Raspberry Pi

How to Enable exFat File System on Raspberry Pi

The exFAT(Extensible File Allocation Table) is a file system similar to FAT32 and NTFS that is used in portable storage devices like USB and SD cards. The exFAT is much faster than the NTFS and it can support large partitions upto 128 pebibytes. The major feature of the exFAT is you can recover your data including images and videos which are unintentionally deleted if the format of the USB or SD card is exFAT. By default exFAT is supported by the latest version of the Raspberry Pi but if it is not supported, then we can enable it by simply installing some packages which are described in this article.

How to install exFAT file system on the Raspberry Pi

Update and upgrade the Raspberry Pi repository is the first step before installing new packages on the Raspberry Pi:

$ sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade -y

To enable the exFAT, we will need to install its dependencies by using the command:

$ sudo apt-get install exfat-fuse exfat-utils

The above two packages are used to manage the storage devices which are in exFAT format. The exfat-fuse package is responsible to mount and read the data of the storage device of exFAT format and the exfat-utils enable you to manage the different operations like format the storage devices (exFAT format) in Raspberry Pi.

How to mount the exFAT storage device on Raspberry Pi

After the installation of the exfat-fuse and exfat-utils, the Raspberry Pi will automatically mount the exfat storage devices when they are attached to Raspberry Pi. For this purpose, we have attached the USB to the Raspberry Pi which is in exFAT format, when the USB is attached to the screen, a message will be prompted on the screen:

Click on the OK button in the message prompted on-screen, a screen will be displayed which has the files of the USB named, “Hammad”:

How to format an exFAT storage device on Raspberry Pi

To erase all the data from the storage device and make it just like the newly bought storage device, we will format the storage device. Now to format the exFAT USB, we will first list down all the connected devices with the fdisk command:

$ sudo fdisk -l

Scroll down and we will find out the USB device:

Now to format, we will run the command by replacing the /dev/sda2 with the path of your storage device:

$ sudo mkfs.exfat /dev/sda1

To confirm whether the USB has been formatted or not, we will use the command:

$ sudo fsck.exfat /dev/sda1

Totally zero files and directories means that USB has been formatted successfully.

How to unmount the exFAT storage device on Raspberry Pi

To unmount the storage device, we will simply go to “File manager” and right-click on the device name (Hammad) then select the “Unmount Volume”:


The exFAT was released in 2006 by Microsoft and is much better than the NTFS and FAT32 file systems. In this write-up, we discussed that the exFAT is supported by Windows and MacOS but the latest version of Raspberry Pi OS also supports it and if it is not supported, then we can enable it using some simple commands.

About the author

Hammad Zahid

I'm an Engineering graduate and my passion for IT has brought me to Linux. Now here I'm learning and sharing my knowledge with the world.