6 Ways to Change the Drive Letter in Windows

While you can't change the C: drive, you can still create your own "X:", "Y:", and "Z:" drive.

Change Drive Letters Windows Featured

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.

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.

1. Change the Drive Letter Using Settings

  1. Press Win + I to open the Settings app, then select the “System” tab. Scroll down and click on “Storage.”
Windows 11 Settings Storage Section
  1. Scroll down on the right side and click on “Advanced storage settings.”
Advanced Storage Options
  1. Under Advanced storage settings, click on “Disks & Volumes.”
Disk Volumes
  1. Select the drive whose letter you want to change, then click on the “Properties” button for that drive.
Disk Volumes Properties
  1. In the Drive Properties, you will find the option to change the drive letter of the selected drive.
Disk Volumes Change Drive Letter
  1. 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
  1. Click on the letter you want to assign.
Volume Data Drive Letter
  1. Once you have selected your preferred letter, click on “OK” to confirm your choice.
System Change Drive Letter

2. Using Command Prompt

  1. Search for the command prompt on the start menu by typing cmd, right-click on it, and select “Run as administrator”.
Search For Cmd
  1. On the command prompt home screen, type:
Diskpart Utility Homescreen
  1. Press Enter, then type:
List Volume
  1. 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
  1. Type the following code:
  1. 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.

3. Disk Management

  1. Right-click on the Windows button and open “Disk Management.”
Open Disk Management Utility
  1. 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
  1. In the dialog box that appears, click on “Change.”
Change Drive Letter Button
  1. 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
  1. A warning message will pop up. Click “Yes” if you are sure about your decision to change the drive letter.
Disk Management Apply Changes

4. Registry Editor

  1. To change the drive letter through registry editor, first press Win + R to open the Run dialog and type regedit.
Search For Registry Editor
  1. Type in the following address at the top of the application:

and press Enter.

Registry Editor Mounted Devices
  1. 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:”
  2. 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

5. Windows PowerShell

  1. Using the search button on the taskbar, search for “Powershell” and run it as administrator.
Windows Powershell
  1. Type the following command:
Powershell Get Partition Command
  1. A screen will show you your disk partitions. Make a note of what drive letter you want to change.
Administrator Windows Powershell Listing Drives
  1. 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

6. Drive Letter Changer Software

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.

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.

  1. Download MiniTool Partition Wizard. (It is a direct download link.)
Minitools Installer
  1. Run the installer and launch the app. You will get a listing of all your drive partitions mentioned below.
Minitool Partition Wizard Homescreen
  1. Right-click on the target drive partition and select “Change Letter.”
Minitools Change Letter
  1. Open the drop-down list and select a new drive letter for your target drive.
Se;ect A New Drive Letter In Minitool
  1. Click on “Apply” to save the changes.
Minitool Click Apply
  1. You will receive a warning pop-up asking you to close all background applications. Click “Yes.”
Minitool Apply Changes Warning
  1. You will now receive a confirmation message telling you that the new changes have been applied.Click “OK.”
Minitool Changes Applied Dialouge Box

Frequently Asked Questions

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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