How to Change a Drive Letter in Windows XP/Vista/7

A “drive letter” is the letter that precedes paths to files on that drive. For example, C:, D:, E:, etc. Windows lets you change the drive letter of hard drives, USB flash drives, DVD drives, or other drives attached to your system if so desired. These instructions work on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7:

  1. Close out any programs that are using the drive whose letter you want to change
  2. Click the Start button
  3. Right-click “Computer” or “My Computer”
  4. Click “Manage” from the popup menu

  5. If a User Account Control dialog appears, click “Continue”
  6. Click “Disk Management” under “Storage” on the left
  7. In the list, find the drive whose letter you want to change and right-click on it
  8. Click “Change Drive Letter and Paths…” from the popup menu

  9. Click the “Change…” button

  10. Select a new letter from the dropdown

  11. Click OK
  12. A dialog will appear warning you that programs that rely on drive letters (e.g. your backup software, if you’ve told it to backup certain drives) may no longer work. Click “Yes.”

  13. If you didn’t complete step 1 (closing out programs using the drive), you may get this warning:

    The volume is currently in use. If you continue, the new drive letter will be assigned, but you can still use the old drive letter to access the volume until you restart your computer. The old drive letter will not be available for assignment until you restart.

    If you know what program is using the drive, click “No,” close the program that’s using the drive, and repeat these steps. Otherwise, click “Yes” and restart your computer.

  14. Close the “Computer Management” window
  15. Click "Start," click "Computer" or "My Computer," and view the Computer window’s drive list to confirm that the drive shows up with the new letter
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18 Comments

  1. Cicellia Jackson

    I appreciate the support and instructions…I was able to follow them very very well. Thank You again.

  2. wow.. thx, really.. at last i can change my drive letter.. God bless U

  3. Fred M Lampart

    Not sure why my USB drive letter changed but your article helped me change it back.
    Thank you.

    P.S. Your instructions were well written and easy to understand.

  4. Luis Legarreta

    Your instructions don´t work. I right click on My computer, get the dropdown menu, fine. When I click on manage nothig happens.

  5. AL

    Thanks Bud! Works Perfect!!! Easy to follow too!

  6. mark

    the drive letter ‘D’ is not in the list so I cannot change it?
    (external hard drive)

  7. faizal

    it’s work…. really thanks

  8. Lee

    Thank you for the help! Everything is turned around in Windows 7.
    Luis: You have a deeper problem… Get a tech. to look at your system.
    Mark: Any other drives already assigned to “D”? If so, change that one first. If not, it may be assigned to a network drive, otherwise, baring a technical problem, it’s reserved for some reason.

  9. Greg

    Thank you so much for your easy instructions. Please, send your CV to Microsoft!!

  10. Mils

    Thanks!!! easy instructions

  11. Brian

    Sounds simple enough. One thing . . .if you already have a drive designated as the c: drive, can you designate another drive to take that place? or should you basically do this process several times until they are all where you want them to be? Hopefully I made that clear enough 🙂

    If so, what if windows is installed on the c:/ drive, will that have any effect on this process?

    • John

      You have to change the letter of the drive that currently holds that letter before you can assign another drive to that letter.

      But don’t change the C:\ drive. That’ll cause problems with Windows and your installed programs.

  12. Sally

    Thank you very much. Changed back my external drive letter with ease thanks to your instructions.

  13. Tom

    Do they have any free software that will automatically do this or make it easier to do?

  14. Juliette

    Thank you. SO nice to look up a question and get the answer so easily!

  15. Ali

    Thank you. I’ve been looking for this for quite some time.

  16. vince

    i was looking this for months

    thanks for the straight forward guidelines

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