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How to change the drive letter in Windows

It's simple to do, but there are a few things you should know first.
By

Published onFebruary 27, 2023

Partitions on a hard disk get a letter as an identifier, and if you’re making a new one, you can choose which letter you want to assign to it. But what if you want to change the drive letter later? It’s not as easy as renaming a drive partition, but it’s possible, with an exception. Here’s how to change the drive letter in Windows 10 or 11.

QUICK ANSWER

To change the drive letter, open Disk Management via search. Right-click the partition, click Change Drive Letter and Paths, select the drive letter, and click the Change button. Click the drop-down menu with the drive letters, select the letter of your choice, and click OK.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

What you should know before changing the drive letter

A drive letter acts as a core identifier for a partition or a drive, letting the system map its location and, in turn, letting other programs and users access it. Changing a drive letter isn’t too complicated, but there are some things you need to keep in mind first.

First, Windows reserves this functionality only for administrator accounts, so you need to be signed in to one. Secondly, there are some restrictions on changing drive letters. Letters A and B cannot be used for usual drive partitions, as Windows keeps these only for floppy drives. You also cannot change the drive letters for system drives, like C.

We would also recommend that you do not change the drive letters for a partition if you have any apps installed in it. This can cause path conflicts and potentially render your programs unable to open. You can reinstall the apps to resolve this issue, but it’s better to refrain from changing the drive letter for such partitions.

How to change the drive letter in Windows 10 or 11

You will need to use the Disk Management tool built into Windows to change the drive letter. Open it by searching for Disk management. The search result will be labeled Create and format hard disk partitions. Click it. You can also right-click on the start menu and select Disk Management.

Right-click the partition for which you want to change the drive letter. You can right-click on the partition from the list view at the top or the grid view in the middle.

Windows disk management right click
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Click Change Drive Letter and Paths… A new dialog box will open up.

Windows change drive letter
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Select the partition for which you want to change the letter. Click the Change button.

Windows change drive letter select letter
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Click the drop-down with the current drive letter next to Assign the following drive letter:. Select the letter you want to assign from the drop-down by clicking it.

Windows change drive letter letter selected
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Click the OK button. A dialog box will pop up.

Windows change drive letter change warning
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Click the Yes button to confirm the change. The drive letter will change and reflect in the disk manager view.

Windows drive letter changed
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

And that’s how you change the drive letter in Windows 10 or 11. If you’re working with an external hard drive,  you can find out how to format and partition it here.

FAQs

No, you won’t lose any data. But as described above, you could get issues with apps that reference that drive location.

Yes. Just repeat the steps above and select the original drive letter.