Windows mainly uses two different file systems called FAT32 and NTFS. If you ever need, follow the below steps to determine your drive’s file system.
There is a wide range of file systems and Windows supports all most all major file systems like FAT, exFAT, FAT32, NTFS, and ReFS. Each file system has its own rules, advantages, and disadvantages. For example, the NTFS file system, designed by Microsoft for Windows, supports file encryption, file compression, file permissions, and even supports for ridiculous file sizes. In contrast to that, the FAT32 file system can only support files up to 4GB in size and there is no support for file permissions, encryption, or compression.
Though you don’t have to worry about this, for the most part, depending on your use case it is important to use the correct file system. For example, if you want to control who can access files on a particular drive then you need to use the NTFS file system.
So, if you are ever in doubt, here are some simple ways to find the file system of any drive or partition in Windows.
Note: Windows installation drive will always be an NTFS file system. That’s because Windows automatically formats the drive in the NTFS file system for the installation drive. You cannot install Windows on other file systems.
There are several different ways to find the drive file system. I will show the three most popular and easy to ways. Follow the one you are comfortable with.
1] Drive Properties
The easiest way to determine the drive file system is to use take a look at the drive properties window. It shows the file system name front and center.
1. First, open the File Explorer by pressing the Win + E keyboard shortcut.
2. After opening the File Explorer, click on the “This PC” option appearing on the left panel. This action will take to the drive listing screen.
3. In this window, you will see your drives or partitions under the “Devices and Drives” section. Right-click on the drive of your choice and select the “Properties” option.
4. In the properties window, you will see the drive file system right next to the “File System” heading. In my case, the drive is NTFS.
2] Disk Management Tool
The other way is to use the built-in disk management tool. The advantage of this tool is that it shows the file systems of all the drives at the same time.
1. First, open the start menu, search for “Create and format hard disk partitions” in the start menu and click on the result. Alternatively, press Win + X and select the “Disk Management” option.
2. The above action will open the Disk Management tool. Once opened, you can see the file systems of all the drives under the “File System” column.
3] Command to Find Drive File System
If you like or don’t mind the Command Prompt, you can use the command-line utility called Diskpart to see the drive file system. All you have to do is list the volumes and just like the Disk Management tool, it will show the file systems of all the drives.
1. Open the start menu, search for “diskpart” and click on the result. This action will open the Diskpart command-line tool. If you see a UAC (User Access Control) prompt, click “Yes”.
2. In the command-line tool, execute the below command. You can see the File System right under the “Fs” column.
3. Once you are done, type
exit and the diskpart tool will be closed.
That is all. It is that simple to find the drive file system in Windows 10.
Hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible. If you like this article, do check out how to delete files securely so they are not recoverable.