Difference between FAT and NTFS File System

File systems allow the driver to stay organized in terms of storing data. Its primary role is to ensure it stores the data correctly and reflects the file types, including filenames and permission to the user. The windows-operated file system has two types such as NTFS and FAT. The NTFS refers to the New Technology File System, whereas the FAT means the File Allocation Table. Both file types have some crucial advantages and disadvantages. And today, in this article, we will dig into the significant difference between fat and NTFS.

What is FAT File System?

FAT is the product of Microsoft, and it is referred to as the File Allocation Table. Microsoft developed FAT in 1977, and it was the simplest type of file system. Now it is one of the oldest file systems, and you may not find it in most computers. However, this file system was not very efficient and less compatible with the OS and removable storage cards. Generally, this system is used to define the status of clusters and build relationships between them. It used to work as the table of content where the computer’s OS can easily find the stored data with directories and other information.

Most of the removable storage devices used to apply, such as digital cameras, Smart TV, and many other handy devices.

However, if the FAT device is damaged, the hard disk that stores the data used becomes non-readable. Hence the data of the reader used to be lost; hence this file system has many issues.

Benefits of FAT File System

  • The FAT file system works well even if there is a partition of the disk that is under 200MB.
  • It is compatible with various versions of Windows OS.
  • It is primarily used in a multiboot system in the case of the primary partition.

Disadvantages of FAT File System

  • The directory of the FAT file system does not have any formal organization.
  • If the partition of the disk goes above 200MB, then it can reduce the performance.
  • Also, the FAT file system is not secure as the NTFS file system is available for the Windows operating systems.

What is NTFS File System?

In 1993, Microsoft came up with the latest file system and named it NTFS. The NTFS was the short abbreviation of New Technology File System. It started being widely used in most windows systems.

It can be considered the updated version of the FAT file system that is also more performance-oriented, reliable, and has sufficient disk storage space. NTFS is now one of the most potent, multiaccess control and efficient file systems. That is widely used in various versions of Windows from 2000. NTFS also has some additional features such as fraud prevention, data security, reliability, multi-streaming, and more.

However, there are some places where this file system may not sound appropriate, and hence there is a need to use the exFAT file system. It is the same as FAT32 but offers more storage space compared to this file system.

Benefits of NTFS File System

  • The NTFS file system is secure compared to FAT because it prevents any unauthorized access to the files.
  • This file system works perfectly smoothly even if there is a partition of the disk above 400MB.

Disadvantages of NTFS File System

  • However, this file system is not supported extensively,
  • And if you make the partition of the disk under 400, the performance can affect it.

Difference between FAT and NTFS File System

Difference between FAT and NTFS File System

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  • The structure of NTFS is a bit complicated compared to the FAT file system.
  • NTFS is designed and developed to store and support large files and large volumes of them. However, FAT devices comparatively store fewer large files with their low volume.
  • FAT is not as secure as NTFS because it comes with encrypted and security-enabled features.
  • The performance of NTFS is better than FAT because it is the updated version of FAT.
  • When it comes to speed, the FAT is again slower than the NTFS file system.
Difference FAT File System NTFS File System
Abbreviation FAT represents the File Allocation Table that works as the table of content for the windows operating system. NTFS represents the New Technology File System that is used in various windows operating systems.
Maximum Character Number It supports up to 83 characters in its file. However, this supports up to 255 characters.


FAT is not secure because it does not have features to prevent any unauthorized access. The NTFS has encryption and security features that help in preventing any unauthorized access to these files.
Size Of The File


The file size can be up to 4GB, and it does not support any file if its size is above 4GB. The file size can be 4GB to 16TB, and the file size will not be supported below it.
Data Restoration


If the FAT file system is damaged, then the data will not be covered. However, if the NTFS file does not work, the user can also recover or restore the data in the disk.
Compression Support


It does not offer any file compression support. It also has flexible file compression support that helps compress the file as per the user’s need.
Data Transfer


With the FAT file system, data transfer is possible between operating systems. It does not allow the user to transfer the file between two windows operating devices.
Supported OS


The FAT is supported in Windows 95 to 2003, and XP The NTFS is supported in Windows XP, 7,8,10, Linux, and even in Mac OS X


So, FAT and NTFS are two significant types of windows operating file systems. And FAT refers to File Allocation Table, and NTFS is the short form of New Technology File System. Both have some advantages and disadvantages in terms of speed, accessibility, security, and more. And all this information we covered in this article, including the difference between fat and NTFS.

So, we hope now the meaning and difference between fat and NTFS are cleared to you. We hope you liked this helpful information; if you want to keep reading such exciting topics, stay tuned with us.

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