How to fix Flash Drive says not enough free space but there is plenty

An error may occur when trying to transfer a file larger than 4GB to a USB flash drive. The error message states that there is not enough free disk space – even though there is plenty of free space available.

Not Enough Free Space on the Drive

When you try copying more other files to this external hard drive, you may find something important: you can copy the smaller files to this external drive just fine. Only when you attempt to copy a large file equal or larger than 4GB to the external drive, Windows gives you such an error. 

"Not enough free space on flash drive" error is caused due to the destination hard drive running a FAT32 file system. FAT32 was first established in Windows 95 and is now recognized by most computer operating systems.

The total size of the files that you can copy to a FAT32 drive could be as large as 2TB, however, it has a 4 GB file creation and transfer limitation, which means that files cannot be created or transferred to the hard drive if they are larger than 4GB. 

How to Fix Not Enough Disk Space Error

Solution1: Convert FAT32 with NTFS

1. Use Convert Command Prompt

Command prompt is also known as CMD, which is used to carry out entered commands. Normally, people use commands to automate tasks via scripts and batch files, perform advanced administrative functions, or try to solve certain kinds of Windows issues. 

Here is how to disable not enough disk space error by using command prompt: 

Step 1: press WIN+R keys to call out the Run box. In this box enter "CMD" and press "OK". 

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Step 2: in the command window, enter "convert [drive letter] /fs:ntfs" and wait for the process to finish. Please note you may encounter "Data error <cyclic redundancy check> ", don't mind because the selected partition has already been converted into NTFS. 

Step 3: enter "Exit" to drop out the command window. 

2. Use Partition Wizard

The second option to convert FAT32 to NTFS is to employ MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition. The reason why I recommend this freeware is that you can use it in Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10, both 32 bits and 64 bits, to convert FAT32 to NTFS without entering so much commands and should finish the conversion in only a few clicks. 

Step 1: Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard to its main interface, there you can see all your hard drives connected to your computer are listed in the middle pane. 

Step 2: Click on the USB hard drive to be converted and select "Convert FAT to NTFS". 

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Step 3: A new window will come out on which you should click "Start" to begin the conversion. 

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Step 4: When Partition Wizard shows the conversion is completed, you just click "Close" to end the small window and then exit MiniTool Partition Wizard. 

Solution 2: Split Large File into 4G Chunks - No Data Loss


If you want to remove "there is not enough free space on the drive" and transfer a large file to a removable hard drive, a solution should be breaking the large file into several parts, with each one smaller than 4GB. As to the file splitting tools, I think many software are competent to do this job, such as WinRAR, which only takes three simple steps! 

Final words

I have gone through two ways to cope with "not enough disk space error": to split large files to smaller chunks and to convert FAT32 to NTFS, if none of these works, you can try another method - format external hard drive to NTFS file system. If you are troubled by "not enough disk space but there is plenty" issue, you can try these solutions.

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