How to Change Drive Letters

by Barry Dysert
(last updated February 1, 2016)

12

If you don't like the way the drive letters are assigned to your disk drives, Windows gives you a way to change them. You can even assign a static drive letter to a particular USB port, so that any device plugged into that port will take on that drive letter.

Changing the drive letter is a rather easy task, provided you know where to look. You can make the changes by using the Computer Management utility. The easiest way to start the utility is to use the search capabilities of Windows to look for "computer management" (without the quote marks). Once started, expand the Storage option (left side of the screen) and click Disk Management. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Disk Management details.

Notice that I have a volume called "TIPSNET" that's associated with drive letter "F:". Say that I want the drive letter to be "G:" instead. If I right-click on the volume name and select "Change Drive Letter and Paths" from the resulting Context menu, Windows displays a dialog box that shows the drive letter assigned to the drive. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. The Change Drive Letter and Paths dialog box.

All I need to do is select the current drive, then click on the Change button. Windows displays a dialog box that includes a drop-down list where I can pick a drive letter to be used for the drive. (See Figure 3.)

Figure 3. Changing the Drive Letter.

As soon as I pick a drive letter and click OK, Windows verifies that I really want to make the change. Assuming I answer in the affirmative, the change is made and reflected in the Computer Management utility.

 This tip (5668) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

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What is eight more than 8?

2016-02-07 08:45:01

Brian Hershman

to Hugh Gautier:
You are quite right. I, as a computer user of about the same experience as you, should have thought of going to Administrative Tools. But,taking what I thought might be a shortcut,I used the search box in Control Panel and it returned "nothing found"!! So I blame it all on Microsoft.


2016-02-06 15:02:54

Hugh Gautier

Gee, I'm sorry to see that you have not opened your "CONTROL PANEL" and gone to "Administrative Tools" where
"Computer Management" resides and has since before Windows 3.1. Any time you are needing to do anything within the Windows environment, you need to think as the "Administrator" if this is your computer that you are doing something to.
Now as a computer nerd, with over 40 years of experience, I do not assume [that is making an ass out of u and me] that everyone will know where the Computer Management area is. 0

But I do ask a simple question: "Do you know where the Control Panel is in your version of Windows?" The normal response is yes. At which point I can say well go there and then go to the Administrative Tools area and let me know when you are there. This teaches how to use this important piece of their software.

My suggestion for PeterMF3 is to go to his "Control Panel" to "Administrative Tools" open the "Storage" first and then go to "Disk Management" on the right hand side "More Actions" "View" and then to "Customize" where he can check the "Description bar" and click OK. Next he needs to stay in that area and go to "System Tools" and "Device Manager". Now he can see what kind of drives are and their brand as well. By clicking on the right hand side "More Actions" the "View" tab and have everything at his fingertips.


2016-02-05 12:10:40

PeterMF3

I was hoping to learn how to assign a static drive letter to a specific port.


2016-02-04 13:16:04

Brian Hershman

This tip (5668) does not apply to Windows 7 as I cannot find "Computer Management"


2016-02-03 07:17:46

Jim

Windows controls my drive letter assignments. For example, if I have fixed drives C:, D: & E: & F: and designate the next drive H:, Windows renames it G:. In order to maintain the H: name, I must insert and maintain a flash drive named G:. If I remove flash drive G:, Windows renames my H: drive as G:.


2016-02-02 11:35:05

PFL

Another reason. I have a wireless printer/scanner which includes an SD card reader. I gave this a drive letter of Z so it would always sort to the bottom; out of the way for regular use, but easy to find when needed. Again, possibly trivial, but it works well for me.


2016-02-01 16:55:43

Craig Small

Don:

I configure a USB drive to be the same drive letter as the "shared" drive at work. I have reproduced the original folder structure on the USB drive, and so I can test my software at home without having to change the drive letter designation. Trivial? Perhaps. Useful? Definitely.


2016-02-01 13:42:49

MWilson

Don:

The information stays the same, but the path reference/name is now different. So if you have another program that is configured to sync or back up that old drive name (and folders on that drive) the program config settings need to be changed to the new name.

Dennis & Henry:

Another reason you might want to know how to change drive names: My computer has 4 separate internal drives. Recently I had to send it into the 'shop' for hardware repair. When I got it back home, I discovered the drive reference links were all messed up. I deduced that the geniuses in the repair shop had taken out my hard drives during the repair work (OK) but had reinstalled them in different drive slots (very not OK).

Unfortunately I've never worked on computer inards -- so I was uncomfortable guessing which drives belonged where. But I did know about changing the drive names back to match my previous arrangement and that worked perfectly.

Now to find a new repair vendor . . .


2016-02-01 12:49:05

Don

If you change a drive letter, how is the information that is on that previous drive letter affected?


2016-02-01 09:00:26

Henry Noble

Dennis - On a complex setup with several volumes and perhaps multiple disks, a drive letter related in some way to the volume may help in remembering the path.

For example: D: for Data, G: for Games, W: for Workspace, T: for Tempfiles, etc.

It's a personal thing. For years I've used the capability to assign drive letters, but it probably is irrelevant to most.



2016-02-01 06:23:43

rjl

Searching for "computer management" either without the quotes or with the quotes worked for me. I'm running Windows 7


2016-02-01 06:08:17

Dennis

This may be a dumb question, but why would anyone bother changing the drive letters? Or am I missing the point somewhere? "If you don't like the way the drive letters are assigned to your disk drives..." seems a rather trivial reason to change them.


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