How To Fix The Item Can Not Be Copied Because It Is Too Large For The Volume’s Format When Copy File From MacOS To USB Disk

When I copy an iso file from macOS to a USB disk, I meet The item can’t be copied because it is too large for the volume’s format error message. This article will tell you how to fix this error.

1. Why It Is Too Large For The Volume’s Format.

  1. The reason for this error is because the USB disk format is windows dos format, such as fat32.
  2. The dos format disk max single file size is 4 GB. So when the copied file is large than 4 GB, then the error will happen.
  3. We can find the USB disk format using the macOS disk utility tool.
  4. Click Finder —> Applications —> Utilities —> Disk Utility to open the disk utility tool window.
  5. In the Disk Utility window, click the External —> Your USB Disk in the left panel, then you can see the disk volume format is MS-DOS(FAT32) in the right panel.

2. How To Fix It Is Too Large For The Volume’s Format Error.

  1. To fix this error, you need to reformat the USB disk with a macOS disk format such as Mac OS Extend(Journaled).
  2. But if you want to use the USB disk to transfer a big file from macOS to Windows, you need to reformat it with ExFAT format, otherwise, Windows will not recognize the disk format and need to format it when you plug it into the USB disk into PC.
  3. Select the External —> Your USB Disk in the macOS Disk Utility tool window, please note, that you should select the disk carefully, do not select the main disk.
  4. Before erasing the USB disk, you need to back up the existing data to a safe place in your computer, this is very important because the erasing will remove all the data in the USB disk.
  5. Then click the Erase icon at the Disk Utility window top menu bar, and select Mac OS Extended ( Journaled ) disk format or ExFAT disk format in the dropdown list.
  6. The ExFAT disk format support 16EB (BILLION TB) data size and it is supported by multiple OS ( Windows, Linux, macOS ), so with this disk format, you can transfer the files between different operating system.
  7. Click the Erase button to reformat the USB disk.
  8. When the reformat process is complete, you can copy the big file from macOS to the USB disk.

3. Format The USB Disk With ExFAT Format On Windows.

  1. Besides formatting the USB disk to ExFAT disk format on macOS, you can also do it on Windows.
  2. Connect your USB disk to a PC.
  3. Open file explorer in Windows, and right-click the USB disk on the Windows explorer’s left side.
  4. Click Format menu item in the popup menu list.
  5. Select exFAT disk format in the File system drop-down list.
  6. Click the Start button to format it. When the format process is complete, you can use it to transfer big files ( larger than 4 GB ) between macOS and Windows.

4. How To Transfer Video Files With The Size Larger Than 2GB From MacOS To USB.

4.1 Question (2022/08/05).

  1. I have some video files on my MacBook Air, their size is different.
  2. I want to copy them from my MacBook Air to my USB disk, my USB disk size is 128GB.
  3. But I find that video files that size larger than 2GB can not be transferred to the USB disk and that files with a size smaller than 2GB can be transferred.
  4. I use another 8GB USB disk to test whether this is the USB disk issue or not and find that the issue is the same on the 8GB USB disk.
  5. I think this issue happens on the MacBook Air only because when I copy files larger than 2GB from Windows to my USB disk, there are no errors.

4.2 Answer.

  1. You can follow this article to reformat your USB drive with the ExFAT format. Please read the article carefully.
  2. Then the issue may be fixed.
  3. If the error still exists, you can use another disk manager tool ( such as the ForkLift 3 ) other than the mac Finder.

14 thoughts on “How To Fix The Item Can Not Be Copied Because It Is Too Large For The Volume’s Format When Copy File From MacOS To USB Disk”

  1. Thank you for posting this! I got a new 128GB flash drive and went to transfer a 17GB file onto it and was surprised that the drive wouldn’t accept it. I followed the above directions (and also had to find and close all the applications accessing the drive), and I was able to transfer my large file. Thanks again!

  2. My USB disk has totally 64GB size, it is a USB 3.0 drive. It can be used to copy files. But today when I copy a file which is 8GB size to the USB drive, it prompt the error message which said the item can not be copied because it is too large for the volume’s format. But my USB disk has totally about 35GB free disk space. This confused my a lot of times. I am very lucky to find this post, and it help me to fix the issue, thanks for the writer.

  3. Thank you!! I was dealing with this sometime, but today, I said no more, I told my kid about to and he said about the DOS formatting and copy function limitation and told me reformat the drive, , I wasn’t sure so I googled it and I found you, and yes it worked, and he told me and you mentioned here.

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