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How to change a drive letter on windows 10 or windows 11.

You can change your drive letters in Windows 10 and 11 using the Disk Management utility.

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What changing a drive letter does, how to change a drive letter, how to fix programs broken by changing a drive letter.

Changing the letter of a drive is easy on Windows 10 and Windows 11, but you should do it as soon as you add the drive to prevent future hassles. Find out how to change a drive letter here.

Windows assigns drive letters alphabetically --- starting with C --- when they're initialized. If you want to change a drive letter, you should do it before you install anything on the drive. Changing a drive letter after programs are installed could break them since there will be references to an installation location that is no longer there.

Windows has gotten pretty smart about updating shortcuts so that programs work after changing a drive letter. Most of your applications' shortcuts will probably be automatically corrected. Unfortunately, Windows isn't as good about updating file associations. You'll have to manually set the default apps associated with files to fix file associations if they were broken by changing the drive letter.

It is possible to change the boot drive letter to something else, but we don't recommend it. Changing C:\ to another letter is likely to result in severe issues, like a PC that cannot boot into Windows at all. Even if it were able to boot, there would be a huge number of programs that would not be able to run.

Technically speaking, while they are commonly called drive letters, each letter actually refers to a partition on a disk. If you have multiple partitions on a single disk, you will need to assign a letter to each partition to make them all accessible. If a disk has just a single partition, it will just have a single letter pointing to that partition. (However, you do not have to assign a letter to each partition. Partitions without drive letters will not appear in File Explorer and elsewhere.)

Changing a drive letter is pretty simple. Click the Start button, type "Disk Management" in the search bar, and then hit Enter.

The program name displayed in the search will not be Disk Management. It will be "Create and format hard disk partitions."

Start menu search showing disk manager result is not called disk manager

You could also hit Windows+X or right-click the Start button, and then click "Disk Management."

Click

Identify the drive you'd like to change in the Disk Management Window. In this example, we'll change the letter of the D:\ drive to J:\. You can right-click the drive on the text list, or on the menu below. Either works.

Right click the drive in the list, or right click the drive on the menu at the bottom.

Select "Change Drive Letter and Paths" in the right-click menu that appears.

Click

In the window that pops up, click "Change."

Click

Select whatever letter you want from the drop-down menu. Then click "Ok."

Select letter from drop down menu, then click

Two popups will warn you about changing your drive letter. Click "Yes" on both of them, and then restart your computer.

Once Windows has restarted, the drive letter should be changed.

Arrow pointing to change drive letter.

There are a few ways you can fix a program broken by changing the drive letter.

Fix The Shortcut

If you're lucky, the only thing that is broken is the shortcut. Fix a shortcut by right-clicking the shortcut on your desktop, and then click Properties.

Click

You need to change the target of the shortcut to the new drive letter.

For example, if GIMP was previously installed at " D :\GIMP 2\bin\gimp-2.10.exe," and you changed the D drive to J, change the target of the shortcut to " J :\GIMP 2\bin\gimp-2.10.exe."

Finalize the change by clicking "Apply" and then "Ok."

Edit the shortcut. Then click

Reinstall the Program

Reinstalling the program will generate new entries in the registry, so everything on the computer will know where to look for the program. Some installers won't like reinstalling directly over existing files, so you may need to rename or delete the old installation first.

Change the Drive Letter Back

If you changed the drive letter of a drive with a lot of programs installed, it might be easier to change the drive letter back. Changing the drive letter back should automatically fix any programs and file associations that were broken.

Edit the Registry

You can break programs, or even Windows itself, by editing the registry. Be careful, and learn about how to edit the registry before you try it. Make sure you backup the Windows registry first. You should not attempt this method unless you have no other options.

Windows, and a lot of programs, track where programs are installed via the Windows registry. It is possible to manually adjust the registry to fix broken programs. Keep in mind that there could be dozens of registry entries you need to edit. A program like GIMP can have registry entries for the context menu, for the "Open With" menu, for any file associations, and for the location of its executables. Other programs may only have a few entries related to where it is installed.

If you're not deterred, here's how you do it.

First, you need to know where the program was previously installed. In this case, the program was installed to the "D:\GIMP 2" folder, and the executables were found the "D:\GIMP 2\bin" sub-folder. It is now located at "J:\GIMP 2" instead.

We need to update the registry to reflect the change in location. Click the Start button, type "regedit" into the search bar, right-click Regedit, and click "Run as administrator."

Click

In Regedit, hit Ctrl+F to bring up a search window. Type in the old location for the program you're trying to fix --- "D:\GIMP 2" for our example --- then click "Find Next."

Click

Once Regedit has found something with "D:\GIMP 2" as part of a path, it'll show it to you. Here is an example from the GIMP search.

Some of the GIMP search results found in the registry.

To actually change them, double click the name of the registry entry you want to modify. Then change the drive letter to J, or whatever you chose. If you didn't otherwise move the folder, leave the rest of the path alone. Then click "Ok."

Change the drive letter in Value Data.

You'll need to repeat this multiple times. To find the next result using your search term, you can hit the F3 key. There will be a popup once you've found all of the entries.

Changing drive letters can be a simple way to customize your PC. Do it before you install anything on the drive, however. You'll prevent any problems before they occur, and probably save yourself quite a bit of troubleshooting.

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Change a drive letter

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Applies To: Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows Server 2022, Windows Server 2019, and Windows Server 2016

If you want to change a drive letter assigned to a drive, or you have a drive that doesn't yet have a drive letter, use Disk Management to change it. You can also mount the drive in an empty folder so that it appears as a folder. For more information, see Mount a drive in a folder .

If you change the drive letter of a drive that already contains Windows or apps, apps might have trouble running or finding the drive. We suggest not changing the drive letter of a drive that already contains Windows or apps.

The following steps show how to change the drive letter.

Open Disk Management with administrator permissions.

In Disk Management, select and hold (or right-click) the volume on which you want to change or add a drive letter and select Change Drive Letter and Paths .

Screenshot showing the Disk Management window with the Change Drive Letter and Paths feature selected.

If you don't see the Change Drive Letter and Paths option or it's grayed out, the volume either isn't ready to receive a drive letter or it's unallocated and needs to be initialized . It might also be that the drive isn't accessible, which is the case with EFI system partitions and recovery partitions. If you've confirmed that your volume is formatted with a drive letter that you can access but you're still unable to change it, that's beyond the scope of this article. We suggest contacting Microsoft Support or the manufacturer of your PC for more help.

To change the drive letter, select Change . To add a drive letter if the drive doesn't already have one, select Add .

Screenshot of the Change Drive Letter and Paths dialog.

Select the new drive letter and choose OK . Then select Yes when prompted about how programs that rely on the drive letter might not run correctly.

Screenshot of the Change Drive Letter or Path dialog that shows how to assign a new drive letter.

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Additional resources

How to assign permanent letters to drives on Windows 10

You can assign drive letters manually, and in this guide, we show you how on Windows 10.

change letter hard drive windows 10

On Windows 10, when connecting a removable storage device or an internal hard drive, the system detects and assigns a drive letter automatically to make it usable. However, when reconnecting an external drive (such as a USB flash drive or SD or microSD cards), the system can end up assigning a different letter, which can be annoying.

If you want to see the same drive letter on a particular device, you can manually assign a permanent letter to any drive connected to your computer, and on Windows 10 , you can do this in at least three different ways, using Disk Management, Command Prompt, or PowerShell.

Using this approach will prevent Windows 10 from assigning a new letter or trying to set a letter already in use, which can cause conflicts. Also, it helps to select a drive letter that makes more sense to you.

In this Windows 10 guide, we walk you through several methods to manually assign a permanent letter to a drive, as long as you're connecting the drive to the same device and the letter isn't already in use.

How to assign a drive letter using Disk Management

How to assign a drive letter using command prompt, how to assign a drive letter using powershell.

To manage drive letters with the Disk Management tool, use these steps:

  • Open Start .
  • Search for Create and format hard disk partitions and click the top result to open the Disk Management experience.
  • Right-click the drive and select the Change Drive Letter and Paths option.
  • Click the Change button.
  • Select the Assign the following drive letter option.
  • Use the drop-down menu to assign a new drive letter. Quick tip: To avoid the system trying to assign the same letter to another drive, it's a good idea to start adding letters in backward order. For instance, instead of using D, E or F, it better to start with Z, Y or X when assigning a new letter.
  • Click the OK button.
  • Click the OK button again.

Once you complete these steps, the drive will permanently retain the assigned letter, even after reconnecting it. However, if you connect the drive to another device, it may receive a different letter.

While the easiest way to assign a new drive letter is to use Disk Management, you can also use DiskPart in Command Prompt to perform the same task.

To assign a drive letter using Command Prompt, use these steps:

  • Search for Command Prompt , right-click the result, and then select the Run as administrator option.
  • Type the following command to start DiskPart and press Enter : diskpart
  • Type the following command to list all the available volumes and press Enter : list volume
  • Type the following command to select the volume (drive) to assign a new letter and press Enter: select volume 3 In the command, make sure to change "3" to the number that represents the drive on your device.
  • Type the following command to assign a new drive letter, and press Enter : assign letter=Z The command assigns the letter "Z" to the drive assuming it's available. However, you need to make sure to change the letter for the one that you want to use.

After completing these steps, similar to Disk Management, every time you reconnect the storage to the same device, Windows 10 should assign the same letter automatically.

Alternatively, you can also use PowerShell to change a drive letter on Windows 10 using these steps:

  • Search for PowerShell , right-click the result, and then select the Run as administrator option.
  • Type the following command to list the available drives and press Enter : Get-Disk
  • Type the following command to assign a permanent letter to the drive and press Enter : Get-Partition -DiskNumber 1 | Set-Partition -NewDriveLetter Z In the command, make sure to change "1" to the number that represents the drive that you want to modify, and change "Z" for the new letter that you want to use.

Once you complete the steps, the drive will be accessible through File Explorer using the letter that you assigned, and Windows 10 won't try to change it.

Updated March 7, 2019: We revised this guide to make sure it's current with the latest version of Windows 10.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

  • Windows 10 on Windows Central – All you need to know
  • Windows 10 help, tips, and tricks
  • Windows 10 forums on Windows Central

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Mauro Huculak

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

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How to Change a Drive Letter

Don't like the letters assigned to your drives in Windows? Change them!

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What to Know

  • Open Disk Management. Locate the drive you want to change. Right-click and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths > Change .
  • Select the drive letter you want to assign from Assign the following drive letter . Then select OK and choose Yes .

The letters assigned to your hard drives, optical drives, and USB drives in Windows are not fixed. Use the Disk Management tool in Windows to change drive letters. These steps apply to Windows XP and newer versions of Windows .

How to Change Drive Letters in Windows

Follow these steps to change the driver letters in any version of Windows.

You can't change the drive letter of the partition that Windows is installed onto. On most computers, this is usually the C drive.

Open Disk Management , the tool in Windows that lets you manage drive letters, among [many] other things.

In Windows 11/10/8, Disk Management is also available from the Power User Menu ( WIN + X  keyboard shortcut) and is probably the quickest way to open it. You can also start Disk Management from the Command Prompt in any version of Windows, but starting it via Computer Management is probably best for most of you.

Locate from the list at the top, or from the map at the bottom, the drive you want to change the drive letter of.

If you're not sure that the drive you're looking at is really the one you want to change the drive letter for, you can right-click or tap-and-hold the drive and then choose Explore . If you need to, look through the folders to see if that's the right drive.

Right-click or tap-and-hold the drive and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths .

Select Change .

If you've selected the primary drive by accident, some versions of Windows will display a message that reads Windows cannot modify the drive letter of your system volume or boot volume.

Choose the drive letter you want Windows to assign to this storage device by selecting it from the Assign the following drive letter drop-down box.

You don't need to worry if the drive letter is already being used by another drive because Windows hides any letters you can't use.

Select OK .

Choose Yes to the Some programs that rely on drive letters might not run correctly. Do you want to continue? question.

If you have software installed to this drive, it might stop working properly after changing the drive letter. See details on this in the section below.

Once the drive letter change is complete, which usually only takes a second or two, you're welcome to close any open Disk Management or other windows.

The drive letter is different from the volume label. You can change the volume label using similar steps .

If You Have Programs Not on the Main Drive

Changing drive letter assignments for drives that have software installed to them may cause the software to stop working. This isn't quite as common with newer programs and apps but if you have an old program, especially if you're still using Windows XP or Windows Vista, this is likely to be a problem.

Fortunately, most of us don't have software installed to drives other than the primary drive (typically the C drive), but if you do, consider this your warning that you might need to reinstall the software after changing the drive letter.

No Changes for the Operating System Drive

You cannot change the drive letter of the drive that the Windows operating system is installed on. If you'd like Windows to exist on a drive other than C , or whatever it happens to be now, you can make that happen but you'll have to complete a clean install of Windows to do it. Unless you have a pressing need to have Windows exist on a different drive letter, we don't recommend going through all that trouble.

Change, Don't Switch

There's no built-in way to switch drive letters between two drives in Windows. Instead, use a drive letter that you don't plan on using as a temporary "holding" letter during the drive letter change process.

For example, let's say you'd like to swap Drive A for Drive B . Start by changing Drive A's letter to one that you don't plan on using (like X ), then Drive B's letter to Drive A's original one, and finally Drive A's letter to Drive B's original one.

Using the Command Prompt

You can also change the drive letter from Command Prompt . It's not as easy as using Disk Management and you can't see right away which letters are available to choose, but it is completely doable with the diskpart command.

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How to assign a drive letter in Windows 10

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When you connect a new drive to your PC, Windows automatically assigns the next available letter after C, which is normally used for your system drive. So an external hard drive or USB thumb drive could end up as D, E, F, or whatever, depending on how many drive letters are already being used.

This is all well and good, but what if you want to assign the drive a letter? Maybe you want to use M for your music files or X for your top-secret X-Files. Here’s how in Windows 10.

  • Ensure that the drive you’re relettering isn’t in use and that no files from that drive are open.
  • Right-click on the Start button.
  • Click Disk Management to open the Disk Management console.
  • Right-click the volume that has the drive letter you want to change.
  • Click Change Drive Letter And Paths.
  • Click the Change button.
  • Choose from a list of available drive letters. (Don’t use A or B, which have historically been reserved for floppy drives and can sometime confuse older software.)
  • Click Yes if a popup windows appears asking if you really want to do this.
  • Close the Disk Management console.

You may need to restart your machine for the change to take effect, but once you do the drive will use the new letter.

More Windows tips…

  • How to turn on or off hibernate in Windows 10
  • Regain hard disk space by using Windows Update Cleanup in Windows 7 and 8.x
  • Restore a Windows XP backup in Windows 8
  • How to replace SkyDrive with Libraries in Windows 8.1
  • Pro tip: Use an optical Recovery Drive in Windows 8.1

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How to change drive letter using Settings on Windows 10

You can now change the drive letter for a partition using the “Manage Disks and Volumes” tools in Settings, and here's how on Windows 10.

Avatar for Mauro Huculak

On Windows 10, each drive you connect to the computer gets assigned a letter automatically to identify the device and make it accessible. However, sometimes, you may need to change the drive letter manually for many reasons.

For example, if you connect a drive (USB flash drive, external hard drive, or secondary hard drive) that was formatted on another device, the drive letter may conflict with another storage device on your computer. You prefer using a specific letter for a drive. Or you’re trying to organize the letters in a specific order.

Whatever the reason it might be, starting with build 20175 (Dev Channel) , Windows 10 introduces a new experience to manage disks and volumes from within the Settings app, which also includes the ability to change the letter of a drive. (Technically, the partition inside the drive receives the letter, not the device. Since if the drive doesn’t have a formatted partition, no letter will be assigned and won’t be accessible.)

In this guide , you’ll learn the steps to change the drive letter using the “Manage Disks and Volumes” tools available on Windows 10 .

Change drive letter on Windows 10

To change the drive letter with Manage Disks and Volumes in the Settings app, use these steps:

Open Settings on Windows 10.

Click on System .

Click on Storage .

Under the “More storage settings” section, click the Manage Disks and Volumes option.

Manage Disks and Volumes

Select the drive with the partition you want to change the letter.

Select the partition.

Click the Properties button.

Partition properties option

Click the Change drive letter button.

Change drive letter on Windows 10

Use the drop-down menu and select the new letter.

Select new drive letter

Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, the drive’s partition will now start using the new letter.

Just remember that you can’t change the letter of the partition where Windows 10 is installed, which is usually labeled as “C”, and you shouldn’t try to assign a letter to the system reserved partitions. 

If the settings are not available, it’s because you are not running the version of the operating system that includes the tool. The Manage Disks and Volumes settings are available starting with  Windows 10 build 20175 or higher releases.

In the case that you’re using an older version or an older release, such as Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, then you’ll need to use the Disk Management console, or Command Prompt or PowerShell to change the drive letter.

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Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He is also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter) , YouTube , LinkedIn and About.me .

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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.

https://winbuzzer.com/2020/08/07/bitlocker-for-windows-10-how-to-use-encryption-for-system-disk-partitions-or-any-other-drive-xcxwbt/

  • 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.

Start - Disk Management

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.

Windows 10 - Open Elevated 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.

Windows 10 - Open PowerShell as Admin

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.

Windows 10 - Open Registry Editor

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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  • PC & Mobile

How to Change a Drive Letter in Windows 10

change letter hard drive windows 10

Lee Stanton Lee Stanton is a versatile writer with a concentration on the software landscape, covering both mobile and desktop applications as well as online technologies. Read more November 19, 2022

Changing drive letters in Windows certainly has its benefits. You can hide a specific drive from all apps on your computer, thus preventing these apps from writing on a specific partition or edit the drive letter after adding a new HDD or SSD.

How to Change a Drive Letter in Windows 10

If you’re looking to change drive letters in Windows 10, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll provide you with detailed steps on how to change or remove various drive letters.

There are a couple of different ways to change a drive letter in Windows 10. Below, we’ll show you how to do so with Disk Management. This is the most straightforward way to apply changes to your drive letters in Windows 10.

change letter hard drive windows 10

You have now successfully changed a drive letter in Windows 10.

How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10 Using Command Prompt

Another way to change drive letters in Windows 10 is using Command Prompt. This process is relatively simple:

  • Make sure you’re running your PC in Admin mode.

change letter hard drive windows 10

You have now changed your drive letter in Windows 10.

How to Remove a Drive Letter in Windows 10

If you want to remove a drive letter in Windows 10, you can do so from Desk Management. Just follow these simple steps:

change letter hard drive windows 10

  • Click OK to confirm the operation.

You have now successfully removed a drive letter in Windows 10. After removing a drive letter, you won’t be able to see it in your File Explorer any longer. Also, to remove a letter, you must sign in as the administrator.

How to Change a Network Drive Letter in Windows 10

Changing a network drive letter in Windows is a pretty straightforward process. Just follow these steps, and you’ll be good to go:

change letter hard drive windows 10

Additional Steps if You Receive an Error Message:

change letter hard drive windows 10

You’ll now see your network share in the This PC screen.

How to Change a USB Drive Letter in Windows 10

You might want to change a USB drive letter in Windows 10 if Window Explorer doesn’t recognize the external hard drive. For this or any other reason, just follow the simple steps shown above for an HDD/SSD to change your USB drive letter.

How to Change DVD Drive Letter in Windows 10

Changing a DVD drive letter in Windows 10 can be done easily through Disk Management. Just follow the steps shown above to also change the DVD drive letter.

You have now successfully changed your DVD drive letter in Windows 10.

How to Change Recovery Drive Letter in Windows 10

Changing your recovery drive will only take a few seconds. Just as before, follow the directions shown previously to quickly change your recovery drive letter.

How to Change Boot Drive Letter in Windows 10

Unfortunately, changing your boot drive letter in Windows is not possible through Desk Management.

We only recommend changing your boot drive in case of an emergency. Otherwise, you shouldn’t make any changes to your boot drive. If you make a wrong step, you might not be able to run your system properly. For that reason, please follow the steps we’ve provided carefully. You should also make a system backup before proceeding any further.

Below, we’ll explain how to swap drive C and D letters. To assign your C drive with another letter, you should rename the \DosDevice\letter: value to another letter that’s not already in use.

Also, before you mess with the Register, it’s a good idea to create a copy of the Register before it’s been edited.

change letter hard drive windows 10

  • Close the Registry Editor, wait a few seconds, and then open it back up.

change letter hard drive windows 10

  • Click Rename .
  • Rename the file to a new drive letter \DosDevices\Z:. This will empty your C partition.
  • Locate the drive you wish to change the letter of. Find \DosDevice\D:. Right-click on it and click Rename .
  • Change the name to the new drive letter \DosDevice\C:.
  • Choose the appropriate value for \DosDevices\Z: and click Rename .
  • Change the name to \DosDevices\D:.
  • Close Regedit and open it back up.
  • Change the Admin permission settings to Read Only .
  • Restart your PC.

You have now successfully changed your boot drive letter in Windows 10.

Additional FAQs

Is it safe to change drive letters.

Changing drive letters is not a problem in itself. But if your computer needs to run a file that’s written in that very drive, you might have an issue. It’s not just for any reason that Windows warns you before changing a drive letter.

Generally, it’s not recommended to change drive letters unless that would help solve a specific issue. For example, if your Windows Explorer doesn’t recognize an external device under a certain driver, it’s okay to change its name.

There are some drives you can change the letters of without consequences. For example, to a partition that has files you rarely use. Also, you can change an external drive’s letter without problems.

Changing Drive Letters in Windows 10

In this article, we’ve provided you with some useful tips on how to change drive letters in Windows 10. Remember, only do this if strictly necessary, as it might cause some apps on your computer to not run properly.

Have you ever had to change your drive letters for a specific reason? Did you run into any problems? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

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Home PC Windows Windows 10 How To Change the Drive Letter in Windows 10

How To Change the Drive Letter in Windows 10

How To Change the Drive Letter in Windows 10

“I would love to keep my drives organized. Perhaps labeling my new drive as ‘M’ for music and the other ‘V’ for videos. So How do I go about doing it?”

Changing the drive letter in Windows 10 works the same as it does for Windows versions 8, 7, Vista, and XP. No drive letter (save for C:) is set in stone. Even C is technically changeable but definitely not recommended. You’d have to repartition your PC in order to do so and that’s a whole new can of worms better left unopened.

The Disk Management Tool found in Windows makes altering drive letters a breeze, even for individuals who are not familiar with drive editing. You can have everything completed in just a few minutes. Follow the guide below for instruction on how to change your drive letters.

Changing The Drive Letters in Windows 10

When first connecting a new drive to your PC, be it optical, hard drive, or USB, Windows will automatically assign it the next available drive letter following C. Which letter is assigned is determined by how many other drives you already have connected.

In order to change the letter to something you believe to be more suitable to your taste or needs, you’ll have to open up Disk Management .

  • First, ensure that the letter you want to assign to the drive is not currently in use.

change letter hard drive windows 10

  • You can look through the available folders to see if the correct drive has been chosen.

change letter hard drive windows 10

  • You should avoid A and B as these particular letters have been historically reserved for floppy drives and could confuse older software by being altered.

change letter hard drive windows 10

  • Any software that is currently installed to this drive may stop working properly once the letter has been changed. If this is the case, you’ll need to reinstall the software onto the new drive. This issue is more common in older programs and apps, especially if using Windows XP or Vista.
  • To change your system drive from C: (or whatever you currently have it set as) to another letter will require a clean install of the Windows OS. As stated earlier, this is not something that I can recommend.
  • Swapping drive letters can get a bit tricky. There isn’t any built-in way to do so in Windows. You would need to create a temporary drive letter for the drive letter you don’t intend on using. An example would be changing the D drive to the E drive. Begin by changing the D drive to something you don’t plan on using like ‘X’. Now you have an X drive and E drive. Next, change the E drive to ‘D’ and then finish up by changing X into ‘E’.
  • It’s possible that you may need to restart your machine for the change to take effect. Once rebooted, the drive will display the newly assigned letter.

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How to rename hard drive and change hard drive letter in windows 10.

Whether it’s to keep things organized or personal preference, you can rename hard drive and change hard drive letters . Here in this post, we will show you how to do it in Windows 10.

Table of Contents

Introduction

In Windows 10, every drive uses a familiar name that helps you identify it. For instance, the drive that holds the operating system is called Local Disk . At the same time, a USB memory stick is named USB Drive . Also, network drives and mapped drives use the locations they point to as their names. Although Windows 10 sets default names for every drive, you might want to customize the drives from your computer to recognize them more easily.

Anytime you connect an external hard drive to a PC, the computer assigns it a drive letter that enables computer programs. By default, the hard disk drives on your computer use the same name ‘Local Disk’. You use drive letters such as C, D, E, F, etc. to distinguish different hard disk drives.

IMPORTANT :

  • You must be logged on to your computer as the administrator in order to rename hard drive and change hard drive letters.
  • This guide works on the renaming of mapped drives, network drives, flash drives, and disk partitions in your Windows 10 PC.
  • None of the methods shared in this guide work for optical drives like Blu-ray drives or CD/DVD drives.
  • You cannot use spaces between words when you rename your hard drive.

Way 1: How to rename hard drive from File Explorer

Step 1 : Launch File Explorer in Windows 10, and then select This PC. There you see all the drives and network locations that exist in Windows 10.

How to change rename drive

How to change rename drive

Step 2 : Under the “Devices and drives” section, right-click on the drive you want to rename, and select Rename from the context menu.

How to rename external hard drive

How to rename external hard drive

Step 3 : Then the name of the disk is changed to an editable field. Type your desired name in the field and hit Enter to apply the name.

You can also click or tap on the drive that you want to rename, and then press the F2 key on your keyboard. No matter which method you chose to get here, type the new name that you want for the selected drive. Press Enter on your keyboard or click or tap somewhere in the empty space from the File Explorer window to apply it.

Note that if you rename the drive where the operating system is installed, you will need to provide administrator permission.

How to rename hard drive Operating System - The Access Denied prompt

The Access Denied prompt

Way 2: How to rename hard drive from Disk Management

Step 1 : Open the Disk Management in Windows 10 by right-clicking on This PC icon and then Manage

How to rename hard drive Using Disk Management

How to rename hard drive Using Disk Management

Step 2 : Select Disk Management from the menu.

How to rename hard drive Using Disk Management

Step 3 : Right-click on the disk drive you want to rename under the Volume list, and then select Properties from the context menu

How to external hard drive Using Disk Management

Disk Management

Step 4 : After the Properties dialog opens, select the General tab, type your desired name in the field following the disk icon, and click OK to apply the name.

How to external hard drive Using Disk Management

Way 3: How to rename hard drive with Command Prompt

Step 1 : Press Win + X, and then select Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu to open Command Prompt as an administrator in Windows 10.

Step 2 : Type the command:

Press the Enter key. For example, type label F: External and press Enter to rename external hard drive F from “Verbatim HD” to ”External”.

How to rename external hard drive Using Command Prompt

Using Command Prompt

Change hard drive letter in Windows 10

While they might seem set in stone, the letters assigned to your hard drives, optical drives, and USB based drives in Windows are very much not a fixed thing.  Maybe you’re using a new external hard drive and now you want to change the drive letter to G from the F it was assigned, or maybe you just like to keep your flash drives organized at the end of the alphabet.

Whatever the reason, the Disk Management tool in Windows makes changing drive letters surprisingly easy, even if you’ve never worked with your drives in any way before.

Changing drive letters in Windows usually takes less than a few minutes, at most.

How to change hard drive letter with Command Prompt

Step 3: Right-click or tap-and-hold the drive and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths

How to change hard drive letter Using Disk Management

Using Disk Management

Step 4: Select Change .

Note: If you’ve selected the primary drive by accident, some versions of Windows will display a message that reads Windows cannot modify the drive letter of your system volume or boot volume.

How to change hard drive letter Using Disk Management

Step 5: Choose the drive letter you want Windows to assign to this storage device by selecting it from the Assign the following drive letter drop-down box. You don’t need to worry if the drive letter is already being used by another drive because Windows hides any letters you can’t use.

How to rename hard drive letter Using Disk Management

How to rename hard drive letter Using Disk Management

Step 6: Select OK .

Step 7: Choose Yes to the Some programs that rely on drive letters might not run correctly. Do you want to continue?

How to rename hard drive letter Using Disk Management

Once the drive letter change is complete, which usually only takes a second or two, you’re welcome to close any open Disk Management or other windows.

Conclusions

As you have seen in this guide, there are many ways to rename a drive and change hard drive letters in Windows 10. Unfortunately, not all of them work for all types of drives. Some methods can be used to rename network drives as well as storage drives, while others work only for storage drives. Hopefully, our guide has managed to help you find the solution you need for the type of drive that you want to rename. If you have any problems or errors, do not hesitate to share them in the comments below.

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How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10 & 11

Drive or partition letters are not fixed. You can change them. Here is how to change a drive letter in Windows 10 & 11 operating systems.

Windows automatically assigns a unique drive letter for all the drives, partitions, and plugged-in USB drives. Generally, the assigned letters are in incremental order starting with the letter C. For the most part, you don’t have to change the drive letter as it is pretty inconsequential in most cases. However, there might be times when you need to manually modify the drive letter of a drive, partition, or plugged-in USB drive to meet certain requirements.

For example, I want to use the drive letter X for one of my partitions because one of my older scripts requires it. The script won’t work as intended if it doesn’t have that specific drive letter. Since these are older files, and there are many of them, in typical Windows fashion, I tend to swap the drive letter rather than making the necessary changes to the script files.

Thankfully, Windows has several ways to change the drive letter . You can use the built-in partition manager or execute a few commands in the terminal. I will show both ways, follow the method you like.

Table of contents:

Change drive letter using partition manager

Commands to change drive letter.

Note: Close all active programs except your browser before proceeding with the below steps. It will reduce potential conflicts between programs and the drives.

Important: Do not change the drive letter of system volume or boot partition (C drive).

The steps below work the same in Windows 10 and 11.

Though most don’t know, Windows has a built-in partition manager called Disk Management. You can use it to quickly and easily change the drive letter. All you have to do is go to the drive options and choose the new drive letter.

Here is how to do it:

  • Press “ Win + R ” to open Run .
  • Type “ diskmgmt.msc ” and click “ Ok .”
  • Find the drive you want to modify.
  • Right-click on the drive.
  • Choose the “ Change drive letter and paths ” option.
  • Click the “ Change ” button.
  • Select the “ Assign the following drive letter ” radio option.
  • Choose a drive letter from the dropdown.
  • Click “ Ok .”
  • Click “ Yes ” in the warning window.
  • Again, click “ Yes ” in the second warning window.
  • Close the main disk management window.
  • You have successfully changed the drive letter in Windows 10 and 11.

Steps with more details:

First, search and open “Create and format hard disk partitions” from the Start menu. You can also use the “diskmgmt.msc” Run (Win + R) command.

After opening the Disk Management tool, find the drive you want to change the drive letter, right-click on it, and choose the “Change drive letter and paths” option.

Change-drive-letter-option-190820

Now, click the “Change” button.

Click-change-button-190820

Select the “Assign the following drive letter” radio option, choose a drive letter from the dropdown menu, and press “Ok.”

Select-new-drive-letter-190820

You will see a couple of warning prompts. Press the “Yes” button in both prompts.

Accept-changes-190820

Finally, close the Disk Management tool, and you are done.

That is all. You’ve successfully changed the drive letter in Windows. To make the changes take full effect, reboot the system.

Drive-letter-changed-190820

You can use the diskpart command to change the drive letter of any drive, partition, or USB drive in Windows. Here’s how to use the command to modify the drive letter.

Press the Windows Key to open the Start menu . Type “ Command Prompt ,” right-click on the result, and select the “ Run as administrator ” option. You can also right-click the Start menu, choose “Windows Terminal (Admin),” and open the Command Prompt tab in it.

After opening the cmd window, type “ diskpart ” and press Enter. This will launch the diskpart program in the cmd window.

Diskpart-command-190820

Type “ list volume ” and press Enter.

The above command will list all partitions and their volume numbers. Take note of the volume number of the drive you want to modify.

Next, execute the “ select volume #number ” command. Don’t forget to replace the #number with the actual volume number.

Diskpart-list-volume-select-volume-190820

After selecting the volume, execute the “ assign letter=NewDriveLetter ” command. Replace “ NewDriveLetter ” with the actual drive letter you want to assign.

Diskpart-change-drive-letter-190820

Once assigned, close the cmd window.

That is all. Once the diskpart commands are executed successfully, the drive letter is changed instantly. To make the changes take full effect, reboot Windows.

I hope this simple and easy Windows how-to guide helped you.

If you are stuck or need some help, send an email, and I will try to help as much as possible.

Did you know you can change a drive icon to anything you want? Follow the linked article to understand how to do it.

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How to Change a Drive Letter in Windows

Sometimes when you plug in a USB device, it doesn't show up

Author avatar

A task you will most likely have to perform a few times in Windows is changing the drive letter for an external hard drive, mapped network drive , or DVD drive. Sometimes when you plug in a USB flash drive, it doesn’t automatically get a drive letter assigned to it and it may not show up on your computer.

In those types of cases, you have to change the drive letter for the device and it will normally pop right up. In this article, I’ll show you how to change the drive letter for these devices using the GUI and also via the command prompt.

Change Drive Letter via Disk Management

You can open disk management on a Windows PC by either right-clicking on the Computer or This PC icon on the desktop and choosing Manage or by clicking on Start and typing in diskmgmt.msc .

How to Change a Drive Letter in Windows image 1

You’ll see a list of volumes at the top and the disks and partitions at the bottom. Any partition that has a drive letter will be shown in the white area. If you connected a USB drive and you see it listed, but it doesn’t have a drive letter, you can now assign one.

To assign or change the drive letter for a disk or partition, simply right-click on it and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths .

How to Change a Drive Letter in Windows image 2

A window will pop up with the current drive letter, if there is one, and a couple of options. Here you want to click on Change .

How to Change a Drive Letter in Windows image 3

Next, you will choose the new drive letter from the dropdown list. You can pick from the letters A to Z.

How to Change a Drive Letter in Windows image 4

That’s about it. Click OK to close out all the dialogs and the drive should now show up in Windows with the new drive letter. If you’re having issues using the GUI interface or you simply feel more comfortable using the command prompt, read the instructions below on how to use diskpart.

Use DiskPart to Assign Drive Letter

If you need to change or assign a drive letter via the command prompt, you have to use the diskpart command. I’ve written a bit on how to use diskpart , which is really useful for many disk management tasks.

To get started, open an administrator command prompt in Windows by clicking on Start, typing in CMD and then right-clicking and choosing Run as Administrator .

How to Change a Drive Letter in Windows image 5

Now type in the following commands, each followed by the Enter key.

Above, you’ll replace x with the volume number in the list that corresponds to the drive you want to change and with the letter you want to assign to the drive. Here are the commands I ran for an external USB drive:

How to Change a Drive Letter in Windows image 6

You’ll also notice that under the Type column, external drives will show up as Removable . That’s a good way to check before you select a volume. You can also figure out which drive is correct by looking at the size and also looking at the Info column. Volume 0 in my case is the system partition, so I wouldn’t want to mess with that by accident.

Overall, it’s a fairly simple process and hopefully you won’t run into any problems. There are times, however, when things don’t work properly. Below are some possible reasons.

Troubleshoot Can’t Change Drive Letter in Windows

One problem that I have seen is that the Change Drive Letter option is simply greyed out. This can occur for a few reasons. One of the main reasons is the volume is not formatted in FAT or NTFS format. For example, if you are attaching a disk from a Mac computer, you will not be able to change the drive letter unless you format the drive into a compatible format.

Another reason is if the drive is set to read-only. If so, you’ll have to Google the steps to change the drive to allow read/write access.

How to Change a Drive Letter in Windows image 7

Also, if you don’t need any of the data on the volume in question, a simple solution is to delete the volume, which is normally never greyed out. Once you delete the volume, you can right-click again and create a new simple volume. Now you will be able to change the drive letter.

Make sure to read my other tips on how to hide drive in Windows and how to map a folder to a drive letter in Windows. If you have any questions, feel free to comment. Enjoy!

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6 Ways to Change the Drive Letter in Windows

Ojash Yadav

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.”

Windows 11 Settings Storage Section

  • Scroll down on the right side and click on “Advanced storage settings.”

Advanced Storage Options

  • Under Advanced storage settings, click on “Disks & Volumes.”

Disk Volumes

  • Select the drive whose letter you want to change, then click on the “Properties” button for that drive.

Disk Volumes Properties

  • In the Drive Properties, you will find the option to change the drive letter of the selected drive.

Disk Volumes Change Drive Letter

  • 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.

Choose Drive Letter

  • Click on the letter you want to assign.

Volume Data Drive Letter

  • Once you have selected your preferred letter, click on “OK” to confirm your choice.

System Change Drive Letter

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”.

Search For Cmd

  • On the command prompt home screen, type:

Diskpart Utility Homescreen

  • Press Enter , then type:

List Volume

  • 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”.

Cmd Select Volume

  • 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

Diskpart Drive Letter Assigned

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.”

Open Disk Management Utility

  • 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.

Disk Management Select Drive

  • In the dialog box that appears, click on “Change.”

Change Drive Letter Button

  • Click the drop-down menu next to “Assign the following drive letter,” then select your letter and press “OK.”

Disk Management Select A New Drive Letter

  • A warning message will pop up. Click “Yes” if you are sure about your decision to change the drive letter.

Disk Management Apply Changes

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 .

Search For Registry Editor

  • Type in the following address at the top of the application:

and press Enter .

Registry Editor Mounted Devices

  • 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.

Registry Editor Rename

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.

Windows Powershell

  • Type the following command:

Powershell Get Partition Command

  • A screen will show you your disk partitions. Make a note of what drive letter you want to change.

Administrator Windows Powershell Listing Drives

  • 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 .

Windows Powershell Settings New Drive Letter

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.)

Minitools Installer

  • Run the installer and launch the app. You will get a listing of all your drive partitions mentioned below.

Minitool Partition Wizard Homescreen

  • Right-click on the target drive partition and select “Change Letter.”

Minitools Change Letter

  • Open the drop-down list and select a new drive letter for your target drive.

Se;ect A New Drive Letter In Minitool

  • Click on “Apply” to save the changes.

Minitool Click Apply

  • You will receive a warning pop-up asking you to close all background applications. Click “Yes.”

Minitool Apply Changes Warning

  • You will now receive a confirmation message telling you that the new changes have been applied.Click “OK.”

Minitool Changes Applied Dialouge Box

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 Yadav

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.

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Change the drive letter in the command prompt

  • Open an elevated command prompt .
  • Type diskpart .

Windows 10 Diskpart List Volume

You are done.

Change the drive letter in PowerShell

  • Open an elevated PowerShell instance .

Windows 10 PowerShell Get Partition

For example, the command can look as follows:

PowerShell Assign Drive Letter

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

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February 14, 2024

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How do I change the letter designation of installed hard drive

How do I change the letter designation of my hard drive.

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Palcouk

Not the win drive? -

https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/storage/disk-management/change-a-drive-letter

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How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 11/10

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jan 15, 2024 • 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.

change-drive-letters

  • 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?

  • Convenience

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."

pick the one you want to change drive letter

4. Click on "Change" and another window will open up.

click on change to change drive letter

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.

select the drive letter

6. Click on "OK" and select "Yes". Close "Disk Management" and your drive will now be bearing a brand-new letter.

finish changing drive 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.

change drive letter in cmd

4. Choose the volume and hit "Enter", then type assign letter=R and hit "Enter" one more time.

hit enter to change drive letter

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

change-in-powershell

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

open cmd to change drive letter

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

write the commands to change drive letter

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

open windows settings to change drive letter

Press Windows key and click the gear icon to open Windows settings.

Step 2: Open “System” page

open system page to change drive letter

On Windows Settings, click “System.”

Step 3: Open “Manage Disks and Volumes”

open windows settings

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”

open drive properties to change drive letter

Go to the drive you want to change letter and click “Properties.”

Step 5: Click “Change drive letter”

change drive letter

Within Volume Data section, click “Change drive letter.”

Step 6: Type new drive letter

finish the changing process

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.

Closing Words

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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  • TECHNOLOGY Q&A

How to change drive letters in Windows 10

Q. How difficult is it to change drive letters in Windows 10?

A. Changing a drive letter in Windows 10 is relatively easy, as follows. Right - click the Windows 10 Menu button and select Disk Management to display a list of all available hard drives. Right - click the specific hard drive letter you want to change, and select Change Drive Letter and Paths . Click the Add button, select a new drive letter, and then click the Change button, as pictured below.

techqa-6

  • Letters A and B are reserved for floppy drives.
  • The drive letter for the system volume or boot partition (usually drive C) cannot be modified or changed.
  • Any letter between C and Z can be assigned to a hard disk drive, CD drive, DVD drive, portable external hard disk drive, or USB flash memory key drive.
  • If you change the drive letter for drives where applications or programs are installed, those applications or programs may or may not function properly after the change because they might refer to the original path used to install those products. In this case, you would likely need to reinstall those applications or programs for them to work properly.

About the author

J. Carlton Collins ( [email protected] ) is a technology consultant, a conference presenter, and a JofA contributing editor.

Submit a question

Do you have technology questions for this column? Or, after reading an answer, do you have a better solution? Send them to [email protected] . We regret being unable to individually answer all submitted questions.

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IMAGES

  1. How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10 (Easy to Follow Guide)

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  2. How to Change a Drive Letter (Windows 10, 8, 7, ...)

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  3. Change and Assign Drive Letter in Windows 10

    change letter hard drive windows 10

  4. Formatting Hard Drives and Changing Drive Letters in Windows 10

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  5. Change Drive Letter In Windows 10, 8, 8.1, 7

    change letter hard drive windows 10

  6. How to Assign / Change Drive Letter in Windows 10

    change letter hard drive windows 10

VIDEO

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  4. How To Change Drive Letter Of Our Laptop| Laptop ke Drive Letter Kaise Change Kre

  5. Three Method To Format A Drive With Your Windows

  6. Permanently Erase Data on Windows

COMMENTS

  1. How to Change a Drive Letter on Windows 10 or Windows 11

    Click the Start button, type "Disk Management" in the search bar, and then hit Enter. The program name displayed in the search will not be Disk Management. It will be "Create and format hard disk partitions." You could also hit Windows+X or right-click the Start button, and then click "Disk Management."

  2. Change a drive letter

    In Disk Management, select and hold (or right-click) the volume on which you want to change or add a drive letter and select Change Drive Letter and Paths. Tip If you don't see the Change Drive Letter and Paths option or it's grayed out, the volume either isn't ready to receive a drive letter or it's unallocated and needs to be initialized.

  3. How to assign permanent letters to drives on Windows 10

    Right-click the drive and select the Change Drive Letter and Paths option. Click the Change button. Select the Assign the following drive letter option. Use the drop-down menu to...

  4. Change and Assign Drive Letter in Windows 10

    1 Press the Win + R keys to open Run, type diskmgmt.msc into Run, and click/tap on OK to open Disk Management. 2 Right click or press and hold on the drive (ex: "F") you want to add or change the drive letter, and click/tap on Change Drive Letter and Paths. (see screenshot below) 3 Click/tap on the Change button. (see screenshot below)

  5. How to Change a Drive Letter

    Open Disk Management. Locate the drive you want to change. Right-click and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths > Change. Select the drive letter you want to assign from Assign the following drive letter. Then select OK and choose Yes. The letters assigned to your hard drives, optical drives, and USB drives in Windows are not fixed.

  6. How to assign a drive letter in Windows 10

    Right-click on the Start button. Click Disk Management to open the Disk Management console. Right-click the volume that has the drive letter you want to change. Click Change Drive...

  7. How to change drive letter using Settings on Windows 10

    Change drive letter on Windows 10 To change the drive letter with Manage Disks and Volumes in the Settings app, use these steps: Open Settings on Windows 10. Click on System. Click on Storage. Under the "More storage settings" section, click the Manage Disks and Volumes option. Manage Disks and Volumes

  8. How to change a drive's letter in Windows

    In the expanded list of Advanced storage settings, click or tap on Disks & volumes. This opens a new page where you can "View and manage properties of your disks and volumes." Find the partition whose drive letter you want to change and click or tap the Properties button next to it.

  9. How to Assign / Change Drive Letter in Windows 10

    Right-click the drive that you want to change or free the letter from and click "Change Drive Letter and Paths…". Click the "Change…" button. If you want to free up the letter you can ...

  10. How to Change a Drive Letter in Windows 10

    To change the drive letter, run this command: " assign letter= [X ]." Then replace [X] with the letter you want to assign to your drive. You have now changed your drive letter in...

  11. How To Change the Drive Letter in Windows 10

    Type in diskmgmt.msc and hit Enter to pull up Disk Management. From the Disk Management console window, right-click on the volume that has the drive letter you want to change. To ensure it is the correct drive, tap and hold down the left-click button over the drive and then choose Explore.

  12. How to rename hard drive and change hard drive letter in Windows 10

    Step 1: Launch File Explorer in Windows 10, and then select This PC. There you see all the drives and network locations that exist in Windows 10. How to change rename drive Step 2: Under the "Devices and drives" section, right-click on the drive you want to rename, and select Rename from the context menu. How to rename external hard drive

  13. How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10 & 11

    Press " Win + R " to open Run. Type " diskmgmt.msc " and click " Ok ." Find the drive you want to modify. Right-click on the drive. Choose the " Change drive letter and paths " option. Click the " Change " button. Select the " Assign the following drive letter " radio option. Choose a drive letter from the dropdown. Click " Ok ."

  14. How to Change a Drive Letter on Windows 11 & 10

    To change a drive letter on Windows 11 or Windows 10 using Disk Management: Click the Start button or press the Windows key and type disk management. Select Create and format hard...

  15. How to Change a Drive Letter in Windows

    To assign or change the drive letter for a disk or partition, simply right-click on it and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths. A window will pop up with the current drive letter, if there is one, and a couple of options. Here you want to click on Change. Next, you will choose the new drive letter from the dropdown list.

  16. 6 Ways to Change the Drive Letter in Windows

    1. Change the Drive Letter Using Settings 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."

  17. How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10

    Let's review them. To change the drive letter in Windows 10, do the following. Press the Win + X keys together. In the menu, select Disk Management. In Disk Management, right-click on the partition whose drive letter you would like to change. Select Change Drive Letter and Paths in the context menu.

  18. How To Change A Drive Letter On Windows 10 Or 11

    With that said, the settings method is extremely simple. Here are the necessary steps: Press Win + I and select System > Storage > Advanced storage settings > Disks & volumes. Select the drive whose letter you'd like to change and click on Properties. Click on Change drive letter, select an available drive letter, and press OK.

  19. How do I change the letter designation of installed hard drive

    Press the Windows key + X and select "Disk Management" from the menu. Find the hard drive you want to change the letter designation for. It will be listed in the bottom half of the Disk Management window. Right-click on the partition of the hard drive you want to change the letter for, and select "Change Drive Letter and Paths".

  20. 6 Ways to Change Drive Letter on Windows 10 Computer[2024]

    Free Download Learn More > How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 11/10 Theo Lucia Jan 15, 2024 • 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.

  21. How to change drive letters in Windows 10

    A. Changing a drive letter in Windows 10 is relatively easy, as follows. Right - click the Windows 10 Menu button and select Disk Management to display a list of all available hard drives. Right - click the specific hard drive letter you want to change, and select Change Drive Letter and Paths. Click the Add button, select a new drive letter ...

  22. Windows Tip: Assign Permanent Letters to Removable Drives

    1. To set this up, plug in the drive that you want to assign a permanent letter. Then open the Run dialog ( Windows Key+R) and type: compmgmt.msc and hit Enter or click OK. Or, right-click...

  23. HP PCs

    You cannot change a drive letter if the drive is a system or boot partition. In Windows, search for and open Create and format hard disk partitions . Right-click the drive or partition that you are renaming, and then select Change Drive Letter and Paths from the menu.