Software

How to assign a drive letter in Windows 10

Step-by-step instructions for assigning a specific drive letter to an external drive, SD card, or hard drive partition in Windows 10.

When you connect a new drive to your PC, Windows automatically assigns the next available letter after C, which is normally used for your system drive. So an external hard drive or USB thumb drive could end up as D, E, F or whatever, depending on how many drive letters are already being used.

This is all well and good, but what if you want to assign the drive letter. Maybe you want to use M for your music files or X for your top-secret X-Files. Here's how in Windows 10:

  1. Ensure that the drive your relettering isn't in use and that no files from that drive are open.
  2. Right click on the Start button
  3. Click Disk Management to open the Disk Management console
  4. Right-click the volume that has the drive letter you want to change
  5. Click Change Drive Letter And Paths
  6. Click the Change button
  7. Choose from a list of available drive letters. (Don't use A or B, which have historically been reserved for floppy drives and can sometime confuse older software.)
  8. Click Ok
  9. Click Yes if a popup windows appears asking if you really want to do this.
  10. Close the Disk Management console

You may need to restart your machine for the change to take affect, but once you do the drive will use the new letter.

More Windows tips...

About Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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