A volume label is a user-friendly name or identifier that can be assigned to a custom flash drive to help users easily recognize and differentiate it from other devices. Volume labels are particularly helpful when you have multiple storage devices connected to your computer, as they provide a simple and memorable way to identify your custom flash drive in your end-user’s computer.
Volume label limitations do vary among different file system formats used in storage devices, such as flash drives. The length and character restrictions for volume labels depend on the specific file system used to format the drive. Here’s a brief overview of some common file systems and their volume label limitations:
Volume Label Limitations per File System
FAT12 and FAT16:
These older file systems, typically used in older and smaller-capacity drives, allow volume labels up to 11 characters in length. They support uppercase letters (A-Z), numbers (0-9), and some special characters (e.g., space, period, and hyphen).
FAT32 is a more modern file system that is widely compatible with various operating systems. It retains the same limitations as FAT12 and FAT16, with volume labels supporting up to 11 characters, including uppercase letters, numbers, and some special characters.
We highly recommend using FAT32. Nearly every job we have produced was formatted with the FAT32 file system. It is highly supported world wide.
NTFS is a popular file system for Windows operating systems, offering improved performance, reliability, and security compared to FAT file systems. NTFS volume labels can be up to 32 characters long and support a broader range of characters, including both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, spaces, and special characters.
Mac has limited support for NTFS volumes. The drive will work, but it cannot be written to. On a Mac, an NTFS drive is read-only.
FAT is an extended version of the FAT file system designed for larger-capacity drives and improved compatibility with modern operating systems. Like NTFS, exFAT volume labels can contain up to 32 characters, including uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, spaces, and special characters.
It is important to note that while file systems may support specific character sets and lengths for volume labels, the actual display of these labels may vary depending on the operating system or file management tools being used. Additionally, some characters may not be supported or display correctly on certain systems or devices, so it’s generally a good idea to use simple and universally compatible characters for volume labels.