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Assign a Permanent Letter to a USB Thumb Drive

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Do you run backups to, open files from, or simply use a USB thumb drive? If you do, this guide is for you.

Have you noticed that each time you put your USB thumb drive in your computer, it comes up with a different letter? If you have more than one external drive/camera/portable hard drive then this is likely the case.

This can be frustrating when trying to run backups or opening files in a piece of software to find it can’t find the recent location because the drive letter changed.

Here are the steps you will need to take to assign a permanent drive letter.

NOTE: The instructions are shown here in Vista. I have tested this in XP and the procedure is the same.

? Go to Start > Run (or press “Windows Key+R”)
? Type mmc in the box and hit enter. (Click continue if prompted)

usb drive

? Microsoft Management Console will now open. Select File > New
? Now select File > Add/Remove Snap-in… (or press “Ctrl+M”)
? Select “Disk Management” and click “Add

usb drive

? Select “OK“.
? Select “This computer” and hit “Finish

usb drive

? Now press “OK” on the “Add or Remove snap-ins” screen.
? Now select “Disk Management” from the left menu.

usb drive

? You will now see all of your drives/partitions in the right panel.
? Right click the USB drive you want to assign a permanent letter to and select “Change Drive Letter and Paths…

usb drive

? Click on “Change…

usb drive

? Select a permanent letter (preferably a letter that appears later in the alphabet)
? Click “OK
? It will warn you about making the change - there is little chance programs you use will be affected by this. If they will, you will probably already be aware of this so don’t worry.
? The final step is to select File > Save and save the file in the default directory. Close the Console and you are done.

Test this by ejecting your USB media and putting it back in. It should come up with the new letter you assigned it.

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10 Responses to Assign a Permanent Letter to a USB Thumb Drive


Valeria Forex

You don’t realize how much time this will save me, I am always changing the relative paths - stumbled for others to see



I couldn’t get it to work - have sent you a mesage - please respond soon..



Question, this does not seem to keep other usb devices from taking up the spot I identified for my main USB drive (SATA, actually) when it is not connected, is there any way to ensure that other devices don’t take up this spot?

Still, thanks for the tip!


Colin Stephenson

Hi there,

Great blog and great tips. I didnt even know I need this one until I stumbledupon this website



THank you for this most useful tip



I knew doing this had ot be easy but i am a total n00b at stuff like this



Is these steps are necessary? Just rigth click the computer select manage then changing the drive letters would be enough i think..



You can do it that way, but I’ve had Windows forget my assignments before. Doing it as instructed above ensures the settings are saved.

If your method works without forgetting, then yes, you are absolutely correct.

Thanks for the tip.


A. Carmon

Works well. However, the drive letter assignment doesn’t stay if you move the thumb drive to another computer.

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