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.
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."
You could also hit Windows+X or right-click the Start button, and then click "Disk Management."
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.
Select "Change Drive Letter and Paths" in the right-click menu that appears.
In the window that pops up, click "Change."
Select whatever letter you want from the drop-down menu. Then click "Ok."
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.
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.
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."
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."
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."
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.
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."
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
- 4 contributors
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 .
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 .
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.
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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 permanent letters to drives on Windows 10
You can assign drive letters manually, and in this guide, we show you how on 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 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 assign a drive letter in Windows 10
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Step-by-step instructions for assigning a specific drive letter to an external drive, SD card, or hard drive partition in Windows 10.
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.
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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.
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.
Select the drive with the partition you want to change the letter.
Select the partition.
Click the Properties button.
Click the Change drive letter button.
Use the drop-down menu and select the new 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.
Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He's 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+ & Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter) , YouTube , and LinkedIn .
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How to Change Drive Letter on Windows 10
This Itechguide teaches you how to change drive letter on Windows 10. The guide covers steps for 3 methods to change drive letter on Windows 10 – Disk Management, DiskPart and PowerShell.
By Victor Ashiedu | Updated March 17, 2023 | 8 minutes read | 160 Reads
Expand “Browse Post Topics” below to go straight to a topic.
Browse Post Topics
How to Change Drive Letter on Windows 10 with Disk Management
- Right-click Windows 10 Start menu and select Disk Management .
- Then, right-click the partition you want to change drive letter for and select Change Drive Letter and Paths…
- On the Change Drive Letter and Paths pop-up, click Change .
- Then, on the Change Drive Letter or Path pop-up, click the Assign the following drive letter drop-down and select a new drive letter.
- Finally, to change drive letter on Windows 10 with Disk Management, after selecting a new drive letter, click OK.
- Then, on the confirmation pop-up, note the warning and if you want to proceed, click OK.
How to Change Drive Letter on Windows 10 with DISKPATH
- Type command prompt in the Windows 10 search box. Then, from the search results, right-click Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator .
- You will receive a User Access Control (UAC) confirmation, requesting you to allow the “app to make changes to your PC”. On the UAC prompt, click Yes .
- On the command Prompt, to open the DISKPART, type the command below and press enter.
The DISKPART prompt will open.
- On the DISKPART prompt, to list all available disks – type this command and press enter.
The command will list all disks on your computer. The next step is to select a disk.
- To select a disk, enter the command below and press enter.
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- To list all partitions on the selected disk, enter the LIST PARTITION command and press enter.
Before you proceed to the next step, note the partition # of the partition you want to change drive letter for.
- Then, to select the partition, enter the SELECT PARTITION command followed by the partition # and press enter.
Change 6 to the partition number for the partition you want to change its drive letter.
- Finally, to change drive letter on Windows 10 with DISKPART, use the ASSIGN LETTER command. In this example, I want to assign driver letter D to the partition.
If the drive letter is available, DISKPPART will assign the drive letter and return a confirmation message.
However, if the drive letter is already assigned to another partition, DISKPPART will return an error message. If you receive an error message, try another drive letter.
How to Change Drive Letter on Windows 10 with PowerShell
- Type PowerShell in search bar. Then click Run as administrator .
- To identify the disk with the partition you want to assign drive letter, type the Get-Disk cmdlet and press enter.
The command will display information about all disks on the computer. Note the Disk number (first column) – from the screenshot below, mine is disk number 0. The next step is to get the partitions on the disk.
- To list all partitions on a disk, enter the Cmdlet below and press enter
All partitions on the disk will be displayed. Note the partition number of the partition you want to change its drive letter. From the screenshot below, mine is partition 6.
- Finally, to change drive letter on Windows 10 with PowerShell, enter the Cmdlet below and press enter.
Change 0 , 6 and E to your disk number, partition number and drive letters respectively.
You can use the methods covered in this Itechguide to change drive letter Windows 10!
I hope you found this Itechguide helpful. If you did, kindly share your experience at Itechguides Community .
Furthermore, if you have any questions regarding this article or if the steps didn’t work for you as expected, please post your questions at Itechguides Community . Our team of forum staff and other community members will come back to you as soon as possible.
Finally, for more Windows 10 Itechguides, visit our Windows 10 How – To page. You may also find our Work from Home page very helpful.
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How to Change a Drive Letter in 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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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:
Additional Steps if You Receive an Error Message:
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.
- Close the Registry Editor, wait a few seconds, and then open it back up.
- 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.
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
“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.
- Right-click the Start button in the lower-left corner of your Desktop screen or press Win + X to open the Power User menu. Select Disk Management from the menu provided.
- To open from the Command Prompt , press Win + R to pull up the Run function. Type in cmd and hit Enter to bring up the Command Prompt console. Type in diskmgmt.msc and hit Enter to pull up Disk Management.
- To ensure it is the correct drive, tap and hold down the left-click button over the drive and then choose Explore . You can also right-click the drive and choose Explore if easier.
- You can look through the available folders to see if the correct drive has been chosen.
- Once you acknowledge that it is indeed the drive you wish to change, right-click the drive and choose Change Drive Letter And Paths .
- In the window that appears, click the Change… button. This will open the “Change Drive Letter and Path” window.
- 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.
- Choose the one from the list you prefer and click OK .
- 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 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.
Now, click the “Change” button.
Select the “Assign the following drive letter” radio option, choose a drive letter from the dropdown menu, and press “Ok.”
You will see a couple of warning prompts. Press the “Yes” button in both prompts.
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.
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.
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.
After selecting the volume, execute the “ assign letter=NewDriveLetter ” command. Replace “ NewDriveLetter ” with the actual drive letter you want to assign.
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 Drive Letter in Windows 10
If you are a Windows user, you must have at some point wanted to change the drive letter assigned to a particular drive. Windows 10 offers this feature for all the drives, namely hard disk drive, USB drive, and CD drive.
It is very simple to change the drive letter in Windows 10. It can be done in many ways but some are a bit technical, therefore we will guide you through the simplest one.
Changing Drive Letters in Windows 10
Click on the Windows icon on the left corner of the Taskbar and then select ‘Disk Management’ from the menu.
You will now see the list of all the drives on your system. Right-click on the drive name you want to change and select ‘Change Drive Letter and Paths..’.
Click on ‘Change’ on the next window to change the drive letter.
Click on the box next to ‘Assign the following drive letter’ and select the drive letter of your choice. After you select the drive letter, click on ‘OK’ at the bottom.
A warning will be displaced on the screen saying that some programs that rely on drive letters might not run correctly. Click on ‘Yes’.
Some applications and software might not function properly after changing the drive name. Therefore, it is advised not to change the drive name of the drive on which you have installed any applications.
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Change the drive letter in the command prompt
- Open an elevated command prompt .
- Type diskpart .
You are done.
Change the drive letter in PowerShell
- Open an elevated PowerShell instance .
For example, the command can look as follows:
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Author: Sergey Tkachenko
Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram , Twitter , and YouTube . View all posts by Sergey Tkachenko
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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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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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