- We consider the fast Fourier transform (FFT) based numerical method for thin film magnetization problems (Vestgården and Johansen 2012 Supercond. Sci. Technol. 25 104001), compare it with the finite element methods, and evaluate its accuracy. Proposed modifications of this method implementation ensure stable convergence of iterations and enhance its efficiency. A new method, also based on the FFT, is developed for 3D bulk magnetization problems. This method is based on a magnetic field formulation, different from the popular h-formulation of eddy current problems typically employed with the edge finite elements. The method is simple, easy to implement, and can be used with a general current– voltage relation; its efficiency is illustrated by numerical simulations.