i have H: as mine, your’s may be different.  Select NTFS for File System, then place a check on Quick Format and click Start.

quick format

After it has been formatted as NTFS, you may start copying your files.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.
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Expert Tip

How Do I Fix The file is too large for the destination file system?

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Restoro which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Restoro by clicking the Download button below.

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