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Three Easy Ways to Change USB Drive Letter in Windows 11, 10, 8 or 7

Top three ways about how to change USB drive letter are listed in this post. You can pick the one that you like.

Bryce

By Bryce / Updated on May 12, 2023

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The reasons for changing drive letter for USB device

You may want to change USB drive letter in Windows 11, 10, 8, or 7 under the following conditions:

☞ The USB device, like external hard drive is not recognized in Window Explorer out of drive letter conflict. To resolve the problem, you can reassign drive ☞ letter to the USB drive. ☞ T he USB drive letter keeps changing every time it was connected to your PC. You can assign a permanent drive letter to the USB drive . ☞ You just don’t like the drive letter that has been assigned automatically to the USB drive and want to change it .

How to: Change USB drive letter in Windows 11/10/8/7 easily

Next, there are three ways about how to change drive letter for USB flash drive, USB external hard drive, etc. will be displayed. Pick up one way as you like.

Method 1. Change USB drive letter via Disk Management

Method 2. change usb drive letter using cmd, method 3. change usb drive letter with a free 3rd party gui tool.

Disk Management is a Windows built-in tool, allowing you to manage disk and partitions conveniently. Follow the steps given below to change drive letter of USB drive in Disk Management.

Step 1. Press Windows + R in Windows 11/10/8/7, input “ d iskmgmt.msc ” and hit Enter key to open Disk Management.

Step 2. Right-click the USB partition that you want to change the drive letter and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths... .

change drive letter usb stick

Step 3. In the pop-up window, click Change… . If your USB drive is not showing up in drive out of drive letter missing, you can click Add to assign a drive letter to it.

change drive letter usb stick

Step 4. Choose a new drive letter from the list and click OK .

change drive letter usb stick

Note: If the USB drive is formatted with a file system incompatible with Windows OS, like Ext4 or is write-protected, you can find that “ Change Drive Letter and Paths ” option greyed out.

change drive letter usb stick

To resolve the problem, you can format your USB drive with a file system recognized by Windows 10 /11 or remove write protection at first. Or you can try Method 2 or Method 3 to change the drive letter for your USB drive.

You can also change drive letter for USB drive from Command Prompt through the following steps:

Step 1. Pres s Windows + R simultaneously, input cmd, and click OK .

Step 2 . Type diskpart and hit Enter .

Step 3. Run commands listed below in order.

▪ list volume ▪ select volume n ▪ assign letter= m ▪ exit ▪ exit

change drive letter usb stick

If you find out Change Drive Letter and Paths greyed out and are unfamiliar with Command Prompt, you can try a 3 rd party partition manager for Windows PC, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It can change drive letter for USB drive even when it is write-protected or not formatted with NTFS or FAT file system. Now, free download it and take a closer look at how it works.

Step 1. Install and run the partition manager. In the home interface, right-click the partition whose drive letter needs to be changed and go to Advanced > Change Drive Letter .

change drive letter usb stick

Step 2. In the pop-up window, choose a new drive letter for your USB drive and click OK .

change drive letter usb stick

Step 3. You’ll go back to the main interface automatically. Click Apply and Proceed to commit the operation.

change drive letter usb stick

✍ Notes: ✌ You can get more functions, like quick partition, partition recovery, etc., if you upgrade to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional . ✌ To more easily identify USB drive, like external hard drive, you can also choose to change name of USB drive.

Bryce

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Four valid & simple ways about how to rename external hard drive will be demonstrated in this post. Read it and you can choose one way to change its volume label.

How to Create UEFI Boot USB of Windows 10?

To create UEFI boot USB of Windows 10 or Windows 11 for installation, you can use CMD. If you want to make bootable USB with UEFI support for repair, you can use AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional instead.

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Try to restore USB drive to original state as you want to restore it back to full capacity or delete all files on it? Refer to this article to get detailed steps to perform this operation.

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How to assign a persistent drive letter to a usb drive in windows.

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How to get the new windows copilot on any device, i love quirky usb chargers (and some are actually useful).

If you use multiple USB drives, you've probably noticed that the drive letter can be different each time you plug one in. If you'd like to assign a static letter to a drive that's the same every time you plug it in, read on.

Windows assigns drive letters to whatever type of drive is available---floppies, internal hard disks, optical drives, SD cards, and external USB drives. This can be annoying---especially if you use backup tools  or portable apps that prefer to have the same drive letter every time.

Related: What Is a "Portable" App, and Why Does It Matter?

To work with drive letters, you'll use the Disk Management tool built into Windows. In Windows 7, 8, or 10, click Start, type "create and format," and then click "Create and format hard disk partitions." Don't worry. You're not going to be formatting or creating anything. That's just the Start menu entry for the Disk Management tool. This procedure works the same in pretty much any version of Windows (though in Windows XP and Vista, you'd need to launch Disk Management through the Administrative Tools item in the Control Panel).

sud_1

Windows will scan and then display all the drives connected to your PC in the Disk Management window. Right-click the USB drive to which you want to assign a persistent drive letter and then click "Change Drive Letter and Paths."

sud_2

The "Change Drive Letter and Paths" window the selected drive's current drive letter. To change the drive letter, click "Change."

sud_3

In the "Change Drive Letter or Path" window that opens, make sure the "Assign the following drive letter" option is selected and then use the drop-down menu to select a new drive letter. When you're done, click "OK."

NOTE: We suggest picking a drive letter between M and Z, because earlier drive letters may still get assigned to drives that don't always show up in File Explorer---like optical and removable card drives. M through Z are almost never used on most Windows systems.

sud_4

Windows will display a warning letting you know that some apps might rely on drive letters to run properly. For the most part, you won't have to worry about this. But if you do have any apps in which you've specified another drive letter for this drive, you may need to change them. Click "Yes" to continue.

sud_5

Back in the main Disk Management window, you should see the new drive letter assigned to the drive. You can now close the Disk Management window.

sud_6

From now on, when you disconnect and reconnect the drive, that new drive letter should persist. You can also now use fixed paths for that drive in apps---such as back up apps---that may require them.

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How to Change a Drive Letter in Windows

Sometimes when you plug in a USB device, it doesn't show up

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A task you will most likely have to perform a few times in Windows is changing the drive letter for an external hard drive, mapped network drive, or DVD drive. Sometimes when you plug in a USB flash drive, it doesn’t automatically get a drive letter assigned to it and it may not show up on your computer.

In those types of cases, you have to change the drive letter for the device and it will normally pop right up. In this article, I’ll show you how to change the drive letter for these devices using the GUI and also via the command prompt.

Change Drive Letter via Disk Management

You can open disk management on a Windows PC by either right-clicking on the Computer or This PC icon on the desktop and choosing Manage or by clicking on Start and typing in diskmgmt.msc .

How to Change a Drive Letter in Windows image 1

You’ll see a list of volumes at the top and the disks and partitions at the bottom. Any partition that has a drive letter will be shown in the white area. If you connected a USB drive and you see it listed, but it doesn’t have a drive letter, you can now assign one.

To assign or change the drive letter for a disk or partition, simply right-click on it and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths .

How to Change a Drive Letter in Windows image 2

A window will pop up with the current drive letter, if there is one, and a couple of options. Here you want to click on Change .

How to Change a Drive Letter in Windows image 3

Next, you will choose the new drive letter from the dropdown list. You can pick from the letters A to Z.

How to Change a Drive Letter in Windows image 4

That’s about it. Click OK to close out all the dialogs and the drive should now show up in Windows with the new drive letter. If you’re having issues using the GUI interface or you simply feel more comfortable using the command prompt, read the instructions below on how to use diskpart.

Use DiskPart to Assign Drive Letter

If you need to change or assign a drive letter via the command prompt, you have to use the diskpart command. I’ve written a bit on how to use diskpart , which is really useful for many disk management tasks.

To get started, open an administrator command prompt in Windows by clicking on Start, typing in CMD and then right-clicking and choosing Run as Administrator .

How to Change a Drive Letter in Windows image 5

Now type in the following commands, each followed by the Enter key.

Above, you’ll replace x with the volume number in the list that corresponds to the drive you want to change and with the letter you want to assign to the drive. Here are the commands I ran for an external USB drive:

How to Change a Drive Letter in Windows image 6

You’ll also notice that under the Type column, external drives will show up as Removable . That’s a good way to check before you select a volume. You can also figure out which drive is correct by looking at the size and also looking at the Info column. Volume 0 in my case is the system partition, so I wouldn’t want to mess with that by accident.

Overall, it’s a fairly simple process and hopefully you won’t run into any problems. There are times, however, when things don’t work properly. Below are some possible reasons.

Troubleshoot Can’t Change Drive Letter in Windows

One problem that I have seen is that the Change Drive Letter option is simply greyed out. This can occur for a few reasons. One of the main reasons is the volume is not formatted in FAT or NTFS format. For example, if you are attaching a disk from a Mac computer, you will not be able to change the drive letter unless you format the drive into a compatible format.

Another reason is if the drive is set to read-only. If so, you’ll have to Google the steps to change the drive to allow read/write access.

How to Change a Drive Letter in Windows image 7

Also, if you don’t need any of the data on the volume in question, a simple solution is to delete the volume, which is normally never greyed out. Once you delete the volume, you can right-click again and create a new simple volume. Now you will be able to change the drive letter.

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How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10 & 11

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.

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).

Change drive letter using partition manager

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.

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.

change drive letter usb stick

Now, click the “Change” button.

change drive letter usb stick

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.

change drive letter usb stick

Commands to change 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.

change drive letter usb stick

Next, execute the “ select volume #number ” command. Don’t forget to replace the #number with the actual volume number.

change drive letter usb stick

After selecting the volume, execute the “ assign letter=NewDriveLetter ” command. Replace “ NewDriveLetter ” with the actual drive letter you want to assign.

change drive letter usb stick

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.

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 a Drive Letter on Windows 11 & 10

change drive letter usb stick

Using multiple drives on your PC? You might want to change the drive letter on Windows to make it easier to manage. This guide will show you how.

Windows will assign drive letters dynamically to removable storage devices as you plug them in. In most cases, it automatically progresses through the alphabet (sans A and B) with your main drive using the drive letter C . However, you might want to change a drive’s letter for easier management.

Whether it’s an external or internal storage drive, you can change a drive letter on Windows 11 or Windows 10 using the steps below.

Change a Drive Letter on Windows 11 via Settings

Before you change a drive letter on Windows, there are a couple of things to note about this process. First, you shouldn’t try to change your local C: drive letter, as it’s where Windows and most of your apps run from. Changing the main drive letter will result in Windows not booting, and apps won’t run at all.

With that in mind, changing a drive letter on Windows 11 is a straightforward process if you’re using the Settings up.  To get started:

Start Settings Windows 11

  • In the Disks & volumes section, scroll down and click the drive you want to change.

Drive Properties

That’s it. The new drive letter will take effect and will display with the letter you selected for it. The change happens right away and you’ll see it reflected in File Explorer and throughout the Windows 11 experience.

new drive letter file explorer

How to Change a Drive Letter on Windows 10 and 11 Using Disk Management

You can also use the Disk Management tool to change your drive letter. This method works with both Windows 10 and Windows 11 PCs.

To change a drive letter on Windows 11 or Windows 10 using Disk Management:

  • Click the Start button or press the Windows key and type disk management .

search change a drive letter on windows 11

At this point, your drive’s letter on Windows will change, and it should open in File Explorer to view its content. You may need to restart your PC for the change to take effect, however.

drive letter change This PC

If you change the removable drive letter, it should stay the same on the computer you change it on. For example, if you take it to a different computer, Windows will assign it a different letter than the one you gave it. After renaming a drive, a new letter will most likely be assigned if you plug in other external drives in a different order.

Managing Disk Space on Windows

Windows 11 and 10 have some useful tools for managing drive space. For instance, you can limit disk space used by the Recycle Bin or free up space with Cleanup Recommendations on Windows 11 . You might also want to configure Storage Sense on Windows 11 .

There are many ways to free up disk space on Windows 10 too. You can delete old system restore points to free up space or learn how to delete the Windows.old folder to free up GBs of space.

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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.

Avatar for Mauro Huculak

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.

Manage Disks and Volumes

Select the drive with the partition you want to change the letter.

Select the partition.

Click the Properties button.

Partition properties option

Click the Change drive letter button.

Change drive letter on Windows 10

Use the drop-down menu and select the new letter.

Select new drive 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.

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Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, 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+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter) , YouTube , LinkedIn and About.me . Email him at [email protected] .

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How To Change A Drive Letter On Windows 10 Or 11

Anup Thapa

Changing the system drive letter (generally C:) is not advised as applications may encounter errors during execution due to the change of path. But aside from this, users are free to change drive letters that they don’t like, or assign letters to drives that don’t have one yet.

Changing a drive letter in Windows has traditionally been done via the Disk Management utility , but in Windows 11, you can do this more easily via Settings .

The Disk Management method will suffice for most users, but we’ve also detailed various other ways to change the drive letter for those interested.

Via Disk Management

Disk Management is a system utility used for various storage-related tasks such as allocating space , initializing a drive, and assigning drive letters too. Here are the steps to use this utility:

  • Press Win + R, type diskmgmt.msc , and press Enter.

change-drive-letter-and-paths

  • Accept the prompt to change the drive letter.

Via Settings

Unlike the classic Disk Management method, changing the drive letter via storage settings is a feature only available on Windows 11 . So, Windows 10 users should skip ahead to the next section. With that said, the settings method is extremely simple. Here are the necessary steps:

storage-management-disks-volumes

Using Diskpart

If you face any issues with the earlier GUI methods, we recommend using diskpart. Diskpart is a command-line tool used for managing the system’s drives. It is easy to mess up with diskpart if you haven’t used it before, so please follow the steps listed below carefully:

  • Press Win + R, type cmd , and press CTRL + Shift + Enter.
  • Type diskpart and press Enter.

diskpart-list-vol

  • Type sel vol 5 , replace 5 with the appropriate volume number from Step 3 , and press Enter.

diskpart-sel-vol-assign-letter

  • Replace k with an available drive letter if necessary, and press Enter to execute the command.

Using Set-Partition

You can actually use CMD or Powershell as you prefer. Powershell supports diskpart, but there are also powershell-specific cmdlets for managing partitions. We’ve detailed the steps to use them below:

  • Press Win + R, type powershell , and press CTRL + Shift + Enter.

get-partition

  • Once again, note the current drive letter of the partition you’re trying to modify.

set-partition-new-drive-letter

  • Replace K (current drive letter) and S (new drive letter) with the appropriate values in your case and press Enter to execute the command.

Using Registry Editor

Finally, you can change the drive letter using the registry editor as well. We recommend backing up the registry first if you’d like to try this method. With that said, here are the necessary steps:

  • Press Win + R, type regedit , and press Enter.
  • Navigate to: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices

dosdevices-rename

  • Restart your PC to apply the changes.

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How can I permanently assign drive letters to my USB devices in Windows?

I have several customers with different PCs (Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7).

Unlike DOS 6.22, where you can permanently assign drive letter designations (e.g. Drive C: = Hard Disk Bootable Partition, Drive D: = CD Drive, or any additional partitions you want to create with FDISK, depending on which version of Windows you are running), if in Windows XP I connect a USB flash drive, it will assign it drive E:, in Windows Vista it will assign it drive F:.

In DOS 6.22, when you have LASTDRIVE=Z: in your CONFIG.SYS file, you can then statically assign permanent logical drive designations to any devices whether you connect them or not.

Why can't this be done in Windows? I have no way to create standardized backup PowerShell or batch file scripts!

Dennis's user avatar

  • Based on all the answers I've seen so far, there's no way to permanently reserve a logical drive letter for an external device in Windows!.. a flaw! –  Joe R. Commented Jul 5, 2011 at 23:25
  • 1 The drive letter is stored in the windows registry, not on the device, windows looks at the device ID and checks the windows registry and assigns the drive letter based on that, if there is no pre assigned letter it will assign the first unused drive letter. so no way to do what you want from PC to PC other than assign the same drive letter for each device on each PC. It is always better to assign a letter farther down the alphabet, that way there are no collisions with drive letters already occupied on any given PC. –  Moab Commented Jul 5, 2011 at 23:29
  • @Moab: I'll use your suggestion to assign an X: Y: or Z: although maybe I can devise a scheme to identify an attached device by volume label name. I think this is where Microsoft missed the boat with Windows!.. They used the same scheme used in DOS to identify devices whereas in UNIX everything, devices included, is a file in the filesystem, example: /dev/fd0 = diskette drive, /dev/hd0 = logical hard disk 0.. Now in Windows, we have floating (variable) logical devices besides all the other similarities with DOS, including security issues which have never been a problem with UNIX-bases systems! –  Joe R. Commented Jul 5, 2011 at 23:51
  • Yup, Windows sucks, let us count the ways... –  Moab Commented Jul 6, 2011 at 0:01

7 Answers 7

You can setup Windows so that it remembers the drive letter you asign to a drive, but you have to connect the device and set it up first. This can be done in the Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management (or run compmgmt.msc if you're as lazy as me). Under Storage > Disk Management , right-click on the drive you want to configure and select Change Drive Letter and Paths... . There you can change the drive letter that's assigned to the drive.

After this is done, whenever the drive is plugged back in, this letter will be used if it's available . If this is too risky for you, you can mount the drive in an empty folder anywhere on the filesystem instead (via the same interface). This works the same as the drive letter in the sense that Windows will only use it if it's available, but it will never do it unless it's explicitly setup to do so.

Martin Larente's user avatar

  • I think this is the best way to do it. Make sure to use higher drive letters so that other removable devices don't steal the next available driver letter and cause a conflict. –  Chris Thompson Commented Jul 5, 2011 at 23:14
  • @Martin: You see?.. "...if it's available." meaning there's no way in Windows to guarantee that letter will be available if another device takes it, which in the real world, frequently happens! –  Joe R. Commented Jul 5, 2011 at 23:21
  • 4 @Frank Computer: then you can use an empty directory to mount the device instead. It won't be used up by another drive unless it's manually configured that way. –  Martin Larente Commented Jul 5, 2011 at 23:32
  • @Frank Computer: This is why you start your "static" drive letter assignments with Z: . If you have more than 20 different USB devices, you're in trouble no matter what you do. USBDLM works fairly well as @Mike Renfro mentions below. –  Bacon Bits Commented Jul 6, 2011 at 4:47
  • I have found that even when I force assign the drive letter to my USB drive, that Windows 7 will often take that drive letter assignment and use it (or reserve it) after I have dismounted it. I normally want to assign my portable drive to G: at work. I unmount the drive and when I plug it back in the next day, Windows 7 often refuses to reassign it back to G:. It will instead assign it to H:. Even worse is that Windows 7 doesn't have G: available to be reassigned to. The logical drive letter is missing from the available list until I reboot - then I can force the assignment back to G:. –  John C Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 15:43

Instead of trying to define a standard drive letter for your scripts, define an environment variable that you set on each system to designate the USB drive.

Mark Ransom's user avatar

  • or perhaps better to use volume name vs. drive letter? –  Joe R. Commented Jul 5, 2011 at 23:45

One word: USBDLM .

  • automatically solves conflicts between USB drives and network or subst drives of the currently logged on user
  • you can define new default letters for any/all USB drives
  • you can make your 19-in-1 card reader only allocate drive letters for slots that have media inserted
  • usb port number
  • drive type (CD, removable, fixed)
  • presence of files/folders
  • volume label
  • volume serial number

32-bit and 64-bit versions available. This gets installed on each and every Windows system I install. No registry hackery, no disk management tool required, it just works as a persistent service. I cannot recommend this highly enough.

Mike Renfro's user avatar

Create your batch file scripts using %~d0 as the drive letter and colon. %~d0 is replaced by the drive containing the script. So if on one machine the thumb drive is F %~d0 is equivalent to F: On another machine the thumb drive is W %~d0 is equivalent to W:

All my scripts are this way because I use my thumb drive in 100s of machines

Kevin's user avatar

You can use also Disk Management (part of Computer Management) to give the volume a specific drive letter.

Neil's user avatar

Windows remembers drives based on an ID it gets from the drive itself. It tries to assign the original drive letter it first assigned it, but will assign another if that is in use. You can see Windows' memory of them in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices (be very careful if you ever edit values under this key).

If you go into Computer Management (Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management, or just Run compmgmt.msc ) and select Disk Management, you will be able to set the drive letter there by right-clicking on the drive and selecting "Change Drive Letter and paths...". Once you have changed it, Windows will afterward attempt to re-use that drive letter when the recognized device is reconnected. You could use this to set the same drive letter for the device on each machine it will be used on.

Joel B Fant's user avatar

You could try using USBDeview .

Find the device in the list, right-click and choose Change Assigned Drive Letter, then set it to the letter you would prefer. If I remember correctly, it is persistant.

Gareth's user avatar

  • Doesn't work for me if Windows has taken and used my previous drive assignment (see my comments above), even when running as Admin. My drive will stay as H: if Windows decides has "taken" my previous G: letter. Only a reboot and a forced assignment will work for me. Reboot frees the "reserved" G: (in my case) and then I can reset and force my drive with Mini Tool back to G (with Admin rights). –  John C Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 15:39

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change drive letter usb stick

  • Windows Tips
  • Assign permanent drive letters to a removable usb drive in windows

Assign Permanent Drive Letters To A Removable USB Drive In Windows

  • User by Fatima Wahab
  • Calendar Sep 29, 2015
  • Comment 8 Comments

Windows assigns drive letters by progressing through the alphabets. Apart from letters A and B, drives are named C, D, etc. You have no doubt seen that the letters for the partitioned drives on your system do not change. If you have a DVD drive, it’s letter doesn’t change either but the same doesn’t hold true for USB drives. Windows assigns the drive letter to a USB drive dynamically so that a drive that was labeled F drive might later be labeled G if another drive(s) is connected. Normally this isn’t a problem unless you need the USB drive to always be assigned specific letter to keep certain paths functional. Here’s how you can assign a permanent drive letter to a USB drive in Windows.

This trick requires no third party apps and will work in Windows 7 and above. You must have your USB drive connected to your system to assign it a permanent drive letter.

Open the Start Menu and type ‘compmgmt.msc’ in the search bar and open the Computer Management window. In the left pane, expand ‘Storage’. Click on Disk Management and wait for the right pane to populate. Select the USB drive you want to assign a permanent letter to, right-click it, and select ‘Change Drive Letter and Paths…’ from the context menu.

computer-management

In the dialogue box that opens, click change which should open an action box called ‘Change Drive Letter or Path’. Select the drive letter you want to assign it, and click OK to save the changes.

usb-assign-drive

That’s all takes. This should work so long as the USB drive you’re using is 100% compliant with USB standards.

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Fatima has been writing for AddictiveTips for six years. She began as a junior writer and has been working as the Editor in Chief since 2014. Fatima gets an adrenaline rush from figuring out how technology works, and how to manipulate it. A well-designed app, something that solves a common everyday problem and looks

Windows 10 changed my external USB HDD 6TB drive from E: to D: . in order to do that it had to also change my internal 2TB HDD from D to E: .. wtf? I have tested my internal and external drives and they are both fine. All comes back GOOD (drive controller and no bad sectors drive surfaces) . ..so I mean Really??? Just today this happened. Windows 10 2004. I manually reassign them but I mean WTF?

Glad to see this was an easy fix… I play the Quest For Glory games, and Exporting a character always tries to write to the “A” drive, like it used to… I changed USB (E) to read as an “A” drive, so that way I can just let the game export to the default drive, and i’ll be able to retrieve it easily when I import a character in a subsequent game.

NOT PERMANENT

Agree this is not permanent. If I reboot or use a different USB drive and put this one back in, it reverts to the D: instead of the G: that I told it I want it to be.

Is there a way to revert back to its default behavior?

better solution is to use USBDLM, command-line program to assign letters to USB drives… and is permanent…

it is NOT Permanent…. let me repeat that again it is NOT Permanent.

I’ve had to change back the drive letter many of times because windows randomly decides to change the letter.

You are correct – it is not permanent and there are many websites reporting that this very same procedure creates a static letter assignment

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How to Assign the Same Drive Letter for USB Drive in Windows

Assign the same drive letter for usb drive in windows, change drive letter via the registry, usb drive letter manager (usbdlm).

USB Drive Letter Manager (USBDLM) is a third-party program that runs as a Windows service that controls the Windows’ drive letter assignment for USB drives. Running as a service makes it independent of the logged-on user’s privileges, so there is no need to give the users the privilege to change drive letters. It automatically solves conflicts between USB drives and network or subst drives of the currently logged-on user.

Drive Letters depending on Criteria

USBDLM is an excellent drive letter management tool. But the entire manual must be thoroughly read to configure the INI file as per your requirements. Once done, it’s a breeze!

One small request: If you liked this post, please share this?

About the author, 1 thought on “how to assign the same drive letter for usb drive in windows”.

Excellent post, clear, well written, perfect explanation, Thank You so much a solution to a big problem anyone who backs up to a USB drive needs. Why doesn’t MSFT include a utility like his?

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change drive letter usb stick

How To : Assign a letter to your USB flash drive

Assign a letter to your USB flash drive

This video shows you how to assign a letter to your USB flash drive (or memory stick) or how to change it in Windows.First of all, connect the flash drive in the computer's USB port. Click on the start button, then right click on My Computer and choose manage. Once the window opens, go to Disk Management. There, you should be able to see the USB drive as "USB DISK". Right click on it and choose "Change drive letter and paths...". Now click on change and select the desired letter for the drive and click OK to finish the process. Letters F and G should be chosen since they are mostly used for such drives.

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How to change usb flash and external drive letter assignment on windows guided assist.

Change Drive Letters

1. Connect the external drive to the computer using the instructions below.     Do not use a USB hub.

 USB Flash Drive

 

Instructions

 External Portable Drive
(non-powered)

 

Instructions

External Desktop Drive
(powered)

Instructions

Answer ID 50284
Published 12/27/2022 12:53 PM
Updated 04/16/2024 08:06 AM

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  Windows OS Hub / Windows 10 / Windows Doesn’t Automatically Assign Drive Letters

Windows Doesn’t Automatically Assign Drive Letters

How to manually assign a permanent drive letter in windows, changing drive letter via cmd or powershell, windows doesn’t save an assigned drive letter for connected usb drives.

If the drive doesn’t appear in Windows Explorer, it will have to manually assign a drive letter through the Disk Management snap-in ( diskmgmt.msc ). To do this, open the Computer Management console (via the Win + X menu) and go to the Storage section -> Disk management . In the list of drives, locate the connected removable USB drive. As you can see, the disk is online, it has one healthy partition with the NTFS, but it is not assigned a drive letter. To assign a drive letter to it, right-click on the partition and select “ Change Drive Letter and Path “.

Computer Management Change Drive Letter and Path

In the window that appears, click the “ Add ” button, select “ Assign the following drive letter ”, select the letter you want to assign to the drive (for example, H: ) in the drop-down list, and click OK.

Assign the following drive letter to the usb flash drive

Make sure that Windows detects the partition (s) on the connected USB drive and the partition is formatted with the NTFS, FAT32, or exFAT file system. If the file system is detected as RAW, or the disk is not partitioned, most likely the USB flash drive is just a new one, or the partition table is damaged and you have to repair the file system first.

If the disk is new and no partitions have been created on it, it appears in the console as Not initialized with an Unallocated area. To initialize such a disk:

initialize new disk in windows

  • Select the partition table for your disk: MBR or GPT; You can convert MBR-disk to GPT without data loss .

create partition on disk

If the disk is offline, right-click on it and select Online .

make disk online on windows

You can assign or change a drive letter from the command prompt using the Diskpart tool or using PowerShell.

Open the elevated command prompt and run the command:

List the volumes on the disks:

In this example, the TestDisk volume is not assigned a drive letter (empty in the Ltr column)

Select this volume (Volume 4 in our example):

Assign a drive letter Q: to this volume:

DiskPart successfully assigned the drive letter or mount point.

End the diskpart session:

assigning drive letter using diskpart cmd

You can also change or assign a drive letter using the PowerShell cmdlets from the built-in Disk Management module .

List drives:

List partitions on the specified disk:

get-disk 1|Get-Partition

Assign the letter Q: to partition 2 on disk 1:

Get-Partition -DiskNumber 1 -PartitionNumber 2 | Set-Partition -NewDriveLetter Q

using powershell to assign drive letter to the partition on the USB drive

After that, the connected USB disk appears in File Explorer with the assigned drive letter.

Sometimes after disconnecting a USB device or restarting the computer, a drive letter is not automatically assigned to it. I have to assign the letter again manually through Disk Management, and that becomes annoying.

It seems that some features of automatic detection and mounting of new partitions on the external storage devices is not working in Windows. How to solve this problem?

First of all, make sure that the Virtual Disk service is running. You can check the status of this service in the services management console ( services.msc ).

start virtual disk service

In case of the error “ Unable to connect to Virtual Disk Service ” or “ Disk Management could not start Virtual Disk Service (VDS) “, change the service startup type from Manual to Auto.

Also, you can check the service from the command prompt: sc query vds

sc query vds

Or check the service state using PowerShell:

get-service vds

check virtual disk service running via powershell

Check if the problem persists. If it does, make sure that the automatic mounting of new volumes is enabled.

Open the command prompt as administrator and run the following commands: diskpart Within diskpart , make sure that the automatic mounting of new volumes is enabled: DISKPART> automount

As you can see, the auto-mounting is disabled. Let’s enable it: DISKPART> automount enable

Exit diskpart DISKPART> exit

Enable automount with diskpart

You can also enable automatic mounting of new partitions using the command:

MOUNTVOL /E

Make sure the NoAutoMount DWORD parameter (with a value of 1) is not created under the reg key HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\mountmgr . If this registry parameter is created, Windows doesn’t assign drive letters to newly connected devices.

list of saved drive letters assigned to disk in windows registry

Restart your computer and verify if the drive letters are assigned to the external USB devices.

If not, check if the “hidden” and “do not assign a drive letter” attributes are set for the partition on the USB drive. Run the Diskpart command prompt and enter the following commands:

  • List the disks: list disk
  • Find the disk number assigned to your USB flash drive (in this example 1) and select it: select disk 1
  • List the partitions on the disk: list part
  • Select the desired partition: select partition 2
  • Check the partition attributes: attributes volume

volume attributes

  • End the diskpart session by typing: exit

After that, this partition on the USB flash drive should be automatically assigned a drive letter on any computer.

Please note that the old Windows versions only see the first partition on USB sticks with multiple partitions. The ability to create multiple partitions on removable USB drives appeared only starting from Windows 10 build 1703. Previously, in order to make second and subsequent partitions on the USB flash drive were accessible in Windows, you had to use a trick to make Windows detect removable USB flash drive as an HDD .

If your USB flash drive doesn’t appear in the Disk Management console, try using a different USB port or cable. Try to connect the USB flash drive directly to the computer (without the USB hub), check whether the power is on and whether it is detected on other computers.

Checking Hard Drive Health (SMART) in Windows

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Thanks, this worked great! 

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Finnally something that worked. 4  of my 9 USB keys no longer mount on my computer but worked on my wife’s so I knew it was a Windows problem. Gave up a year ago trying to solve the problem because none of the solutions on the web worked – and there are tons of them. So after loading Win 10 thought I would see if my keys worked they still didn’t so I did a google and this solution pooped up.  

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This fix worked like charm. Thanks for posting friend.

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Great help! Thank a lot!

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Very helpful! Thank you very much!

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You rock!!!!  Been fighting this on a SBS 2011 server.  Enabling automount did the trick. Thanks SO much!!

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Well done – automount worked like a dream in Windows10 Anniversary edition (on my laptop). Many thanks.

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Good Job. Thank you verry much.

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Virtual Disk service is running aoutomount is anabled already disk drive is showing in device manger but drives still not shown in my computer

win 7 ultimate service pack 1 fully updated

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I had exact problem and this solution helped me.

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Thanks a lot! It solved my problem!

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every thing checked and correct but nothing is working for me windows 10 64 bit pro and USB flash drive is 16 GB Sandisk 3.0

And USB Drive is showing in Disk Management with its full capacity.

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After reinstalling Windows my Data disk for some reason became hidden.. I couldnt figure out why it wouldnt auto mount but this solved it. Literally the only page on the internet that had the solution thanks fellas 🙂

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Thank you, mine was fixed in diskpart

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Thank you very much! I resolved my issue by setting the attribute of my disk. Thanks!!!

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Thanks for the post, the part about the hidden drive attribute helped. No idea how it got set to Yes but I cleared it and it mounts fine again.

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Thank you very much!. I was also able to resolve this by changing attributes of the external SSD.

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Thank you very much. It solved my issues with the windows media creation tool

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Excelent way of dealing with this issue!, Thank you very much!

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Thanks, It’s working! It solved my problem!

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Widows is the stupidest OS I have ever used. (For some reason I have to use it sometimes.) I formatted a brand new SSD on Windows (NTFS). Then I used this SSD on my Linux Mint without any problem for weeks. My colleague copied some data from it to his MAC. There were no problems. And now I plugged in again to that Windows shit, and it sees RAW fs. Why anybody pays a dollar for this OS, I really do not understand.

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Great article! But all the measures above were fine and not the problem with my USB, a S$47 SanDisk 64GB stick (bought in Singapore but no warranty as I don’t live in Singapore and can’t get there at the moment….) My problem was that it just wouldn’t assign a drive letter. I was about to throw it in the bin. It said Healthy in Disk Management, you just couldn’t browse it. I assigned a drive letter and then the stick immediately opened in File Explorer. I restarted the computer, plugged in the stick and it again automatically recognised!

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This solution does not work when i connect my tablet (Samsung Galaxy, model SM-T580, Android 7). Windows 10 sees it, I can transfer files between tablet and pc but only manually. If I want to use XCOPY in a .bat file, to copy hundreds of pictures every week, I can’t because there isn’t any Drive letter assigned to tablet. Any thoughts???

' src=

Worked fine for Seagate External 1 gb drive accidently formatted.

' src=

Thanks for the awesom tips. It worked. My external Hard disk’s volume was “hidden”!!!!

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IMAGES

  1. Three Easy Ways to Change USB Drive Letter in Windows 11, 10, 8 or 7

    change drive letter usb stick

  2. Three Easy Ways to Change USB Drive Letter in Windows 11, 10, 8 or 7

    change drive letter usb stick

  3. How to change the drive letter of a USB drive in Windows 10

    change drive letter usb stick

  4. How to change the drive letter in Windows 10/11, DVD and USB drives?

    change drive letter usb stick

  5. How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10

    change drive letter usb stick

  6. Change HD and USB Flash Drive Letters In Windows 8

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VIDEO

  1. HOW TO CHANGE HARD DRIVE LETTER OR PATH IN WINDOWS 10

  2. Computer में Disk Drive letter Change करें? #shorts #windows11

  3. change drive letter (windows)

  4. Change Drive Letter.mp4

  5. How to Change Drive Letter on Your Computer in Windows 10

  6. External Hard Disk not visible (Add drive letter, Windows 10)

COMMENTS

  1. Three Easy Ways to Change USB Drive Letter in Windows 11, 10, 8 or 7

    Step 1. Install and run the partition manager. In the home interface, right-click the partition whose drive letter needs to be changed and go to Advanced > Change Drive Letter. Step 2. In the pop-up window, choose a new drive letter for your USB drive and click OK. Step 3.

  2. Windows Tip: Assign Permanent Letters to Removable Drives

    Right-click the drive you want to assign a permanent letter to and then choose Change Drive Letter and Paths from the menu. 4. A dialog box will open up, and here you need to click the Change ...

  3. How to Change a Drive Letter on Windows 10 or Windows 11

    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."

  4. How to Assign a Persistent Drive Letter to a USB Drive in Windows

    Right-click the USB drive to which you want to assign a persistent drive letter and then click "Change Drive Letter and Paths." The "Change Drive Letter and Paths" window the selected drive's current drive letter. To change the drive letter, click "Change." In the "Change Drive Letter or Path" window that opens, make sure the "Assign the ...

  5. How to change the drive letter of a USB drive in Windows 10

    This tutorial video will show you step by step how to change the drive letter of a USB drive in Windows 10. https://www.easytechguides.com/drive-letter/You c...

  6. How to Change a Drive Letter in Windows

    To assign or change the drive letter for a disk or partition, simply right-click on it and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths. A window will pop up with the current drive letter, if there is one, and a couple of options. Here you want to click on Change. Next, you will choose the new drive letter from the dropdown list.

  7. How to change drive letter on Windows 11

    Open Start. Search for Create and format disk partitions and click the top result to open the Disk Management tool. Right-click the volume and select the "Change Drive Letter and Paths" option. Click the Change button. Select the "Assign the following drive letter" option. Choose a different letter for the drive.

  8. Change and Assign Drive Letter in Windows 10

    1 Open an elevated PowerShell. 2 Type Get-Partition into the elevated PowerShell, and press Enter. (see screenshot below) 3 Make note of the drive letter (ex: "G") of the drive you want to change. 4 Type the command below into the elevated PowerShell, and press Enter.

  9. How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10 & 11

    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.

  10. How to Change a Drive Letter on Windows 11 & 10

    In the Disks & volumes section, scroll down and click the drive you want to change. Next, click the Properties button. Under the Volume Data section, click the Change drive letter button. When the ...

  11. How to change drive letter using Settings on Windows 10

    Open Settings on Windows 10. Click on System. Click on Storage. Under the "More storage settings" section, click the Manage Disks and Volumes option. Manage Disks and Volumes. Select the drive with the partition you want to change the letter. Quick note: You may need to click the arrow button in the top right corner of the drive to see all ...

  12. How To Change A Drive Letter On Windows 10 Or 11

    With that said, the settings method is extremely simple. Here are the necessary steps: Press Win + I and select System > Storage > Advanced storage settings > Disks & volumes. Select the drive whose letter you'd like to change and click on Properties. Click on Change drive letter, select an available drive letter, and press OK.

  13. Windows 10 changing USB port drive letters

    Follow the steps to change the drive letter: Press Windows + X keys and click on Disk Management. Right click on the external drive and click on Change Drive letter and paths. Click on Change the button. Under Assign the following Drive letter, select the desired drive letter. Click Ok to save changes.

  14. batch

    Under Storage > Disk Management, right-click on the drive you want to configure and select Change Drive Letter and Paths.... There you can change the drive letter that's assigned to the drive. After this is done, whenever the drive is plugged back in, this letter will be used if it's available.

  15. Assign Permanent Drive Letters To A Removable USB Drive ...

    Click on Disk Management and wait for the right pane to populate. Select the USB drive you want to assign a permanent letter to, right-click it, and select 'Change Drive Letter and Paths…' from the context menu. In the dialogue box that opens, click change which should open an action box called 'Change Drive Letter or Path'.

  16. How to Assign the Same Drive Letter for USB Drive in Windows

    Now, safely eject the external drive. Launch the Registry Editor ( regedit.exe) Go to the MountedDevices registry branch below: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices. Rename the \DosDevices\G: value to \DosDevices\R: Exit the Registry Editor. Next time when you connect the same drive, Windows assigns it the R: drive letter if it's free.

  17. How to change the drive letter in Windows 10/11, DVD and USB drives?

    You can also in Windows 10/11 change drive letters, for DVD and USB drives or add and remove Paths, and also for external hard drives and media! Simply start the Windows 10/11 Disk Management via the Windows Logo + X menu. Content / Solutions / Tips: 1.) ... Changing the drive letter of the DVD drive on Windows 10/11!

  18. Assign a letter to your USB flash drive

    This video shows you how to assign a letter to your USB flash drive (or memory stick) or how to change it in Windows.First of all, connect the flash drive in the computer's USB port. Click on the start button, then right click on My Computer and choose manage. Once the window opens, go to Disk Management. There, you should be able to see the USB drive as "USB DISK". Right click on it and ...

  19. How to Change USB Flash and External Drive Letter Assignment ...

    How to Change USB Flash and External Drive Letter Assignment on Windows Guided Assist. Change Drive Letters. 1. Connect the external drive to the computer using the instructions below. Do not use a USB hub. Insert the Flash Drive directly into the USB port on the computer. Connect one end of the USB cable to the external drive and the other end ...

  20. How to change the drive letter of a USB drive in Windows 10

    This tutorial video will show you step by step how to change the drive letter of a USB drive in Windows 10. You can assign a permanent (static) drive letter to your ...

  21. How to fix the letter of a USB stick?

    Inserted the USB A into my Windows 11 computer; Started the disk manager; Right-clicked the USB A and chose Change Drive Letter and Path for I: ; I hoped the USB A 's letter to be fixed to H, so I change it to H, and saved; I inserted USB B, and then inserted USB A. I found the USB B had the letter H, and USB A had the letter I.

  22. Windows Doesn't Automatically Assign Drive Letters

    To assign a drive letter to it, right-click on the partition and select " Change Drive Letter and Path ". In the window that appears, click the " Add " button, select " Assign the following drive letter ", select the letter you want to assign to the drive (for example, H: ) in the drop-down list, and click OK.

  23. In Windows 10 how do I revert drive letter allocation for a specific

    "Change Drive Letter and Paths" via "Disk Management". I followed your notes and then unplugged the drive, re-plugged it and ... Thank you for your valuable input. I tried a fresh test this morning with a different USB memory stick (FAT32 although I don't imagine the file system is relevant), removing the drive letter (which I see now is in ...

  24. How to revive your broken USB flash drive

    First, you should check that the drive is correctly connected to the computer. Changing the USB port can sometimes help. If this doesn't help, the next step is to test the USB drive on another PC.