How to Rename a Drive in Windows 10 or Windows 11

Changing the letter of a drive-in Windows 10 and Windows 11 is simple, but you should do it as soon as you install the drive to avoid future complications. Here’s how to modify a drive letter.

What Happens When You Change a Drive Letter?

When you first boot up Windows, it allocates drive letters alphabetically, beginning with C. If you wish to alter the letter of a drive, you should do it before installing anything on the drive. Changing a drive letter after programs have been installed may cause them to fail since there will be references to an installation location that no longer exists.

Windows has become rather adept at updating shortcuts so that programs continue to function after a drive letter change. The majority of your programs’ shortcuts will most likely be automatically adjusted. Unfortunately, Windows isn’t as excellent at keeping file associations up to date. To repair file associations that have been disrupted by changing the drive letter, you must manually change the default programs associated with files.

How to Modify a Drive Letter?

Start menu search showing disk manager result is not called disk manager
Changing a drive letter is a straightforward process. Click the Start button, then enter “Disk Management” in the search field. Please keep in mind that the application name displayed in the search will not be Disk Management. “Create and format hard disk partitions” will be the title.
Click "Disk Management."
You may alternatively press Windows+X or right-click the Start button and choose “Disk Management.”
Right click the drive in the list, or right click the drive on the menu at the bottom.
Identify the drive you’d like to change in the Disk Management Window. In this example, we’ll change the letter of the D:\ drive to J:\. You can right-click the drive on the text list, or on the menu below. Either works.
Click "Change Drive Letter and Paths."
In the right-click menu that opens, select “Change Drive Letter and Paths.”
Click "Change."
Click “Change” in the window that appears.
Select letter from drop down menu, then click "Ok."
Choose the letter you want from the drop-down menu. Then press the “Ok” button.

Two popups will alert you to the fact that you are going to change your drive letter. Restart your computer after clicking “Yes” on each of them.

Arrow pointing to change drive letter.
The drive letter should be updated when Windows has resumed.

How Do I Repair Programs That Have Been Damaged Due to a Drive Letter Changed?

There are a few ways to repair malfunctioning software by altering the drive letter.

Repair the shortcut

Click "Properties."
If you’re fortunate, the only thing broken is the shortcut. To repair a shortcut, right-click it on your desktop and select Properties.

You must adjust the shortcut’s target to the new drive letter.

Edit the shortcut. Then click "Apply" and "Ok."
If GIMP was originally installed at “D:GIMP 2bingimp-2.10.exe,” and you changed the D drive to J, update the shortcut’s target to “J:GIMP 2bingimp-2.10.exe.” Click “Apply” and then “Ok” to complete the adjustment.

Install the program again.

Reinstalling the software will create new registry entries so that everything on the computer knows where to look for the program. Because some installers dislike reinstalling straight over existing files, you may need to rename or remove the previous installation first.

Return the Drive Letter

If you altered the drive letter of a drive that has a number of programs installed, changing the drive letter back may be easier. Changing the drive letter back should immediately repair any damaged applications and file relationships.

Modify the Registry

The Windows registry is used by Windows and many other programs to keep track of where programs are installed. It is feasible to manually modify the registry in order to repair malfunctioning applications. Keep in mind that you may need to modify dozens of registry entries. GIMP, for example, can contain registry entries for its context menu, “Open With” menu, any file associations, and the location of its executables. Other programs may contain only a few items relating to where they are installed.

If you’re undeterred, here’s how you go about it.

To begin, you must know where the software was previously installed. The application was installed to the “D:GIMP 2” folder, and the executables were discovered in the “D:GIMP 2bin” sub-folder. Instead, it is currently found at “J:GIMP 2.”

Click "Run as administrator."
The registration must be updated to reflect the change in location. Click the Start button, enter “regedit” in the search field, right-click Regedit, and select “Run as administrator.”
Click "Find next."
To open a search window in Regedit, use Ctrl+F. Enter the former location for the software you’re attempting to repair — in our case, “D:GIMP 2” — and then click “Find Next.”
Some of the GIMP search results found in the registry.
When Regedit finds something with “D:GIMP 2” in the path, it will display it to you. Here’s a search result from GIMP.
Change the drive letter in Value Data.
To alter them, double-click the name of the registry entry you wish to update. Then change the drive letter to J, or whatever letter you like. Leave the remainder of the path alone if you did not relocate the folder. Then press the “Ok” button.

You’ll need to do this several times. F3 will take you to the next result based on your search query. Once you’ve located all of the entries, a popup will appear.

Changing drive letters is an easy method to personalize your computer. However, do that before installing anything on the disk. You’ll avoid problems before they happen and save yourself a lot of troubleshooting time.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *