How to Copy Large Files to a Flash Drive

Flash storage devices are generally formatted using the FAT32 file system for compatibility with Macs, computers with a Linux operating system and consumer audio/video devices. This compatibility has a drawback, however, in that the FAT32 file system is unable to store files larger than 4 GB. To store large files on a flash drive, split them into multiple parts or format the drive using a different file system.

USB Stick, Jump Drive, Portable Memory
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Formatting a Flash Drive to NTFS

Step

Connect the flash drive to your computer. Click the "Start" button, then click "Computer" or "My Computer."

Step

Right click the flash drive, and click "Format."

Step

Click the "File System" drop-down menu, and select "NTFS."

Step

Click "Start." The flash drive will be formatted using the NTFS file system, which supports file sizes over 4 GB. Keep in mind that using the NTFS file system on a flash drive may reduce its life slightly, as NTFS is a journaling file system which results in more frequent write operations. Additionally, the drive may lose compatibility with computers and devices not running Microsoft Windows.

Splitting a Large File into Multiple Parts

Step

Download and install File Splitter using the link in the "Resources" section of this article. Launch the program after it is installed.

Step

Click the top "Browse" button. Navigate to the location of the file that you would like to split and double-click it.

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Click the bottom "Browse" button. Navigate to the location where the split file should be saved, and click "OK."

Step

Click the drop-down menu next to "Size of a chunk" and select a size for each chunk of the split file. Any size under 4 GB can be used.

Step

Click the "Split" button to split the file into chunks. The smaller chunks can then be copied to the flash drive and rejoined on another computer using File Splitter.