How to Assign a USB Flash Drive to a Drive Letter That Won't Change

Dynamic drive letters can create problems during backups.
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Drive letters act as the root of a file path, allowing computers to identify which drive or storage device a given file is located on. Some computer systems assign letters to USB drives dynamically, meaning that the drive's assigned letter can change each time the device is connected. This can cause problems for software that needs to address files on the drive, as that software may end up looking for a given file using the wrong drive letter. To avoid this scenario, Windows allows you to assign static drive letters through the Disk Management menu.

Connect the USB drive to your computer.

Type “control panel” (without quotes) from the Start screen and then click on “Control Panel” to open the Control Panel window.

Click “System and Security” and then select “Administrative Tools.” Double-click “Computer Management” to open the Computer Management window.

Select “Disk Management” from the sidebar panel. Right-click on the icon representing your USB drive and then select “Change Drive Letter and Paths” from the context menu. The Change Drive Letter and Paths window will display.

Click “Change” and then select the drive letter you wish to assign to your USB drive from the drop-down menu. Click “OK” and then “Yes” on the following warning box to assign the drive letter to your USB device permanently.

  • Information in this article applies to computers running Windows 8. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.

Andy Walton has been a technology writer since 2009, specializing in networking and mobile communications. He was previously an IT technician and product manager. Walton is based in Leicester, England, and holds a bachelor's degree in information systems from the University of Leeds.