How to Format a Hard Drive to NTFS in Linux

If you are a dual user, jumping back from Linux to Windows, or working with a Windows user and need to access the same files, it is best to use a public partition in NTFS format, because both operating systems can access the partition.

Linux proves its versatility by supporting all storage formats supported by Windows. Of these three types of files, FAT32 is too limited by modern usage, and its main limitation is that the maximum file size is 4GB. ExFAT will not be better because it is more like a “middle ground” between FAT32 and NTFS.

This makes NTFS the best choice, and thankfully it’s easy to format your hard disk to NTFS format in Linux. There are many ways to do this, but one of the easiest ways is to use GParted.

Create NTFS partition with GParted

GParted Is the most popular application of its kind in the open source world, so it may already be installed in your distribution. If not, please find it in its software center / app store, or install via terminal by:

sudo apt install gparted

Run GParted and select the hard disk to be formatted as NTFS from the drop-down list in the upper right corner of the program window.

Linux Ntfs Format Select HDD

Double check that you have selected the correct hard drive. You don’t want to ruin your personal photos.

Create a new partition

We connected a completely blank disk, so GParted showed its space as unallocated. If you already have one or more volumes on your volume and you are sure they do not contain the data you need, right-click them and delete them one by one.

Linux Ntfs Format Create New Partition

Right-click the unallocated space and select New from the menu that appears.

Click the drop-down menu next to “File System” and change its type to “ntfs”.

Linux Ntfs format partition settings

We recommend that you do not change the remaining settings. As it is, they should use the entire HDD space for a primary NTFS partition that Linux and Windows can recognize.

However, be sure to give it a name in the Label to make it easier to identify. If you don’t, distributions usually install it by using a less friendly UUID.

Check and apply

By default, GParted adds each operation to the batch, but does nothing to the hard disk. Every change is virtual until you make it permanent.

Linux Ntfs Format Application

Click Apply to begin the process. GParted will ask you if you are sure you want to proceed – keep in mind that choosing the wrong hard drive can cause data loss. Also click “Apply” here and GParted will begin to perform its magic on disk.

If you want to check additional information for each step, you can expand the list in the Details section of the Applying Pending Actions window.

When you are done, click “Close” and enjoy the new NTFS partition.

Lastly, if your distribution uses Gnome as its desktop environment, it is likely that Gnome Disk Utility is also installed. Usually, you can find it as a “disk” through the distribution’s main menu, and it also allows you to format any drive as NTFS.

Linux Ntfs format Gnome disk format

To do this, run it, select the disk you want to format to NTFS from the left pane, click the icon with the two gears with its illustration, and select “Format Partition …” Set the format to NTFS and proceed. format.


  • How to completely erase a hard drive in Linux
  • How to write to a Windows partition in Linux
  • How to access Bitlocker encrypted Windows partition from Linux