Format ExFAT drive in Windows

ExFAT is faster than NTFS by up to several percent hard drive write speed. ExFAT allows a hard drive to easily be read across operating systems. Windows Subsystem for Linux can read ExFAT drives. Formatting a disk deletes all data on the drive. The system hard drive %SYSTEMDRIVE% for Windows OS MUST be NTFS.

NOTE: If the hard drive is unformatted, it will not have a drive letter. If you are SURE the drive is empty or want to erase the contents to make it ExFAT, do this through Disk Management.

Format a drive to ExFAT from Windows Explorer by right-click on drive to format and select “format” → File System: “ExFAT”

Format ExFAT

Alternatively, format a drive to ExFAT from Command Prompt or PowerShell by:

format driveletter /FS:exFAT /Q

Format a drive to ExFAT from Disk Management by running diskmgmt.msc and right click the new drive → Format. If NTFS is the only option, use Windows Explorer to format to ExFAT after first formatting to NTFS here.