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How to Assign / Change Drive Letter in Windows 10
We show you how to change the drive letter in CMD, DIsk Management, PowerShell, and Registry editor in Windows 10.
- 1 How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10 via Disk Management
- 2 How to Change Drive Letter in CMD using a DISKPART Disk Management Command
- 3 How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10 with a PowerShell Disk Management Command
- 4 How to Change / Assign a Drive Letter via the Registry Editor
Windows 10 helpfully assigns drive letters to disks as they're added, but they aren't always the most logical choices. While we all know that C: is the system drive, it doesn't make quite as much sense to have D: as your games drive or E: as your media drive. Luckily it's quite easy to change a drive letter in Windows 10, and we're going to walk you through the process today.
How does Windows 10 drive letter assignment work?
For the most part, Windows 10 automatically assigns letters to drives as they're connected, in alphabetical order. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule that may leave some users confused.
As mentioned earlier, C: is always reserved for the system drive, but A: and B: are reserved too, for rarely used floppy drives. Because of Windows automatic assignment, you may have also noticed that Windows changes the drive letter of your USB stick if you've connected another before it.
If you want letters that are easier to identify in bios or don't want your USB letters jumping around, it's quite easy to permanently change a drive letter in Windows 10 to something of your choosing. We're going to cover a few different ways today, including how to change the drive letter in CMD.
How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10 via Disk Management
The most user-friendly way to assign drive letters in Windows is through the Disk Management interface, which is relatively easy to use.
How to Change Drive Letter in CMD using a DISKPART Disk Management Command
Though it's not quite as user-friendly, it can be much faster to change a drive letter with Command Prompt.
How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10 with a PowerShell Disk Management Command
Those more familiar with PowerShell can use this method instead to achieve the same result.
How to Change / Assign a Drive Letter via the Registry Editor
Alternatively, if none of the above methods worked or you're just feeling brave, you can modify the drive letter via the registry. Just be sure to read our safe registry editing guide first.
If you enjoyed this guide, you may want to consider enabling or disabling disk caching or turning on BitLocker for your newly customized drives.
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3 Ways to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10
3 Ways to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10: When you re-install Windows or have started your PC for the first time, you will notice that all your drives or volumes are by default assigned drive letter by Windows 10, well in future you might want to change these letter and in this post we will cover how to do that. Even when you connect an external drive such as hard disk, or a simple USB, you will notice that Windows 10 will automatically assign a drive letter to these connected drives.
The process of Windows is quite simple, it progresses through the alphabet from A to Z to assign the available drive letters to devices as connected. But there are some letters which are exceptions such as A & B are reserved for floppy drives, whereas the drive letter C can only be used for the drive which has Windows installed on it. Anyway, without wasting any time let’s see How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10 with the help of the below-listed tutorial.
Table of Contents
Make sure to create a restore point just in case something goes wrong.
Method 1: How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10 using Disk Management
1.Press Windows Key + R then type diskmgmt.msc and hit Enter to open Disk Management.
2.Now right-click on the drive for which you want to change the drive letter for and then select “ Change Drive letters and Paths ” from the context menu.
3.On the next screen, select the currently assigned drive letter then click on the “ Change ” button.
4.Make sure to select or check “ Assign the following drive letter ” then select any available drive letter you want to assign for your drive and click OK.
5.Click Yes to confirm your actions.
6.Once finished, you can close Disk Management.
Method 2: How to Change Drive Letter in Command Prompt
1.Press Windows Key + X then select Command Prompt (Admin).
2.Type the following command into cmd and hit Enter after each one:
diskpart list volume (Note down the number of the volume for which you want to change the drive letter for) select volume # (Replace the # with the number which you noted above)
assign letter=new_drive_letter (Replace new_Drive_letter with actual drive letter which you want to use for example assign letter=G)
Note: If you selected an already assigned drive letter or the drive letter is not available then you will receive the error message indicating the same, again use a different drive letter to successfully assign a new drive letter for your drive.
3.Once finished, you can close the command prompt.
Method 3: How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10 using Registry Editor
1.Press Windows Key + R then type regedit and hit Enter to open Registry Editor.
2.Navigate to the following registry key:
3.Make sure to select MountedDevices then in right window pane right-click on the binary (REG_BINARY) value (ex: “\DosDevices\F:”) for the drive letter (ex: “F”) of the drive you want to change the drive letter for and select Rename.
4.Now rename only the drive letter part of the above Binary value with an available drive letter for example. “ \DosDevices\G: ” and hit Enter.
5.Close Registry Editor and reboot your PC.
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That’s it you have successfully learned How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10 but if you still have any questions regarding this tutorial then feel free to ask them in the comment’s section.
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Changing drive letter, and all references to it
The old Norton Partition Magic program was fantastic.
You could change a drive letter and all registry references and shortcut references to that drive letter was changed to the new drive letter. Alas, it does not work on Win7.
Does anyone know of a program that replaced it, or that can do the same thing?
Win7 Disk Management only changes the drive letter, not registry entries - unless there is something I have to do like dismounting the drive before making the change. Microsoft, in their benevolence, does not suggest you need to do that.
Replies (5) .
Programs that had this ability have been withdrawn as such a process nearly always fails under win7 (and doesn't work with many installed programs)
Just as programs that are supposed to optimise or clean the registry can and do lead to unintended consequences, such as win processes or other programs failing
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Programs that had this ability have been withdrawn as such a process nearly always fails under win7 (and doesn't work with many installed programs) Just as programs that are supposed to optimise or clean the registry can and do lead to unintended consequences, such as win processes or other programs failing
Thank you for using Microsoft Community.
You may try to change drive letter manually in Registry Editor.
I would suggest you to follow these steps and check if it helps.
a. Click Start button and type registry editor in start search box.
b. Right click on Registry Editor and select Run as administrator.
c. Navigate to following registry entry:
d. Right click on a listed /DosDevices\(drive letter) (Example: /DosDevices\D: ) that you want to change the drive letter of and then click Rename.
e. Rename it with a drive letter that you want to use, and is not already listed here, and press Enter. (Example: If I wanted to change it from D: to K: , then I would rename it to /DosDevices\K: instead.)
f. Close registry editor.
g. Restart the computer to apply the changes.
Note: Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/back-up-registry#1TC=windows-7
Please reply with results so that we can assist you further.
Hello Dan, Thank you for using Microsoft Community. You may try to change drive letter manually in Registry Editor. I would suggest you to follow these steps and check if it helps. a. Click Start button and type registry editor in start search box. b. Right click on Registry Editor and select Run as administrator. c. Navigate to following registry entry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/MountedDevices d. Right click on a listed /DosDevices\(drive letter) (Example: /DosDevices\D: ) that you want to change the drive letter of and then click Rename. e. Rename it with a drive letter that you want to use, and is not already listed here, and press Enter. (Example: If I wanted to change it from D: to K: , then I would rename it to /DosDevices\K: instead.) f. Close registry editor. g. Restart the computer to apply the changes. Note: Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/back-up-registry#1TC=windows-7 Please reply with results so that we can assist you further. Thank you
Thank you for keeping us updated on the status of the issue.
Unfortunately, We do not have any links or information in regards to the programs who mentioned.
I would suggest you to post your question on technet forum.
Technet Forum http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/home?category=w7itpro
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6 Ways to Change the Drive Letter in Windows
If your PC suddenly stops showing one of your internal drives in the file explorer or not list your external drive, it could be due to the OS getting confused with the drive letters. Simply changing your assigned drive letters can help you bypass this conflict. Here are six ways to change the drive letter.
1. Change the Drive Letter Using Settings
2. using command prompt, 3. disk management, 4. registry editor, 5. windows powershell, 6. drive letter changer software, frequently asked questions.
Also read: How to Clean Up and Make Space on Your Windows “C” Drive
Is It Safe to Change a Drive Letter in Windows?
Changing the drive letter is not entirely harmless and can cause significant problems based on the contents of your drive. If you have applications and software installed on your drive, those applications may cease to work.
For example, if you change the name of your D: drive to an F: drive, then the software installed in the D drive will still search for code in the D: file. While you can still access the data inside, there may be errors that will cause a nuisance in your day-to-day usage.
However, you may safely change the letter of some drives. If a partition simply includes data files that you rarely use, changing the drive letter may cause minor inconvenience, but nothing serious. The letters of external drives can almost always be changed without any problems.
- Press Win + I to open the Settings app, then select the “System” tab. Scroll down and click on “Storage.”
- Scroll down on the right side and click on “Advanced storage settings.”
- Under Advanced storage settings, click on “Disks & Volumes.”
- Select the drive whose letter you want to change, then click on the “Properties” button for that drive.
- In the Drive Properties, you will find the option to change the drive letter of the selected drive.
- Once you click on the option to change the drive letter, you will find a drop-down menu that will allow you to change the drive letter.
- Click on the letter you want to assign.
- Once you have selected your preferred letter, click on “OK” to confirm your choice.
Also read: How to Format a Drive in FAT32 in Windows
- Search for the command prompt on the start menu by typing cmd , right-click on it, and select “Run as administrator”.
- On the command prompt home screen, type:
- Press Enter , then type:
- Press Enter. You’ll see a list of your system’s drives. Make a note of the volume number of the drive. In the example pictured, it’s “Volume 3”.
- Type the following code:
- Type the following code to assign the new letter:
Instead of “new drive letter,” type the letter you want. For example: assign letter=S
The drive letter will be changed to your preferred letter.
Also read: 8 Ways to Customize Windows Terminal
- Right-click on the Windows button and open “Disk Management.”
- Under the “Volume” column, you will find the various partitions of your storage. You need to find the drive whose letter you’ll change and right-click on it.
- In the dialog box that appears, click on “Change.”
- Click the drop-down menu next to “Assign the following drive letter,” then select your letter and press “OK.”
- A warning message will pop up. Click “Yes” if you are sure about your decision to change the drive letter.
Also read: Which Allocation Unit Size Is Best for Your Drive?
- To change the drive letter through registry editor, first press Win + R to open the Run dialog and type regedit .
- Type in the following address at the top of the application:
and press Enter .
- Navigate to the list of binary keys. Select the key that corresponds to the drive letter that you want to change. For example, if we want to change the letter of the D: drive, we would look for “\DosDevices\D:”
- Right-click on the selected registry and rename the drive letter to what you want, just as you would rename any other file.You will have to restart your computer for the effects to take place.
Also read: 16 Useful Windows Registry Hacks to Optimize Your Experience
- Using the search button on the taskbar, search for “Powershell” and run it as administrator.
- Type the following command:
- A screen will show you your disk partitions. Make a note of what drive letter you want to change.
- To change the drive letter, type the following command:
Make sure to substitute “current drive letter’ and “new drive letter” with the actual drive letters, then press Enter .
Also read: How to Map a WebDAV Drive in Windows
If you are looking for a tool that can help you manage your partition and drives, these software will help you change your drive letter.
- MiniTool Partition Wizard
- AOMEI Partition Assistant
- EaseUS Partition Master
These tools are easy to use and have GUI interfaces that make them simple to use and also a one-stop destination for you to manage your storage devices. For the purposes of the demonstration, we are using MiniTool Partition Wizard to change the drive letter.
- Download MiniTool Partition Wizard. (It is a direct download link.)
- Run the installer and launch the app. You will get a listing of all your drive partitions mentioned below.
- Right-click on the target drive partition and select “Change Letter.”
- Open the drop-down list and select a new drive letter for your target drive.
- Click on “Apply” to save the changes.
- You will receive a warning pop-up asking you to close all background applications. Click “Yes.”
- You will now receive a confirmation message telling you that the new changes have been applied.Click “OK.”
Also read: How to Format Your USB Drives in Windows
1. How are drive letters assigned in Windows?
Drive letters are assigned to every new drive in alphabetical order. Traditionally, the A: and B: drives were used for floppy disks, and the system drive on which Windows is installed is named C: by default.
2. Can I change the drive letter for the System Drive?
No, changing the drive letter on the system drive is not possible, as Windows is installed on the system drive. If that was changed, the system drive would not be found and the computer would cease working.
3. Can I switch drive letters among two drives?
No, there is no functionality in Windows to switch drive letters directly between two drives. If you want to switch the drive letters between the D: drive and the E: drive, you will have first change the D: drive to another letter (so as to free up the D:), change the E: to D:, then change the first one to E:.
Image credit: Plastic magnetic letters by 123RF
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Ojash has been writing about tech back since Symbian-based Nokia was the closest thing to a smartphone. He spends most of his time writing, researching, or ranting about Bitcoin. Ojash also contributes to other popular sites like MakeUseOf, SlashGear, and MacBookJournal.
5 Ways To Change Drive Letter In Windows 11, 10
Windows is programmed to assign drive letters automatically when a new partition is created. If you do not like the drive letter assigned to a partition, or for any other reason, you can change it.
Windows assigns drive letters in alphabetical order, starting with “C.” “A” and “B” are reserved for floppy disk drives. Since the first partition to be created is the system drive, it is usually labeled “C” by default.
For a partition to show up in Windows Explorer , it must have a drive letter assigned to it. Otherwise, you cannot access the partition. This is also true in case you attach a USB flash drive to your computer.
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Is it possible to change system drive letter.
Before we discuss how to change a drive letter, we must inform you that you cannot change the drive letter of the system drive, after the operating system has been installed on it. This is because many dependent applications and programs are installed which require the complete path to files to function properly.
If the drive letter in the path to a file is changed, the associated app may no longer function. For example, if the initial path “C:\Windows\System32” was changed to “J:\Windows\System32,” certain components of the app may no longer find the file required.
Similarly, if an app or program is installed on another partition other than the system partition, and it does not automatically pick up the changed path (which most modern apps usually do), you may have to make manual changes to the Windows Registries to provide the new path.
Let us now show you 5 ways to change drive letters in Windows.
How to Change Drive Letters in Windows
Change drive letter using disk management console.
The Disk Management Console provides several options to manage your storage partitions and volumes, such as formatting or creating new partitions, shrinking or expanding them, or assigning/changing drive letters.
Follow the steps given below to change the partition’s assigned drive letter:
Open the Disk Management Console by typing in “ diskmgmt.msc ” in the Run Command box .
Right-click on the partition you want to change the letter for, and then click “ Change Drive Letter and Paths ” from the context menu.
Note: If you see that the option is not available or has been greyed out, then the partition’s drive letter cannot be changed.
From the pop-up wizard, click Change .
Select an available drive letter from the drop-down menu in front of “ Assign the following drive letter: ” and then click Ok .
Click Yes on the confirmation dialog box .
[Conditional] You may then see another warning message. If you do, click Yes again, and then restart your computer for the changes to fully take effect.
You will now see that the drive letter has been successfully changed.
Change Drive Letter using Command Prompt
If you are a command-line guy, you can also change the drive letter of a partition using the Command Prompt. Here is how:
Open Command Prompt with administrative privileges .
Enter the disk partition mode by typing in the following, and then hitting Enter :
Run the following to obtain a list of current partitions and their details.
Now select the volume for which you wish to change the drive letter by running the following cmdlet.
Replace [Number] in the command below with the volume number you see in the table obtained in Step 3 above.
Now use the following command to assign a new, vacant drive letter to this volume.
Replace [Alphabet]] with the new drive letter that you want to assign.
The new drive letter will now be assigned. You may now close the Command Prompt since the partition will now automatically open in Windows Explorer.
Change Drive Letter using PowerShell
Changing the drive letter using Windows PowerShell allows you to do so using the Command Line Interface (CLI) in a few easy cmdlets, as opposed to the lengthy process of using the Command Prompt. Here is how:
Launch Windows PowerShell with administrative rights .
Run the following cmdlet to get the current partitions and their associated details:
Now use this information to change a partition’s drive letter.
Replace [OldLetter] with the current drive letter for volume, and [NewLetter] with the new drive letter which you want to assign to the volume.
The drive letter will now change, and the partition will now automatically open in Windows Explorer.
Change Drive Letter from Windows Registry
You can also change the drive letter directly from the Windows Registry. Here is how:
Note: Misconfiguration of critical values in the system’s registry could be fatal for your operating system. Therefore, we insist that you create a system restore point or a complete system image backup before proceeding forward with the process.
You can also use our top selection of disk imaging and backup software so you never lose your data or operating system again.
Open the Registry Editor by typing in “ regedit ” in the Run Command box.
Now paste the following into the navigation bar at the top of the Editor for quick navigation:
In the right-hand pane, look for the values whose name starts with “ \DosDevices .” This will display the current drive letters for the partitions on your computer.
Right-click on the drive letter you want to change, and then click Rename from the context menu.
For example, to change “J”, right-click “ \DosDevices\J: ” and then click Rename .
Now rename the value and replace the old drive letter with the new one, as we did in the image below.
Now restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
When the computer reboots, you will see the drive letter has been changed.
Use Drive Letter Changer
Drive Letter Changer is a third-party freeware that can be used to perform a number of different tasks, including changing a partition’s drive letter. Moreover, it is portable software, which means it does not need to be installed on your PC.
Perform the following steps to download and use Drive Letter Changer to change drive letters:
Download the Drive Letter Changer here .
Extract the contents of the compressed folder.
Run the application labeled “ dChanger .”
The application will now automatically detect existing partitions and drive letters.
Right-click on the drive letter you want to change, expand “ Change drive letter ,” and then select a vacant drive letter that you wish to assign.
The drive letter will now change in an instant.
How to Swap Drive Letters Between Volumes
Unfortunately, there is no direct way of swapping drive letters between 2 partitions; you can only assign a vacant drive letter or remove it.
Therefore, if you wish to swap drive letters between two partitions, you must first change the drive letter of the primary partition to something else, so its initial drive letter becomes vacant. Then, change the drive letter of the secondary partition and assign the drive letter recently vacated from the primary partition. Now you can assign the vacated drive letter from the secondary partition to the primary partition.
This can be a bit confusing, so we have drafted down the process in the methods below.
Swap Drive Letter from Disk Management Console
Open the Disk Management Console by typing in “ diskmgmt.msc ” in the Run Command box.
Right-click on the primary partition and click “ Change Drive Letter and paths “ from the context menu.
From the popup wizard, click Remove .
If prompted for a confirmation, click Yes .
You may then see another warning message. If you do, click Yes again.
Now right-click on the secondary partition and click “ Change Drive Letter and paths ” from the context menu.
Now assign the drive letter from the primary partition and click Ok .
In the confirmation box, click Yes .
Now right-click on the primary partition again, and click “ Change Drive Letter and Paths ” from the context menu.
From the pop-up wizard, click Add .
Now assign the drive letter initially assigned to the secondary partition, and click Ok .
(Optional, but recommended) Now restart your computer so the changes can be finalized.
You can apply the same logic to switch drive letters between 3 or more partitions as well.
Swap Drive Letter using Command Prompt
You can also switch the drive letters between 2 partitions (or more) using the same logic. Here is how:
Enter the disk partition mode by typing in the following, and then hitting Enter .
Now paste the following to obtain a list of current partitions and their details:
Now select the primary volume using the cmdlet below.
Replace [Number] in the command with the volume number you see in the table obtained in Step 3 above.
Now remove the assigned drive letter using the following cmdlet.
Replace [Alphabet] with the drive letter currently assigned to this volume.
Now select the secondary volume using the cmdlet below.
Now assign the recently-vacated drive letter from the primary partition to this volume using the given cmdlet.
Replace [Alphabet] with the drive letter initially assigned to the primary volume.
Now select the primary partition again.
Now assign the drive letter from the secondary partition to this volume.
The drive letters have been swapped successfully. You can now close the Command Prompt.
You can apply similar logic to other methods to swap drive letters between 2 or more drives. This can be done using Windows PowerShell, Windows Registry, and the Drive Letter Changer software.
How to Fix Affected Programs After Changing Drive Letter
As we already mentioned, changing a drive letter where an app or program may be installed might break it. If the problem is not fixed automatically after a reboot, you may have to fix it manually. Here are a few solutions that might work.
Change Path for Shortcut
If you are trying to run an app or program using its shortcut, then just fixing the path of the shortcut might fix the problem.
Right-click on the shortcut and click Properties .
Switch to the Shortcut tab, change the drive letters in the “ Target ” and “ Start in ” fields with the new drive letters, and then continue to click Apply and Ok .
Now try re-running the program using the shortcut.
Revert Drive Letter
If the issue occurs after changing the drive letter, then you can try changing it back to the old one using the given methods above.
This is not an ideal case, but it will probably solve the problem.
If you do not wish to revert to the drive letter, you can skip this method and try out the ones discussed below.
Change Drive Letter in Windows Registry
It may be possible that the drive letter change has not been updated in the Windows Registry, therefore it needs to be manually updated. Here is how:
From the Registry Editor, click Edit and then click Find .
Type in the old location for the app you are trying to troubleshoot, and then click “ Find Next .”
When the search wizard finds a match, double-click on the Value in the right pane, and then change the old drive letter with the new one in the text field under “ Value Data .”
Now repeat steps 2 through 5 until all paths have been updated with the new drive letter.
Once done, close the Registry Editor and restart the computer for the changes to take effect.
After the computer reboots, check to see if the issue has been resolved.
If none of these methods have worked for you, you can try reinstalling the program. Simply delete the app, download the new setup from the vendor’s website, and perform a new install.
People often mistake the drive letter for the name of the volume. However, these 2 are totally different. A drive letter is an alphabet defining a volume/partition on the disk, whereas a name could be anything you want it to be.
By default, Windows names a new volume as “New Volume.” You can change the name of the system volume, but cannot change its drive letter.
That said, we would like to know what prompted you to change the drive letter(s) on your system.
Subhan Zafar is an established IT professional with interests in Windows and Server infrastructure testing and research, and is currently working with Itechtics as a research consultant. He has studied Electrical Engineering and is also certified by Huawei (HCNA & HCNP Routing and Switching).
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How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 11/10
Sep 26, 2023 • Filed to: Answer Hard Drive Problems • Proven solutions
Ask yourself this question: Do you need to change your drive letter? Yes, and for numerous reasons. For example, even though you now rely more on graphical desktops that enable you to easily click on icons, drive letters are still integral to how your software function .
The bigger question is how to go about changing the driver letters of the drives in your PC. The different ways you can do that will be written out for you below. You'll be using Disk Management, CMD, and PowerShell.
- Part 1. Is It Safe to Change Driver Letters?
- Part 2. 6 Ways to Change Driver Letter in Windows 11/10
- Video Tutorial on How to Change Driver Letter in Windows 11/10
- Part 3. Overview of Windows Drive, Partition & Volume
Is It Safe to Change Driver Letters?
Yes, it's very safe to change driver letters . If it wasn't, you wouldn't be reading these letters (pun intended) right now. By default, Windows automatically assigns the letter "C" to your system drive, then other letters to the rest of your storage devices.
But what does it mean to change a device or drive's letter, anyway? Simply put, it's a way to identify your drive by a different letter. But even though changing a driver letter has its benefits, it also harbors risks that can harm your files. How?
For one, changing driver letters confuses Windows. The operating system won't know where to look for your files because it expects to find them in a particular place, but because you've renamed their directory, it will be left unsure what to do.
In a way, it's kind of embarrassing how such advanced technology can sometimes be so dumb, isn't it? Honestly, you just change ONE letter, but your machine doesn't recognize it for what it is!
There is also the risk that any software you install on a drive will cease functioning once you change the letter of that drive . This is not a probability but it's still a possibility, so be wary of doing that. On the bright side, at least the problem is more common with older software. What about the reasons you should change your drive letter?
Say you purchase an external drive and wish to change its drive letter , right? And you're doing this because you already have another drive with the same letter as the external. You can easily do all this without having to resort to complex instructions, and that is very convenient. This freedom to customize your storage devices the way you want is also a welcome addition to computer usage.
- Ease of Recognition
Assigning letters in alphabetical order to drives is a simple way to keep them organized. It benefits you because it will be easier to know what files or programs are installed on which drive. You don't have to waste precious time by going through random locations to find your files.
6 Ways to Change Drive Letter in Windows 11/10
- Way 1. Change a Drive Letter in Disk Management
- Way 2. Change Drive Letter in CMD
- Way 3. Change Drive Letter in PowerShell
- Way 4. To Change Drive Letter in Registry Editor
- Way 5. To Change Drive Letter in Settings
- Way 6. No Changes for the Operating System Drive
The first thing you need to know here is this: You cannot change the drive letter of the drive where your Windows is installed on. The only way for you to do that is to do a clean install of the Windows itself; but why go through all that trouble just to change a simple letter?
With that being said, and except for your operating system's default drive, you have much leeway when it comes to changing drive letters .
Even though Windows automatically assigns a drive letter to any external storage device you connect to it, there are unique occasions where it tries to give an already-assigned letter to a new drive. It thus nullifies the action and prevents the drive from showing up in "File Explorer." That's just one credible reason you might see a need to change a drive letter ; the rest is up to you, but more important is for you to know how to do it. Kicking off the tutorial will be "Disk Management."
1 Change a Drive Letter in Disk Management
1. Press on the "Windows" + "R" key. When the "Run" window pops up, type this command in its search field: diskmgmt.msc.
2. Hit the "Enter" key and "Disk Management" will be launched.
3. You will see a list of drives in the "Disk Management" window. Pick out the one you want to change the letter of, then right-click on it and select "Change Drive Letter and Paths."
4. Click on "Change" and another window will open up.
5. Right beside the "Assign the following drive letter" option, you will see a drop-down menu. Select the drive letter you want Windows to give the storage device from this menu.
6. Click on "OK" and select "Yes". Close "Disk Management" and your drive will now be bearing a brand-new letter.
2 Change Drive Letter in CMD
1. Press "Windows" + "S", then type in "cmd" in the search field you see. Click on "command prompt". After the command prompt opens up, right-click on it, and select "Run as administrator."
2. Type diskpart in the command window and hit "Enter", then type list volume and press "Enter" again. You will see a list of simple volumes under "Volume ###."
3. One of them will be the drive you want to assign a new letter. Knowing which of them is the drive shouldn't be too hard. Just look at each of their corresponding sizes under the "Size" category.
4. Choose the volume and hit "Enter", then type assign letter=R and hit "Enter" one more time.
5. If you want to remove the letter and perhaps replace it with another one, type removes letter=R. And that's it. Close the "command prompt" tool and restart your PC and you should see your drive rocking the new letter you just assigned to it.
3 Change Drive Letter in PowerShell
1. Press the "Windows" key and type "Windows PowerShell" in the search bar. Right-click on the program in the search results and choose "Run as administrator."
2. Type Get-Disk in Windows PowerShell to identify the particular hard drive you want to assign the new drive letter to. Press "Enter."
3. Once you select the drive, type the following command and hit "Enter" to assign the drive letter to the drive: Get-Partition -DiskNumber 1 | Set-Partition -NewDriveLetter G
Take note of this: In the command up there, replace "1" with the disk number of the drive to be formatted; the letter "G" in the same command represents the drive letter to be assigned to the drive, so you can change it to the letter you prefer.
Are you looking to change your drive letter in Windows 11/10 ? You are in the right place. This task can help a lot to better organize your devices and to better remember what content is stored on each of them. The procedure is very simple and you can do it in two ways. In this post you will know how to do it and you will also be advised to avoid changing the letter of your C Drive.
4 To Change Drive Letter in Registry Editor
The first way to change your drive letter is using CMD tool. You can perform this task in just some minutes through the following steps:
Step 1: Open CMD
Hold Windows key and press “R” to open Run tool. Now type “cmd” and press “Enter.” Command Prompt will run immediately.
Step 2: Write the commands
Once you opened Command Prompt, type the following commands. Please don’t forget to press “Enter” after each one.
- list volume
- select volume 1* (change "1" for the number of the volume that contains the partition where you want to change the letter)
- assign letter=X (“X” is an example, you can write the letter you want but it has to be different from the rest of the letters of the other partitions)
5 To Change Drive Letter in Settings
Another way to change your drive letter is through Windows settings. This task is a little bit slower than the last one but if you don’t like to use CMD, this will fit better to you. To change your drive letter through Windows settings, please do the following:
Step 1: Open Windows settings
Press Windows key and click the gear icon to open Windows settings.
Step 2: Open “System” page
On Windows Settings, click “System.”
Step 3: Open “Manage Disks and Volumes”
Once you are on “System” page, click “Storage” and then click “Manage Disks and Volumes.” This will open the page where you will change the drive letter .
Step 4: Open drive “Properties”
Go to the drive you want to change letter and click “Properties.”
Step 5: Click “Change drive letter”
Within Volume Data section, click “Change drive letter.”
Step 6: Type new drive letter
On this window, click the arrow next to the letter and you can select a new one. Finally, click “OK” and the drive letter will be changed.
6 No Changes for the Operating System Drive
If you want to change the letter of the Operating System Drive (C Drive), you will generate problems in your operating system. If you do, Windows will not start because the corresponding files are encrypted and cannot be changed.
In fact, if you try to do this process through Disk Management you will get the message "Some programs that rely on drive letters might not run properly," so it is not recommended that you continue. Even if you don't have important information or you have just installed Windows, I do not advise you to do so and you will avoid to get multiple problems.
Video tutorial: How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 11/10?
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Overview of Windows Drive, Partition & Volume
What's up with these 3 things? Is knowing them significant or something? Yeah, it's a good idea to at least have some basic knowledge of what they are and what they're capable of doing. Besides, you'll understand some of the infinite technical mumbo-jumbo associated with anything computer-related.
1. Windows Drive
This refers to the hard disk drive that comes preinstalled with Windows on your PC. Your PC might also come with more than a single drive, as is the case with more modern and powerful computers that utilize an SSD as the main drive and HDD as a secondary drive, but Windows is always installed on the main drive; always represented by the letter "C." It's where the OS and software titles are stored in your PC.
Having said that, and to reiterate, don't attempt to change the drive letter of your Windows' primary drive. You can change the drive letters of any other drive, both internal and external, but not the main drive because doing that will only lead to more complications and put a dent in the performance of your Windows. All in all, disregard the instructions on changing drive letters in this instance because they are unnecessary.
2. Windows Partition
Think of a partition as a division of your hard disk drive. To be more precise, a partition is a logical separation of one drive, but it seems as if this separation creates many physical drives. When it comes to terms, "partition" and "disk partition" are often interchanged. If the word "drive" is added into the mix, it's usually meant to signify a partition with a drive letter attached to it.
You can divide your hard disk into numerous partitions and give each of them a unique letter. There are over 26 letters in the English alphabet, so you obviously can't run out of letters to assign. Now, changing the letter of each partition pretty much follows the same rules as changing a drive letter. These letters make it easier for you to differentiate the partitions and assign individual purposes for them, or it just makes it more convenient for you to know what's in each partition.
Read More: How To Create Windows Partitions on Mac
3. Windows Volume
Yeah, this is a big one. Just like your main drive, your system's volume is crucial to the system's performance; heck, your PC won't even start if your volume is faulty. Volume refers to the disk volume that contains hardware-specific files that are necessary for your Windows to boot, namely Ntdetect.com, Ntldr, and Boot.ini.
Just like with Windows drive, don't tamper with the letters for Windows volume. Yes, if you follow the steps given earlier, you can change the letters; but why do that when it's only a recipe for trouble.? You're not advised to venture into your Windows volume. Leave it as it is unless you're sure you know what you're doing.
There, with everything written up there, you should have no trouble changing the drive letter of any drive in your Windows 11/10. The methods outlined work for both internal and external hard drives as well as more portable storage devices.
Follow the instructions and you're all set. Just don't go and tamper with more than you've been instructed on; don't be in over your head and kill your innocent drive. Third-party tools might try to entice you into using them to get the job done with the quick press of a button, but don't fall for it. The solutions given here are all you need.
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Change or Delete System Drive Letter via Registry to Remove Conflict USB or FireWire Drive Letter
I n Windows operating system especially Windows XP, when plug in external USB or FireWire mass storage device such as USB key, flash drive, portable hard drive, the drive is not been assigned a drive letter by the system, hence the USB drive or FireWire drive is not showing in Explorer and no AutoPlay or AutoRun window pops up, although the device has been detected, in Safely Remove Hardware (show device but with no drive letter) wizard.
The cause is probably due to ‘stupid’ behavior of Windows XP where it won’t find an available letter from free letters pool when the USB or FireWire external drive which has previously mounted and assigned a drive letter is been inserted to computer USB or FireWire port again, but that previously allocated drive letter has been taken up and used by another storage devices. Another possible reason is all 26 letters in alphabet has been used, but this situation is rare and unlikely.
There is a solution to USB or FireWire drive not showing in system error . However, the disconnect conflicted storage device to free up the drive letter fix may not practicable or usable by some, such as computer which are on a network or system running data transfer activity to all its drive assignments continuously flow without stopping, and thus disconnect or reassigning any mapped drives, networked drives, removable drives or other storage drives is not an option.
In this situation, there is another workaround hack to fix the no USB or FireWire drive issue. The workaround fix relies on the registry tweak below to change the drive letter that has been previously assigned to the mounted USB or FireWire portable mobile flash or hard disk drive. Or if users wish, can opt to delete any reference to the detected drives by the device so that when the storage device is plugged in again, the whole drive letter assignment will be start from fresh, and clean.
- Login to Windows as an Administrator.
- Open Registry Editor by typing regedit (or regedt32.exe in older Windows prior to XP) in Run command of Start Menu and then press Enter.
- Optional step which is not required in Windows XP or later: Right click on MountedDevices , then select Permissions . You can also click Permissions from the Security menu.
- If you run above 2 steps in OS earlier than Windows XP, quit regedt32.exe and run regedit.exe.
Here’s a guidelines that you can follow to quickly determine which registry key is linked to your conflicted drive letter:
- Exclude \DosDevice\A: and \DosDevice\B: which normally reserved for floppy disk drives.
- Exclude \DosDevice\C: which normally is the system root drive.
- If you have more than one fixed hard disk drives, then any drive letters that are using by them is not possible linked again, UNLESS the additional hard disk drive is added AFTER you first use the USB or FireWire device that now unable to show.
- Same case with CD-ROM or DVD-ROM optical drive as above reasoning.
- Change the drive letter (in the example is F) to another unused drive letter that hasn’t been used by another other drives, then press Enter.
- Now insert and plug in the USB or FireWire device into the port again (if it’s already inserted, take it out and re-insert again). The drive letter for the USB and FireWire should now appear and you can use the drive normally and properly again.
- For OS earlier than Windows XP which you have previously change the permissions for the registry key, quit Regedit.exe and start Regedt32.exe, and change the permissions back to the previous setting for Administrators (which should be Read Only).
It’s also possible to simply delete the devices registry keys instead of renaming it. Deletion is helpful is users really can’t find the the registry value for the drive letter that having problem. But make sure that you do a backup for the registry branch by exporting MountedDevices key, as mistake may cause your system unbootable. The delete all possible USB drives, FireWire drives and external drives which have drive letter temporarily only when inserted in the system, and DO NOT delete any of the fixed hard disk drives or CD/DVD optical drives registry values.
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Get a list of drive letters and types from the registry
I have several local drives such as C:, D:, F: and so on. Also several CDROM drives.
I want to know where windows store these data (drive letters and drive types).
Drive letters can be found here:
- Thanks, But What about Drive Types? – Nofuzy Aug 4, 2011 at 8:24
- Thats in the Data column of the keys. – cularis Aug 4, 2011 at 8:29
- But it is in Binary, how to translate them? which means local hard drive? Which means CD-Rom? – Nofuzy Aug 4, 2011 at 9:25
- They are in Hex IIRC – surfasb Aug 5, 2011 at 6:51
- Only hard-drives are in hex, other types have long, variable-length Unicode strings. If you open one in the Edit Binary Value dialog, you’ll see them. A CD/DVD will be something like \??\IDE#CdRomSony… , a flash-drive/memory-card might say _??_USBSTOR#Disk&Ven_SanDisk&Prod… , and a hard-drive will have a much shorter string (~12 bytes) of binary data that is not human-readable. You can also use DevCon and DevManView to get a list of hardware that is or has been attached to the system. – Synetech Mar 21, 2014 at 16:37
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