I have a Galaxy S5 with Android 5 and got a new 64 GB SD card. What is the best file system for the SD card? FAT32 is not an option because I want files >4GB. Which file system offers the best performance ? Thank you for your help.

  • The only file system you could possibly use is exFAT, because NTFS is not supported by Android. Others like ext4 or similar may or may not work depending on the ROM and how fuse handles them. – GiantTree Apr 12 '15 at 14:52
  • Is ext4 not supported by Android itself? – Asker Apr 12 '15 at 19:00
  • Depends on how fuse handles it. On the one hand I heard that it works like a charm and on the other hand it doesn't. Try it out and report back if can. – GiantTree Apr 12 '15 at 21:05
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    One more thing to consider is whether you might wish to access the card via an external card reader one day – because that then would require the FS being supported by your computer as well. Not a big deal if you're using Linux – but with Windows, ext4 might limit you to read-only (if you manage even that at all). – Izzy Apr 29 '15 at 15:31
  • I guess this should be Trial & Error... test some filesystems and see what fits your needs – Remus Rigo Mar 27 at 20:39

The answer to your question is built into your phone's OS.
1. Put the SD card in your phone
2. Reformat the SD card with your phone(Settings --> Storage/Storage & USB)
3. The file system on the freshly formatted SD card is the type that will give you the best performance with your phone.
4. Outside the context of your phone the optimum file system is another story.

  • An important point: best in speed, but the last in stability. – Barafu Albino May 21 '17 at 12:19
  • Yes, I consider exFAT as good filesystem for SD cards, but it's not supported on my old Android :-(. – pevik Dec 25 '17 at 19:33

Answering the question, the filesystem used on standard Android devices is "exFAT", which is available from Windows Format application and Android's own filesytem management tools. Hope this cleared your doubt.

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    can you elaborate more on why it is best? – AADAndroidEnthusiasts Jun 1 '16 at 13:58
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    And also please give a reference on exFAT being the standard? To my knowledge, Android usually doesn't even support exFAT out of the box (due to license issues AFAIK). – Izzy Jun 11 '16 at 19:35
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExFAT – alejandrob Nov 22 '16 at 11:19
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    FAT is just a /dev/null that occasionally stores things, I'd expect a specialised flash file system e.g. JFFS, YAFFS to be more robust. – Mark K Cowan Dec 5 '16 at 13:27
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    I'd expect a specialised flash file system e.g. JFFS, YAFFS to be more robust are they supported on Android out of the box? – Suncatcher Apr 14 '19 at 4:50

Ext4 should be supported because Android always supports that internally but unfortunately, the SD card is treated differently and even Android One phones do not support Ext4 for the SD card. The Nokia 7.2 Android One phone will not support Ext4 or exFAT or F2FS for the SD card filing system. FAT is the only option in 2019 !


As far as I understand you should avoid used exFAT as it is much less stable in regards to errors than FAT32, NTFS or other filesystem that can handle multiple read/write better and has multiple file tables.


As Android is based on linux, I am running with ext4. Not sure if it is the best but I don't see how it could not run. I am curious about filesystem optimized for flash memory such as F2FS, etc... All those are readable on any recent Linux and Mac. Don't know for Windows.


As far as am aware Windows only supports fat32 if your sd card is under 8g if is over exfat or ntfs. ext4 is only for Linux distros

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