By default, people install Windows operating system in drive C: and use other letters for remaining partitions in hard drive. However, it is not always necessary to use the assigned drive. If you prefer, you can rearrange the computer drives named in a particular order. Windows built-in disk utility tool can allow you to change your computer’s drive letters effortlessly. You only need to avoid changing the drives that contain installed software, or else you will have to install them again. Also, we do recommend you create a backup to ensure your data is not lost. Here are options on how to change the drive letter in Windows.
Using Driver Letters in Windows
Computer storage has drive letter alternatives from letter A to Z.
- Windows drive C is the default system storage. Therefore, it is not recommended to change it as many programs may try to install the files in C: drive.
- Letters A and B represent the floppy disks used in earlier days. Since floppy disks are out of use, you will not find A or B drives in modern day computers.
- Removable disks are automatically named when added. When you insert USB or external hard drive, Windows will assign a drive letter available next to the previously used one. For example, if you have C, D and E partitions in your hard drive then the external disk will show F drive.
If you want to change the drive letter of a drive, you have to select any other unused letter. You can’t use the same drive letter for more than one drive or partition.
How to Change Drive Letter in Windows?
Windows allows you to change the drive letter in two ways.
- Using Disk Management Tool
- From Command Prompt
1. Using Disk Management Tool
Follow the below instructions to change the drive letter in Windows computer using disk management tool.
- Step 1: Open disk management by right-clicking the “This PC” icon on your desktop and select “Manage.” Also, you can use the keyboard shortcut, “Win + X” to open power user menu and choose Disk Management option.
- Step 2: Select the drive you want to change the letter. Right-click on it and select the “Change Drive Letter and Paths” option. You can also select the “Explore” choice to confirm if it’s the right disk.
- Step 3: Select the “Change” option and proceed to change the drive letter. From the drop-down letter selection, you can choose the letter that you prefer.
After you select the letter, click “OK” to proceed. There will be a pop-up prompting confirmation. In case the drive has any installed applications, they may not run correctly after the change. Click “Yes” to confirm or “No” to decline the change.
2. Using DiskPart Command Prompt
In case you like running simple computer tweaks, then you can opt for this alternative. However, it does not display drive letters available to choose. You can only enter the letter in a command window.
- Step 1: Run command prompt. Enter CMD in the search area and right-click on the search result. Select the “Run as Administrator” option.
- Step 2: Then type these commands and press “Enter” after each one of them.
diskpart list volume select volume Z assign letter =Z
Replace letter Z with the drive/volume you want to change and the letter you wish to assign, respectively. When you list the volumes, you can locate all the drives on your computer. That way, you can assign the letter depending on the type of disk.
Can’t Change Drive Letter Errors and How to Fix Them
You can get errors when changing drive letters, but it is in rare cases. The most common errors you can get are simple to fix.
- If the change drive letter option is greyed out, maybe it contains system apps. Changing it may cause a system failure. Therefore, we do recommend you avoid changing the drive letter.
- The drive you are trying to change is set to read-only. Meaning, you are not allowed to make changes. Do a Google search on how you can remove the read-only restriction on the drive.
- Also, your drive may be in an unsupported file format. In case the drive is in APFS format, you have to change the file format to a supported Windows format such as NTFS or FAT.
Now you can change the drive letter in Windows without using external tools. If you are a novice or a pro, you can use these options. Ensure you don’t change the drive letter to your computer system drive.