How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10 [Add/Change/Remove]

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How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10 [Add/Change/Remove]
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When you partition a hard drive or connect an external hard drive to Windows 10 computer, the partitions on the drive get a drive letter automatically. In this way, you are able to use it in File Explorer.

Sometimes, Windows fails to assign a drive letter or you want to change a drive letter to arrange partitions in order. In this case, you need to add or change the drive letter. This post tells you how to change drive letter in Windows 10 in three ways.

Tip: A drive letter can be any letter from the English alphabet except the letter C, as it is reserved for the current boot partition that contains the OS.

1. Change Drive Letter in Disk Management Utility #

Disk Management offers a friendly GUI for Windows users to perform simple and straightforward disk partition management, such as create/delete/format volume as well as the change drive letter.  

In Disk Management, you will find it easy to Add/Change/Remove the drive letter. All these can be done by applying the feature Change Drive Letter and Path.

How to change drive letter in Disk Management? Here is the guide:

  1. Right click the partition you want to change drive letter and then choose Change Drive Letter and Path from the context menu.
  2. Next, click Change from the new pop-up window.
  3. Make sure the Assign the following drive letter is selected and drop down the drive letter box to choose an appropriate one.
  4. Click OK to confirm the drive letter change.
choose Change Drive Letter and Path
choose the desired drive letter

Tip: To add or remove a drive letter, the operations are just the similar. Choose Add or Remove in step 2.

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2. Change Drive Letter in Command Prompt #

Command Prompt (CMD) is available in most Windows operating system. It is commonly used to execute commands to perform advanced administrative functions and troubleshoot Windows issues.

To change the drive letter Windows 10, you need to do the followings:

  1. Run CMD with administrator privilege. You can find it by using the Windows Search function.
  2. In the elevated command prompt window, type the following commands to add / change drive letter: diskpart -> list volume -> select volume number -> assign letter=desired letter. Check picture below for a better understanding:
change drive letter in Windows 10 command prompt

Tip: To remove drive letter in Windows 10 CMD, type remove letter=N instead of assign letter=N.

3. Change Drive Letter in PowerShell #

Very similar to CMD, PowerShell consists of a command-line shell and associated scripting language. It enables administrators to perform administrative tasks on both local and remote Windows systems.

To add/change drive letter in PowerShell, first of all, run PowerShell as administrator. Then, perform the following commands:

  1. Type get-disk and press Enter. This is to list all disks connected to your computer.
  2. Type get-partition and hit Enter. This is to show all the volumes on each disk.
  3. Type Get-Partition -DriveLetter currentdriveletter | Set-Partition -NewDriveLetter desireddriveletter and press Enter.
  4. Type Remove-PartitionAccessPath -DiskNumber N -PartitionNumber N -Accesspath currentdriveletter and hit the Enter key.

Tip: Be sure to replace the current drive letter, target drive letter, and disk number according to your own situations. See the attached image below.

change drive letter in Windows 10 PowerShell
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Change Drive Letter Windows 10 FAQ #

⌨️ Can I change the drive letter?

Yes. You can change the drive letter of any partition. However, you are not suggested to change the drive letter of the C drive, for it is automatically assigned to the boot partition containing Windows OS. Changing the drive letter of C may cause a system issue.

⌨️ Why can’t I change drive letter and paths?

Here are the possible reasons:
1. The desired drive letter is in use.
2. You are trying to change the drive letter of the system partition or boot partition and the partition software prevents you from doing so for system security.
3. The drive letter is permanently assigned to an external hard drive although it is disconnected now.

⌨️ How do I change a drive letter without formatting?

You can change drive letter via Disk Management utility, Command Prompt, or Windows PowerShell. Just follow the detailed steps in this guide to change the drive letter.

⌨️ Does drive letter matter?

A drive letter is important for you to access your hard drive. Without a drive letter, Windows won’t display the drive in Explorer; thus, you are unable to open it for data management.