Sometimes, you may require to hide your files on your Windows PC. For instance, you do not want others to access the hard drive’s private files. You can keep important files secure and prevent unauthorized access by concealing a drive on Windows by hiding the drive letters. This post will lead you through three alternative ways to hide drive letters in Windows 11/10 and any other version of Windows.
How to Hide Drive Letters in Windows
You can hide the drive letters in Windows using the following three methods.
- Make Drive Letter disappear
- Hide the Drive Letter Using Disk Management
- Hide the Drive Letter Using Group Policy
- Hide the Drive Letter Using the Registry Editor
1] Make the Drive Letter Disappear
By default, Windows shows drive letters for all your partitions, i.e., c, d, e, f, etc. However, if you have given a friendly name to your drive and want to identify it with that name, you can choose to hide them.
- Open File Explorer and go to This PC
- Click on the menu (three-dot) on the top of the window, and select options.
- Switch to the view section, and scroll to find the option—Show drive letters.
- Uncheck and save the changes
2] Hide the Drive Letter Using Disk Management
The Windows Disk Management tool makes it simple to carry out several storage-related operations, including formatting hard disk partitions, allocating drive letters, managing disk space, and more. With Windows, you can also use it to conceal a drive partition. This is how:
- Open the Disk Management tool that can help with managing drives and partitions.
- In the Disk Management window, locate the drive you want to hide, right-click on it, and select the Change Drive Letter and Paths option from the context menu.
- Click on the Remove button in the pop-up window and click OK.
- A pop-up warning window will appear that will say—Some programs that rely on the drive letter might not run correctly. Are you sure you want to remove this drive letter?— Click on Yes to confirm.
The drive letter will be removed, which you can double-check using File Explorer. You can anytime bring it back by adding a driver letter using the same method but in reverse.
3] Hide the Drive Letter Using Group Policy
You can configure various settings on your computer using the Local Group Policy Editor. With it, you can keep a drive letter hidden from your Windows PC. This is how you go about it:
- Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialogue box, type gpedit.msc, and press OK.
- In the Local Group Policy Editor window, navigate to the following location:
User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer.
- On the right, double-click on the Hide these specified drives in My Computer policy from the list.
- In the pop-up window, click on the radio button beside Enabled, and under Options, choose the drives you want to hide, click Apply, and OK.
When you finish the above steps, Windows will hide the selected drive in File Explorer.
Use the same steps to later unhide the drive by changing the Hide these specified drives in My Computer policy’s setting to Not configured.
4] Hide the Drive Letter Using the Registry Editor
The Registry Editor is another excellent application that makes it simple to modify Windows system settings. Remember that you need to exercise caution to avoid unintentionally causing damage to the Windows Registry.
To be safe, you should back up all the registry files first. Now, we will move on to how to hide a driver’s letter using Windows Registry.
- Open Registry Editor
- In the Registry Editor window, navigate to the following location:
- Click on the Explorer folder, right-click on the blank area on the right side, and click New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
- Right-click on the newly-created DWORD, click on the Rename option, name NoDrives, and press Enter.
- To open the new DWORD, double-click it and click on the radio button beside the Decimal option under Base.
- Type the decimal number for the drive letter you want to hide in the Value data box.
We entered 8 in the Value data field using drive D as an example. You must type the sum of the decimal numbers to hide more than one drive. For instance, you must add 8 and 32 to hide drives E and F. In other words, you need to type 40.
Note: Check out decimal numbers for reference:
A: 1, B: 2, C: 4, D: 8, E: 16, F: 32, G: 64, H: 128, I: 256, J: 512, K: 1024, L: 2048, M: 4096, N: 8192, O: 16384, P: 32768, Q: 65536, R: 131072, S: 262144, T: 524288, U: 1048576, V: 2097152, W: 4194304, X: 8388608, Y: 16777216, Z: 33554432, ALL: 67108863.
- Click OK to save the changes and close the Registry Editor Window.
To make all the changes after these procedures, you must restart your PC. The drive is, after that, hidden in File Explorer.
This does not, however, imply that the drive is inaccessible. You can access the location using the File Explorer address bar or the Windows Terminal drive path.
How Do You Undo Changes?
Repeat steps 1 and 2 to display the hidden drives and remove the NoDrives DWORD. After that, restart your PC to save the changes and open File Explorer to locate the drive.
After going through this post, you will know the many techniques for hiding drives in Windows PC. Choose an appropriate strategy based on your requirements. The option on your Windows PC to hide drives is only intended to prevent users from accessing your private files and to safeguard specific drives from being improperly used. But, this does not stop users from accessing your content on a hidden drive using different techniques.
You should use BitLocker or a similar third-party solution to encrypt the entire drive if you store important data on your device, and you do not want that data to slip into the wrong hands if it gets lost or stolen.