How to Copy Large Files to a Flash Drive

By Jason Artman

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.

Formatting a Flash Drive to NTFS

Step 1

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

Step 2

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

Step 3

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

Step 4

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 1

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

Step 2

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

Step 3

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

Step 4

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 5

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.