Unable to copy files larger than 4 Giga Bytes on my FairPhone (on both internal and external SD)

When I try to upload a large file on my Fairphone 2, an error occurs when uploaded size is greater than4 giga bytes.
I know that this is a common problem on Android, but I have not found a way to workaround this limitation till now …
Thanks for any tip,


If the SD card is formatted with FAT32, no files bigger than 4GiB can be processed. So try exFAT, if possible.


I thought internal storage is ext4 formatted and supports files > 4Gb, but I’ve never tried so I’m probably wrong. For the external card you can try formatting as exFAT, as mentioned above. I’ve read that this does work on the Lineage OS port for the Fairphone 2, but I don’t know about the stock OSes.


4GB is the file size limit of Fat32.

Usually FP2 formats inserted sd cards with Fat32 as default when the user formats the card in the phone. Formating it differently may need root access and further system modifying or doing this with an external sd card reader and a computer. I think without some extra work exFAT is not possible either.
Usually Android which is based on Linux uses some version of extended filesystem 2/3/4. But generally spoken Linux could deal with any filesystem you may have ever heard of (<30+). But sometimes only for read access. It´s just a matter of including and/or compiling into the kernel.

The MTP mode offers the user folders to be accessed and written by a computer. I have successfully transfered a file of 6,5GB to it that way and also could handle it on the phone itself with the Total commander filemanager. Maybe that is a solution for your need.

It is not really an Android problem, rather a filesystem problem. If there would be an option for using another filesystem on external media I also would prefer it.
Any FAT fs is horribly outdated and fragile/not journaling.
I have been mainly using journaling fs for the last 15 years on other systems and therefore always very cautious and attentive when doing FAT32 operations.

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I have never seeen this problèmes on other than faiphone’s one: on m’y wife’s Samsung it works without any problem !

And that helps and takes into account the info kindly already posted here … how?

To summarize:

  • The phone’s internal memory comes formatted in a filesystem which can easily handle such large files.
    Question (trivial, but you didn’t say):
    How much space is free on your phone, and of how much space overall available? There should be something in the Settings giving that info (I’m on a different OS, so I can’t pinpoint it directly for Android 6).

  • 4 GB is the file size threshold for the FAT32 filesystem, it simply can’t store files larger than that.
    Nonetheless it is still widely used for compatibility reasons e.g. on USB sticks and memory cards.

If you chose to use your SD card as external storage (seems that way according to the topic title), and if the card is FAT32 formatted, and you try to put larger files than 4 GB on it … that will not work in any phone. You would have to reformat the card as already suggested.

If this chain of if-clauses for the card doesn’t apply, and regarding the internal storage …

How (via USB connection with a computer or with some file transfer App)?

Which OS are you using on the other side (Windows/Linux/MacOS)?


See, there are different approaches depending on the brand and model.
LG G4 for example formats the sd card with exFat which can handle file sizes up to xxx Petabytes.
As it is a question of licence for the M$ exFat Filesystem some manufacturers may use this or as in case of Fairphone prefer to use the old Fat32.

Btw. I did not have many cases and don’t see many
having the need of files larger than 4GB on my phone.
I keep a 128GB sd card which I sometimes use as portable storage. Sometimes I have to transport .ts satellite broadcasts. So I have to keep them originally split to 1GB files and join them later on a hdd.
I am using emulator apps. PS1 game cd images are no problem, but PS2 dvd images can exceed the 4GB limit (GT4). I could not keep them on my sd card and therefore had to transfer them to the internal memory (via MTP) which would quickly be filled (or use convertion tools like USB-Advanced/Insane/Extreme/Util) to keep split game files on my sd card).
That´s about it with large files on my phone. I cannot remember of other cases having to deal with so massively large files beside backups and archives.

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