How to Show / Hide / Move Drive Letters in Windows Explorer?

UPDATE: New Registry method added which also allows you to show drive letter before drive name and works in Windows XP as well.

Recently an AskVG reader "Ronald G." contacted us regarding a strange problem. He asked us:

Dear VG

I'm using Windows 7. When I open Windows Explorer, it doesn't show drive letters for any drive. It only shows the drive name. So I can't understand which is C; drive, which D: drive and so on...

Can you please share a fix for this problem? How can I get the drive letters back?


Actually its not a problem. Its a feature present in Windows Vista and 7. Windows Vista and 7 allow you to show or hide drive letters in Windows Explorer.

Although its a feature, it might create problems sometimes as mentioned above. It becomes really hard to distinguish between drives as you can't see drive letters.

Following is a screenshot of this problem when drive letters are not showing in Windows Explorer:


To fix the issue, you just need to follow these simple steps:

1. Open Windows Explorer, click on "Organize" button in command bar and select "Folder and search options".

2. Now go to "View" tab, scroll down a little bit and you'll see an option "Show drive letters" as shown in following screenshot:


3. It would be unchecked, enable the option and click on Apply button.

4. That's it. Now you'll be able to see drive letters in Windows Explorer.


Simple. Isn't it?

Registry Tricks for Advanced Users

The above mentioned method uses a simple registry trick to show / hide drive letters. You can play with the Registry to do some advanced things like showing drive letters before drive name.

1. Type regedit in RUN or Start Menu searchbox and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.

2. Now go to following key:


3. In right-side pane, look for a DWORD ShowDriveLettersFirst. If you don't see it, create a new DWORD ShowDriveLettersFirst


4. Now set its value to any of following as per your requirements:

0 - To show drive letters after drive names (Default)
1 - To show local drive letters after drive names but remote drive letters before drive names
2 - To hide drive letters
4 - To show drive letters before drive names

5. That's it. This registry method works in almost all Windows versions including Windows XP, Vista and 7.

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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP

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  • Here's another trick to hide your drive.

    STEP 1: goto Control Panel

    STEP 2: open Aministrative Tools

    STEP 3: Open Computer Management

    STEP 4: Select STORAGE


    STEP 6: right click on the required drive and select CHANGE DRIVE LETTER OE PATH

    STEP 7: REMOVE the drive letter.

    Go back and WOOSH!! you cant see the rive any more.
    You may add any drive letter to get you drive back.

    SHORTCUT: RUN compmgmt.msc for easy access

    Thanks VG for your tricks. :)

  • Thanks!!

  • I have XPSP3 Home Edition and had to add a new DWORD ShowDriveLettersFirst to both HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer in addition to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

  • Nice tutorial man..
    Any guide on how to change drive letters using a utility or built in?

  • Thanks man, but how to make drive "C:" keep on top drive list after hide the drive letters?

  • VG

    ^^ Change its label/name so that it starts with a letter which comes first alphabetically.

  • thank you its working

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