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Easy GUI Tool for Formatting to exFAT on Ubuntu

Ubuntu 11

In this guide, we will explore how to format a partition to exFAT using an easy GUI tool in Ubuntu. This process is particularly useful for users who are not comfortable with terminal commands and prefer a graphical interface instead. We will be using the gnome-disks utility, also known as the “Disks” application, and the “KDE Partition Manager”.

Introduction to exFAT and Ubuntu

The Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT) is a file system introduced by Microsoft in 2006. It is optimized for flash memory such as USB flash drives and SD cards. Ubuntu, on the other hand, is one of the most popular Linux distributions, known for its user-friendly interface and robust community support.

While Ubuntu supports a variety of file systems, it doesn’t come with out-of-the-box support for exFAT. However, this doesn’t mean that Ubuntu users can’t use exFAT. With the help of some tools, you can easily format a partition to exFAT.

Formatting to exFAT using Disks Application

The Disks application is a built-in utility in Ubuntu that allows you to manage disk drives and media. Here’s how to use it to format a partition to exFAT:

  1. Open the “Disks” application. You can do this by searching for it in the Dash.
  2. Select the disk drive you want to format from the list on the left.
  3. Click on the “gears” button located below the Volumes section and select “Format Partition”.
  4. In the format options, choose “Other” as the type.
  5. Enter “exfat” as the filesystem type.
  6. Click on the “Next” button and then “Format” to start the formatting process.

Please be cautious while selecting the disk or partition to avoid any accidental data loss.

Using KDE Partition Manager

If you’re not a GNOME user or prefer a different tool, you can use the KDE Partition Manager. It’s similar to GParted but has support for exFAT. Here’s how to install and use it:

  1. First, install the KDE Partition Manager by running the following command in the terminal:
sudo apt install partitionmanager
  1. Open the KDE Partition Manager.
  2. Select the disk drive you want to format.
  3. Right-click on it and select “New”.
  4. In the file system type, select “exfat”.
  5. Click on “Apply” to start the formatting process.

Just like with the Disks application, be careful while selecting the disk or partition to avoid any accidental data loss.


Formatting a partition to exFAT in Ubuntu is straightforward with the help of GUI tools like the Disks application and KDE Partition Manager. While the terminal is a powerful tool for managing disk partitions, GUI tools provide a user-friendly alternative for users who are not comfortable with command-line interfaces.

Remember to always back up your data before formatting a partition to prevent accidental data loss. Also, keep in mind that exFAT partitions may have limitations when it comes to resizing or extending them. Always refer to specific guides or resources for such operations.

Can I format a partition to exFAT using the terminal in Ubuntu?

Yes, you can format a partition to exFAT using the terminal in Ubuntu. The command to do so is sudo mkfs.exfat /dev/[partition]. Replace [partition] with the appropriate partition identifier.

What are the advantages of using exFAT?

exFAT is a file system optimized for flash memory, making it ideal for devices like USB flash drives and SD cards. It supports large file sizes, which is beneficial when dealing with media files. Additionally, it is compatible with both Windows and Mac systems, allowing for easy file transfer between different operating systems.

Can I format an existing partition to exFAT without losing data?

No, formatting a partition will erase all existing data on it. If you have important data on the partition, make sure to back it up before proceeding with the formatting process.

Can I use exFAT on other Linux distributions besides Ubuntu?

Yes, exFAT is supported by most Linux distributions. The process of formatting a partition to exFAT may vary slightly depending on the distribution, but the general steps should be similar.

Is there a size limit for exFAT partitions?

exFAT has a theoretical maximum file size limit of 16 exbibytes (approximately 18.4 million terabytes) and a maximum partition size limit of 128 pebibytes (approximately 144 million terabytes). However, the actual limitations may depend on the specific implementation and the file system driver used.

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