Assign USB Drives to a Folder

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 28, 2008
Updated • Oct 3, 2015
Windows, Windows tips

Working with several portable USB devices on one computer can be quite complicated when you consider that Windows is assigning the next free drive letter to a device that gets connected. This can lead to some confusion as drive letters may change depending on how USB devices are connected to the system.

A great tip that I would like to pass on is to assign USB drives to folders instead. When you do that, you will notice that - known - USB drivers are no longer assigned their own drive letter whenever you connect them to the system but a folder instead.

What I did was to create a main folder on my E: drive which I named USB. I then assigned all my USB devices to subfolders of that folder which led to less confusion on my part. (Create the subfolders before continuing). You need to create the folder structure first before you can assign the USB drives to them.

Connect your USB devices to the computer afterwards. Once you have created the folders and connected the devices, read on.

Press Windows R, type diskmgmt.msc and hit enter. This opens the Disk Management configuration that should display all drives and devices currently connected to your computer. Please note that you may get a UAC prompt on newer versions of the Windows operating system which you need to accept before the program window is loaded.

Pick an USB device from the list and right-click that entry. Select Change Drive Letter and Paths from the menu.

change drive letter and paths

This should open a new window that displays the current drive letter of the device and three buttons at the bottom: Add, Change and Remove.

Click on the Add button, select "mount into the following empty NTFS folder" and click on browse.

Now navigate to the subfolder that you want to assign the usb drive to and confirm the assignment. The USB drive will from now on be accessible from that folder as well if it is connected to the computer.

You can remove the drive letter if you want that by selecting it in the main window and clicking on Remove.

Assign USB Drives to a Folder
Article Name
Assign USB Drives to a Folder
The guide walks you through the steps of assigning USB storage devices to folders on machines running Windows.

Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Dustin said on November 12, 2008 at 5:04 am

    I have followed the instructions, however why do my drives letters E,F,G,H still show up in “Computer” and “Disk Management”

  2. Thom said on July 23, 2008 at 12:39 am

    I used this to mount several external hard drives I use to store recorded TV, the only problem is that the search function, does not search within the attached drives, as it would do with regular folders, anybody know how to make it do that?

  3. CyberNirvana said on June 4, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Excellent post. Thanks for this which I will share on my blog.

    However, this does not work with different SD cards. For example, this method will not distinguish between SD card X or SD card Y when using the same USB-connected SD card adapter.

  4. USBman said on April 4, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    I’ve got a good one for everybody:

    This works great for USB devices (or whatever other physical media you’d like), but diskmgmt.msc does NOT recognize the virtual disks TrueCrypt generates. * Can anyone think of a way to mount TrueCrypt virtual drives to a FOLDER, for the same kind of reasons as someone would do the above tip? *

    I’ve dug through various searches and found nothing so far. Please, help!!!

    1. virtualdg said on February 9, 2010 at 8:48 pm

      i just did just that: once you have your usb drive assigned to a folder, go to select file in truecrypt and select that folder to mount truecrypt virtual disk. then just make sure that the never save history option is unchecked in truecrypt, and your truecrypt virtual disk will be saved in drop down menu, so you don’t ever have to change the drive letter any more.

  5. Josh Miller said on March 31, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    I wonder if you could use this to keep a persistent “My Documents” or even a whole profile on say a work and home PC via Thumbdrive.

  6. Offbeatmammal said on March 30, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    does this remember the folder assigned to a particular drive is (say) the drive is powered down and then turned on again later?
    it would be cool to be able to use something like this to help save power by turning off devices unless you need them but have some certainty where it’s going to re-attach.
    Maybe it needs an autorun pgm on the drive itself to do the mapping…

  7. Andrés said on March 29, 2008 at 3:47 am

    It doesn’t need to be an USB drive, this works with any kind of drive. It’s useful, for instance, to have your “My Documents” folder in another drive or partition.

  8. Rarst said on March 28, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Windows is indeed assigning next free letter to drive by default, but if you use disk management to manually assign it to some letter – it will remeber that choice for that drive.

    So if you map flash drive to some distant from start (unlikely to be occupied) letter – it will always mount on that letter when plugged in.

  9. Daleus said on March 28, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Or you could use USBDLM.

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