Item cannot be copied because it is too large

I’m baffled. I have actually a 16GB Kingston USB flash drive that I use on my Mac system and I’m trying to copy a 5GB file onto it. It’s empty. But I keep getting the error “can’t be replicated bereason it’s too large”. What’s wrong and how do I solve it?


I’ve seen this error as well and what you’re lacking is the crucial last few words of the error itself. It actually says “item can’t be copied bereason it is too huge for the volume’s format.” That “for the volume’s format” is instrumental, bereason most sellers — Kingston included — ship flash drives via a default format of Windows (FAT). A bit of digging reveals that the max filedimension sustained on the File Alplace Table (FAT) version of the Windows file system is 4GB. So also if the flash drive has loads and loads of obtainable area, the sad reality is that your file is also substantial for the file format.

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But there’s one more opportunity that I see many human being trip over with flash drives also, also when the files are smaller sized than 4GB, that you haven’t emptied your trash yet. It works favor this: You have an 8GB flash drive. You have actually 6GB of records on it. You drag them all to the Trash, then check your complimentary room. It’s 1.6GB. What? Empty your Trash and it’ll both empty whatever traburned records you have actually on the computer itself and also the papers you’ve dragged to the Trash from your USB flash drive too. Confusing, yes. And it’s true on both Mac and also Windows.

Now back to the file as well substantial for the FAT format trouble. Here’s the error message you’re probably seeing:

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As you deserve to check out, if you miss the last few words, you have the right to be baffled exactly how a paper deserve to be significantly smaller sized than the capacity of the thumb drive, yet still fail to copy.

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To deal with it, we’re going to must reformat the flash drive. That’s done by finding the “Disk Utility” regimen that’s consisted of via Mac OS X in the “Utilities” folder within the “Applications” folder. It looks prefer this:

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Launch it and also you’ll check out a list of all drives and also devices hooked as much as your system:

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Be mindful here. Pick the ideal gadget. Take your time here and make certain that you’ve selected the flash drive, not your primary difficult drive. Picking the latter would certainly be a complete disaster and also you’d hate me forever. So don’t carry out it.

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You can confirm by looking at all the stats at the bottom of the window. Here’s what I view for my Kingston drive:

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Notice the file format is MS-DOS (FAT). MS-DOS? Really? Well, it’s at least a very early, relatively primitive file format from the Windows side of things, though I can’t imagine a solitary perboy still running MS-DOS on their computer!

Got the ideal unit? Click on the “Erase” tab then pick “Mac OS Extfinished (Journaled)” — my referral for flash drive formats, though it does make it unreadable on a Windows COMPUTER — and also enter a new name for the gadget if you’re so inspired:

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Take another minute to quadruple check that you’ve picked the best gadget and also click “Erase…”

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Absolutely certain you’ve picked the correct device? Click on “Erase” to proceed…

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After a couple of moments, it shouldn’t take also long, your USB thumb drive will certainly reshow up on the Desktop via its brand-new name and you have the right to currently drag that 5GB file onto the device for safekeeping. I’ll confirm by copying my very own 4.93GB file:

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That’s all tright here is to it. If you want to retain Windows compatibility via the flash drive, you can have to format it on a Windows COMPUTER using the NTFS (Windows NT Data System) format. For reasons that are a bit difficult to fathom, that’s not an alternative in Disk Utility on the Mac.