Windows 10 automatically assigns a drive letter when a drive is connected to your PC, whether internal or external. It assigns drives letters from A to Z.In most cases, the letters A and B are reserved for the floppy disk drives. The letter C is mainly for the system drive because it is the first partition to be created. In this post, we’ll walk you through the methods and steps of how to change drive letter in Windows 10. Read on to find out….
When you create a new partition or connect a drive to your Windows PC or laptop, Windows will look for the first available letter and assign it to the particular drive. Drive letters make identifying individual partitions and drives connected to your Windows computer easier.
However, if you do not like the drive letter or want to manage the drives on your machine, you can easily change their letters as outlined below.
Can you change System Drive Letter in Windows 10?
Even though you can change a drive letter in Windows 10, you should not change the drive letter of the system drive. By default, the system drive is marked by the letter C and is where Windows and other programs are installed.
If you change this drive letter, you’ll have trouble running programs or finding the drive. This is because the Windows 10 OS and programs installed in your system require the complete path to files to function, and changing the drive letter will affect this path.
Other than the system drive, you can change the drive letter of any other internal disk partition or an external disk connected to your system. In Windows 10, you can use different approaches to change a drive letter. They include using:
- Disk Management
- Command Prompt
Using Disk Management
Disk Management allows you to manage your storage partitions and disks. You can partition your disks, format, shrink or expand them, and assign or change their drive letters. To change a drive letter in Windows 10 using disk management:
Step 1: Right-click on the Start Menu or press Win +X
Step 2: Select Disk Management
Step 3: In Disk Management, right-click on the volume partition that you want to change its drive letter.
Step 4: Click on Change Drive Letter and Paths
Step 5: In the following menu, click on Change
Step 6: Then click on Assign the following drive letter and select the desired letter from the list.
Step 7: Click on OK
Step 8: Then confirm the change by clicking on Yes
Windows will display the drive with its new assigned letter. You can confirm the change by going to the This PC folder, and you will see that the drive letter has successfully changed.
If you want to remove a drive letter from a drive, you can choose Remove instead of Change. This will leave your particular drive unassigned.
Using Command Prompt
Command Prompt is a command-line interface that allows you to write and execute various commands, including changing a drive letter. If you prefer manually typing in commands, you can change your drive letter using the command prompt.
Take these steps to change a drive’s letter using the Command Prompt interface:
Step 1: In the Start Menu search bar, type CMD or Command Prompt. Alternatively, you can press Win +X
Step 2: Right-click on the Command Prompt app and click Run as Administrator
Step 3: Type diskpart in the Command Prompt window and press Enter
Step 4: Type list volume and press Enter to see all your drives and their partitions.
Step 5: Take note of the ### column value in the drive list that you would like to change. This is the volume number that you will use.
Step 6: Type select volume X substituting X with the volume number of the drive you would like to change, and press Enter.
Step 7: Type in assign letter=LETTER substituting LETTER with your new drive letter like D
Step 8: Press Enter to confirm the change.
If you would like to remove the drive letter of a particular drive, you can type remove letter=LETTER instead of assign letter and press Enter.
Using Windows PowerShell
Windows PowerShell is an alternative to the Command Prompt with a command-line interface that allows you to write fewer commands (cmdlets) than those in Command Prompt.
However, Windows PowerShell commands are more complicated than the Command Prompt commands but more convenient. It can do most things done by the Command Prompt, including changing the letter of your drives.
Therefore, sometimes when you press Win + X, you will not find the Command Prompt but rather the Windows PowerShell. Here is how you can use it to change your drive’s letter with just a few cmdlets:
Step 1: Press Win + X and click on Windows PowerShell (Admin). Alternatively, you can type Windows PowerShell in the search bar and select Run as administrator.
Step 2: Type get-partition and press Enter to list all the available drives.
Step 3: Look at the DriveLetter column of the drive you would like to change.
Step 4: After that, you can type Get-Partition -DriveLetter X | Set-Partition-NewDriveLetter LETTER. It would help if you replaced X with the drive’s old letter and LETTER with the new drive letter you want to assign to the drive.
Step 5: Press Enter to make the change.
Using third-party tools
You can also find various disk partition manager tools to help you change your drive letter. Some are freely available, while others come at a subscription fee.
All you have to do is install the software and follow the on-screen steps to change a drive’s letter. Some of the common disk partition management tools include:
- Drive Letter Changer
- MiniTool Partition Wizard
- AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional
Pro Tip! Before changing the drive letter in Windows 10, you should remember that you cannot change the drive letter of the drive where Windows 10 is installed.
Also, remember that changing the drive letter may affect the normal working of certain programs, although not quite.
Fix affected programs after changing drive letter
Some programs might not function after changing the drive letter where it is installed. In most cases, restarting your computer might solve the problem, but if not, you can try the following methods to have the program running:
- If you launch a program using its shortcut, you can change the path for the shortcut through the properties tab and try rerunning the program.
- If the problem persists, you can try changing the drive letter back to its initial letter.
- If you do not wish to revert the drive letter, reinstalling the program will solve the problem. This is the most convenient and effective way of fixing a program not working after changing a drive letter.
Q. Can I change the drive letter of Local Disc C?
No, you cannot change the drive letter of Local Disk C. This is because it holds the Windows and other program files, and changing its drive letter can make Windows
and your system to crash.
Q. Can you swap drive letters between volumes?
Unfortunately, you cannot directly swap letters between two drives or partitions. However, if you would like to assign a letter already assigned to another drive, you should first change or remove the letter from the initial drive so that it becomes vacant. You can then assign the letter to the other drive.
Disk Management is the simplest and most preferred way of changing your drive letter. However, the other methods are also just as effective, even though a little more complex. Changing a drive letter is not that difficult, and you’re free to change the drive letter as many times as you want.