Software Windows

How do I assign a letter to a hard disk in Windows?

assign a letter to a hard disk
Disky business: you can easily assign hard disks with a set drive letter

Parents give us names for a reason: life would be too confusing if you were called Dave one day and Nicola the next. Windows, however, has no such qualms about renaming your disk drives as it sees fit.

One day you’ll plug in an external drive, and it will be called D. The next day it may be demoted to E or F, depending on what else has been plugged in before it. That’s incredibly annoying if you have programs or backup software looking for data stored on a particular drive.

So how do you assign a letter to a hard disk and ensure it’s given that same letter every time it’s plugged in?

How to assign a letter to a hard disk in Windows

Here’s how to do it in Windows 10, although previous versions of the operating system are similar.

Type “disk management” into the Windows 10 search bar and you should see an option to create hard disk partitions. We’re not going to do that, but click on it anyway to open the Disk Management settings.

Now right-click on the disk you wish to re-christen and select Change drive letter and paths.

On the next screen, click the Change button and choose which letter of the alphabet you wish to give to the disk drive from the drop-down menu. We suggest you choose a letter further down the alphabet to avoid any possible confusion with other external drives that you might plug in.

Assign a letter to a hard disk

Click OK and close the Disk Management window and from now on, whenever you plug that disk into your computer, it will appear with the drive letter you specified.

Now click here: which apps take up the most space on my PC?

Main pic credit: Jeff Kubina/Flickr

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at

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