Windows will assign drive letters to external flash drives, SD cards, and other removable storage devices dynamically as you plug them in. If you use a lot of different external storage devices throughout the day, having different letters assigned each time can become annoying and make things feel unorganized. Here’s how to assign permanent letters to each device to make things easier.
Windows progresses through the alphabet (sans A and B) to assign drive letters to devices as you plug them in. So if you plug in a USB flash drive to get data from it, it might be F: but the next time you plug it in, it might be E: or G: depending on the order you plug them in.
The neat thing is you can assign a permanent letter to a USB drive directly with Windows 7, 8.1, and Windows 10. It’s an easy process, and there’s no need to install any third-party utility.
Assign a Specific Drive Letter in Windows
1. To set this up, plug in the drive that you want to assign a permanent letter. Then open the Run dialog (Windows Key+R) and type: compmgmt.msc and hit Enter or click OK.
Or, right-click the Start button to bring up the hidden quick access menu in Windows 10 or 8.1 and select Computer Management.
2. Once that’s open, choose Disk Management in the left pane under Storage. It will take a few seconds while Windows looks for the drives currently connected to your PC and displays them in the right pane.
3. Right-click the drive you want to assign a permanent letter to and then choose Change Drive Letter and Paths from the menu.
4. A dialog box will open up and here you just need to click the Change button. Then make sure that Assign the following drive letter is selected and choose the letter you want to give it. Click OK and close out of Computer Management.
Now, each time you plug that drive into your PC, it will register with the drive letter you gave it.
When assigning your drive letter, make sure to choose a letter toward the end of the alphabet list. For example, X, Y, or Z — otherwise Windows has the tendency to eventually assign a different letter. Also, keep in mind that it will only be the assigned letter on the computer you changed it on. If you take your external drive to a different PC, Windows will give it a different dynamic letter.