Why stick with boring drive names? Organize your storage better and mount them to folders in Windows 11.
Windows allows you to change the letters assigned to drives and disk partitions, but did you can also change the path of a mounted drive to make it appear as a folder?
If you want your new drive to look and behave like a folder, here’s how to set one up on Windows.
Why Should You Mount a Drive as a Folder on Windows?
When Windows detects a new drive, it assigns that drive a letter. This helps to differentiate the different storage volumes available on your computer.
When you have several disk drives or disk partitions, it can sometimes be confusing to find the one you need based on the drive letters alone. As such, it can be easier to mount them as desktop folders, and then give each folder a descriptive name. This is particularly helpful if other people use the computer.
How to Mount an External Drive as a Folder
The first method to mount a drive as a folder is best for external or removable drives. This could be a USB thumb drive or a larger external hard drive.
- Go to Settings > System > Storage and click on Advanced storage settings.
- Click Disks & volumes and look for the drive you want to mount as a folder.
- Select the drive, and then click the Properties button. You can then see the details of the disk drive, including the assigned letter.
- Click the + button in the Paths section, and then click Browse and navigate to or create a folder to mount as a drive.
- When you have finished, click Ok. The new drive path is now displayed in the properties under Paths.
The folder you chose or created will look like a standard Windows folder, but anything you place in it will actually be stored on the drive. If you remove the hard drive, the folder it is assigned to will not open until it is reconnected.
If you no longer want the drive mounted as a folder, you can easily delete the path. Repeat the steps above to get to System > Storage > Disks & volumes. Find the path to the folder in the Paths section and click Remove.
How to Mount an Unallocated Drive or Partition as a Folder
If you have a hard drive or a drive partition that isn’t currently allocated a letter, you can mount it as a folder. You can’t do this through the Disks & volumes settings. Instead, you need to use Windows Disk Management.
- In Windows Search, type Disk Management and click on Create and manage hard disk partitions in the search results.
- The Disk Management window will open. After a few seconds, details about your hard disk will be displayed.
- Right-click on the unallocated space and select New Simple Volume.
- Specify the size of the new volume. Minimum and maximum volume sizes will be displayed based on the available unallocated space.
- Next, instead of choosing a drive letter to assign to the volume, select Mount in the following empty NTFS folder, and browse to the folder location.
- Select Format this volume and give the new disk volume a name. Then click Next > Finish.
The folder you chose during this process is now mounted as a drive or partition. If your hard disk has no unallocated space to use in this way, you can shrink the disk volume to create some.
How to Unmount a Drive From a Folder
You can unmount a disk drive or partition from a folder if you no longer need it.
- Open Disk Management and look for the volume you mounted as a folder.
- Right-click on the volume and select Change drive letter and paths from the context menu.
- Select the mounted folder you want to remove, and then click the Remove button.
- Confirm that you want to remove the path. Anyone who uses that path to access the volume will no longer be able to do so.
You can also simply delete the folder to unmount it as a drive. This will not delete the folder contents, but you won’t be able to access them using the folder path.
Mounting a Disk Drive as a Folder on Windows
Mounting a hard drive as a folder is brilliant for making your storage spaces easier to navigate. Having multiple hard drives or several disk partitions can sometimes be confusing. This is especially true if different people have to use the same Windows PC. Mounting drives or partitions as folders allows you to replace drive letters with descriptive titles.
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