About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

February 26, 2011

Get Windows Explorer to display Drive Letters First

This is something that bothered me, ever so slightly for a while, but still I wanted to find a “fix” to, so today here it is.  I have successfully tested this with Windows Vista and 7.

Default setting with letters after drive descriptionHere is what your explorer view looks like with the default settings.

To display drive-letters first, followed by the drive description, use these steps.

You will need to “perform” a REGEDIT on your system.  If you are not familiar with a Regedit be careful!  If done wrong it could be detrimental to the life of your computer.  .

  1. On your computer
  2. First click the Start button
  3. Type Regedit.
  4. Navigate to the following location
  5. If it doesn’t already exist, create a REG_DWORD value named ShowDriveLettersFirst.  If it does exist just double click it and go to the next step.
    1. Double-click ShowDriveLettersFirst and set its Value data to 4
    2. See the screenshot below to see what it should look like

Regedit, when at the correct location with Value set

Drive letters shown firstClose the Registry Editor by clicking the “X” in the upper right corner.  Whatever you have entered will be automatically saved.

Next, open “My Computer” to see your drives.  If they do not show the letter in front of the name of the drive press the “F5” key to refresh the window and there you go.

If it doesn’t work you mistyped something of didn’t follow the directions correctly.  And DO NOT email me as you were warned earlier (above in red) that you could hose your system with Regedit.

Here are the other possible edits for ShowDriveLettersFirst registry value.


What it does


Show network drive letters before description, and local drive letters after description.


Show drive letters after description (default)


No drive letter is displayed


Do not use, this is not an available value


Show drive letters before description

Good luck and let me know it worked for you.

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