Other devices are even less likely to support NTFS.Compatibility: Works with all versions of Windows, but read-only with Mac by default, and may be read-only by default with some Linux distributions.FAT32 is an older file system that’s largely relegated to USB flash drives and other external drives.

It supports file permissions for security, a change journal that can help quickly recover errors if your computer crashes, shadow copies for backups, encryption, disk quota limits, hard links, and other various features.

Many of these are crucial for an operating system drive — especially file permissions. If you have a secondary drive alongside Windows and you plan on installing programs to it, you should probably go ahead and make it NTFS, too.

While ex FAT is compatible with Macs — and will be compatible with some devices that don’t support NTFS, like digital cameras — it still isn’t quite as compatible.

Microsoft’s own Xbox 360 doesn’t support it, although the Xbox One does.

ex FAT is a strict upgrade over FAT32, and should be the best choice for external drives where you want a lightweight file system without FAT32’s file size limits. While Mac OS X includes only read-only support for NTFS, Macs offer full read-write support for ex FAT.

ex FAT drives can be accessed on Linux by installing the appropriate software.

Whether you’re formatting an internal drive, external drive, USB flash drive, or SD card, Windows will give you the choice of NTFS, FAT32, and ex FAT.

The Format dialog in Windows doesn’t explain the difference, so we will.

A FAT32 partition must also be less than 8 TB, which is less of a limitations — but still a noticeable one if you have a new, high-capacity mechanical drive.

While this file system is okay for USB flash drives and other external media, you won’t want to use this for an internal drive.

However, NTFS just isn’t as compatible with other operating systems.