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Friday, February 03, 2017

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How to Assign a Permanent Drive Letter to a USB Drive in Windows

Oyetoke Tobi - Friday, February 03, 2017

If you are using numerous USB drives, you must have probably noticed that the drive letter of each USB drives you plug in are usually different each time you plug them in. And this can be very troublesome if you are using one of the USB drive to do something automatically and you are using the drive letter to identify the USB drive you are using. For example, you have that is running in the background and checking whether Drive E is plugged in and if it is plugged in, you’ll have it to do something like open software on it automatically when the USB drive is plugged in. The solution to this is you’d have to assign a static letter to a drive that’s the same every time you plug it in.

By default, Windows assigns drive letters to whatever type of drive is plugged in. It can be floppies, internal hard disks, optical drives, SD cards, and external USB drives. This can also be extremely annoying especially if you are using backup tools or portable apps that have a preference to have the same drive letter every time.

However, the process in making USB drives have the same drive letter whenever they are plugged is pretty much easy. All you need is to use the built in Disk Management tool to assign a persistent drive letter to USB drives. In this article, we will explain how you can assign a persistent drive letter to USB drives.

So let’s get started

Click on the Start Menu in Windows 10, 8 or 7, and then search for “Create and Format. Then click on “Create and format hard disk partitions.” You might wonder why we are using the “create and format” settings since we aren’t doing any formatting. Be at ease you’re not going to be formatting or creating anything. That’s the Start menu entry for the Disk Management tool. 

Then the Disk Management windows will appearing showing all the drives connected to your PC. Now look for the connected USB drive  you want to assign a persistent drive letter and right-click on it. Then click on “Change Drive Letter and Paths.”

Then the “Change Drive Letter and Paths” window will appearing showing the selected drive’s current drive letter. From the window, you can add, change and remove the USB drive letter. So to change the drive letter, simply click on “Change.”

Then a small dialog window will pop up where you'll be selecting the drive letter you want. Now click on the “Assign the following drive letter” radio button option. Then click on the drop-down menu beside and select a new drive letter you would like to assign to your USB drive. Once you are through, click “OK.”

We recommend choosing a drive letter that is between M and Z, because most of the drive letters that comes before may still get assigned to drives that don’t usually appear in File Explorer such as the optical and removable card drives. M to Z drive letters are usually not used on most Windows systems.

Afterwards, Windows will showing a warning notifying you that some apps might rely on drive letters to run properly and may not work if you assigned the drive letters assigned to them to another drive. Well, you won’t have to worry about this since the drive letter you chose isn't assigned to any drive. However, if you do have any apps in which you’ve assigned the same drive letter to this drive, you may need to change them in order to make work properly. Then click on “Yes” to continue.


That's all there is to it. Now you should be able to see the new drive letter assigned to the drive in the Disk Management main window. From now on, whenever you disconnect and reconnect the drive, that new drive letter should still be assigned to your USB drive.


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