What Is Drive Letter?
A drive letter usually refers to a letter that was assigned to a disk partition on your computer. Each partition usually has a unique drive letter, which is the alphabetical identifier to the partition. The drive letter can be from A to Z, for example, system partition is often assigned with drive letter C by default, while the other partitions are assigned with drive letter D, E, F, etc. per your own settings.
Drive letter vs. volume label
Drive letter is different from volume label, but some users often confuse them. Simply say, drive letter is an alphabetical character to a partition and volume label is the name of the partition. (See following picture)
==>> If you want to change volume label of partition, please refer to this page – Free to change volume label of internal / removable disk
Sometimes, you may want to change the drive letter of a disk partition on your Windows PC. It does not matter your PC runs Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 ,10 operating system, you can use Disk Management to and follow the guide below to change drive letter of partition.
Following guide is for changing drive letter of internal hard drive, external hard drive, USB flash drive and memory card on all Windows platforms
Step1. Open Disk Management on your computer.
==>> If you do not know how to access Disk Management on different Windows, please refer to the related articles about Disk Management at the end of this page.
Step2. Right click the partition that you want to change drive letter and select Change Drive Letter and Paths.
Pay attention: For a drive that has no media under it, you can also right click this drive and choose change drive letter and paths to change its drive letter
Step3. Click Change button
Step4. Select a different drive letter and click OK button
Step5. Confirm to assign the new drive letter
Way#1 CMD to change drive letter for hard disk partition, usb flash drive, memory card etc.
You can run Command Line on Windows platform to reassign drive letter to disk partition by following guide below:
Step1. Run Command Line on your computer
==> To get all methods to access Command Prompt under different Windows, please visit this page – How to access Command Line
Step2. Type diskpart and then type list volume
Step3. Type select volume 3 (suppose volume 3 is the volume that you want to change drive letter)
Step4. Type assign letter=R (R is the new drive letter that you want to assign to the selected drive)
Video - How to change drive letter using cmd
Way#2 Powershell to change drive letter
Powershell is another way to change a drive letter for your storage drives with the following steps.
Changing the drive letter in PowerShell can be useful when managing disk drives on a Windows computer. Here's how to do it:
Another example: Change drive letter from D to H
Without Disk Management or Diskpart/Powershell, you can use free tool IM-Magic Partition Resizer to change drive letter of hard disk partition on Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, 11 by the following steps:
For Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista/XP/2000 ==> Download IM-Magic Partition Resizer Free (100% free)
For Windows Server All versions ==> Download IM-Magic Partition Resizer Server (Free trial)
Step1. Download Partition Resizer, install and open it. Right click the target partition and select "Change Drive Letter" option.
Step2. Select a new drive letter and click "OK" button. Then, click "Apply Changes" button to commit the operations.
Step3. Click APPLY CHANGES button in the software to apply the changes.
Why it cannot change drive letter and paths on your Windows computer?
Here are possible queries that users may run into:
There are several reasons why it's unable to change the drive letter and paths with Windows built-in tools.
If you are unable to change the drive letter and paths in Windows Disk Management, the following fixes may help:
#1 Run Disk Management as Administrator: Right-click on the Disk Management icon and select "Run as administrator." This will give you the necessary permissions to make changes to the drive letter.
#2 Unmount the drive: If the drive is currently in use or it is an active partition, the option to change its drive letter and paths may be grayed out under disk management.
In this case, you can try unmounting the drive by right-clicking on the partition and selecting "Change Drive Letter and Paths," then clicking "Remove." Once the drive has been unmounted, you may be able to change its drive letter.
#3 Disconnect any external drives: When the external drive has already occupied the drive letter, then it cannot be assigned to another drive no matter it's internal or external. So make sure it is disconnected from the computer and then try changing the drive letter again.
#4 The drive is open: If the drive is current in use, then it's not possible to change its drive letter; Or if the drive letter H is in use, and the H drive is open or used by third party tools or apps on your computer, then try closing it at first.
For example: If you are running antivirus scanning on drive H, then you cannot assign drive letter to this drive. You need to close the software at first. If there is a folder open on drive H, you need to close the folder at first.
#5 The drive has page files: If the drive was set to storing the page files, then it's unable to change it's drive letter and paths and would report error: The parameter is incorrect. You may disable the page file setting for the drive to fix the error. The solution will be illustrated in the following part.
Note that changing the drive letter may affect the functionality of some programs or applications that rely on the specific drive letter, so make sure to backup any important data before proceeding.
For example: If the drive D contains programs that you previously installed, then changing its drive letter from D to another drive letter may cause some of the programs fail to launch.
When disk management reported: The parameter is incorrect when changing the drive letter and paths for a drive, here are the fixes that you may get it work.
Step1. Open cmd and run with admin privileges
Step2. Type sysdm.cpl and press OK to run it and then it would open the system properties window.
Step3. Click ADVANCED tab, and then go to 'Settings...'
Step4. Click 'Change...' button
Step5. Get 'Automatically manage paging file size for all drives' unselected
Step6. Click the drive that you want to change its drive letter, here in the following image the steps are:
And then you may go back to Disk Management to change its drive letter and paths.
Changing the drive letter for usb drive or disk is no different than the internal disk on a computer. Microsoft has clearly stated the steps of changing the drive letter for a usb drive with the following steps:
Or you may find another similar guide here
Changing the drive letter for a DVD drive on your computer can be useful when you have multiple drives and want to assign a specific letter to your DVD drive.
Video: how to change drive letter for CD/DVD drive
Here are the steps to change the drive letter for a DVD drive:
After completing these steps, the DVD drive will now have the new drive letter assigned to it. It is important to note that changing the drive letter for a DVD drive may affect the functionality of some programs, so it is best to proceed with caution and make a backup of important files before proceeding.