A file system enables Windows to control, store, and retrieve data on a drive. Windows natively supports various file systems such as NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. If you’re wondering which file system a specific drive is using, this tutorial will guide you through four easy methods to find out. Let’s get started.
Note: If it’s an external drive, such as a pen/thumb drive that you want to check, make sure it is plugged in.
Finding File System with File Explorer
File Explorer in Windows isn’t just for managing your files; it’s also a convenient tool to check the file system of your drives. Here’s how:
Press Windows key + E to open File Explorer. Once it opens, click on This PC in the sidebar. Next, right-click on a drive of your choice and select Properties.
You can see the current file system of the drive next to File System. In my case, it is NTFS.
Use Settings App to Identify File System
Press Windows key + I to open the Settings app. Once it opens, navigate to the System > Storage page. Here, scroll down and click on the Advanced Storage Settings option, and then click on Disks & Volumes.
This page shows all the hard drives and partitions in your computer. You can find the drive’s file system directly under the drive label.
Using Disk Management Tool
The disk management tool not only lets you manage all your drives but also lets you find the file system of all drives in one fell swoop. Here’s how:
First, right-click on the Windows logo on the taskbar or press Windows key + X shortcut and choose Disk Management.
In the Disk Management window, you will find the file system of each drive under the File System column.
Note: System partitions such as EFI System Partition and Recovery Partition will not have a file system tagged.
Command to Find Drive File System
If you’d like a command line approach, you can use Command Prompt or PowerShell to find the drive’s file system. Here’s how.
First, open the Start menu, search for Terminal, and click on it to open Windows Terminal. By default, it opens with the PowerShell tab active. If you want to use Command Prompt, click on the down arrow icon and choose Command Prompt. Next, run the below commands depending on the shell of your choice.
You will see the file system of all drives under the FileSystemType column.
Command Prompt command:
You will see the file system of all drives under the Fs column.
And there you have it. It’s that simple to find a drive’s file system.