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Archived - Copying large files to an iPod formatted for Windows

If your iPod's hard disk is formatted to work with Windows, the size of largest file you can copy to it is 4 gigabytes (GB). If you try to copy a larger file, it won't work.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
This is because the FAT32 file system--the Windows hard disk format used for iPod--limits files to 4 GB. This limitation does not apply to an iPod formatted for Mac, which uses the Mac OS Extended (HFS Plus) file system. Its file size limit is much larger, in case you were wondering.

If you're just trying to copy a file to iPod, try using some compression software to make the file size smaller than 4 GB.

If you have a song that's larger than 4 GB, here are a couple to things you can do:
  • Convert the song to a compressed format (AAC, MP3) so that it is less than 4 GB in size.
  • Reimport the song from the original source in smaller pieces (by tracks).

You can read more about the FAT32 file system in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

Related documents
61672: iPod: How to determine iPod's hard disk format

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Last Modified: Feb 19, 2012
  • Last Modified: Feb 19, 2012
  • Article: TA27741
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