How to Mount and Unmount a Drive in Windows

Windows automatically mounts any connected drive. When needed, you can mount or unmount a drive in Windows manually. Here’s how.

If you turn on the computer and open File Explorer, you will see all the available drives ready to use. This is because Windows automatically mounts all the drives or volumes connected to the system. Of course, the drive’s file system should be compatible. That way, you can access all the files and programs in those drives right from the start—no need to manually mount drives on each reboot.

Though this is a good thing, there might be a time when you need to unmount a drive in Windows. For example, maybe the drive is causing errors, you no longer need the drive to appear in the File Explorer, etc. On the other hand, you might want to manually mount a drive in Windows if it is not mounting automatically.

No matter the reason, if you ever needed it, Windows makes it easy to mount and unmount a drive. All it takes is a few clicks or a couple of commands, depending on your use case.

This simple Windows how-to guide shows you the steps to mount and unmount a drive in Windows without ado.

Table of contents:

How to mount a drive in Windows

If a specific drive does not mount automatically, you can use the disk management or Command Prompt tool to mount it. It is pretty easy to do. I will show both methods, and they achieve the same thing. Follow the one you think is easy. Generally, if you want a point-and-click method, follow the Disk Management method. Follow the Command Prompt method if you want to dabble with commands or create a script.

Using the Disk Management tool

The Disk Management application is the built-in tool to manage drives or volumes in Windows. Follow the steps below to mount a Windows drive using the Disk Management tool.

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Search and open “Create and format hard disk partitions.”
  3. Identify the unmounted volume.
  4. Right-click on the unmounted drive.
  5. Choose the “Change Drive Letter and Paths” option.
  6. Press the “Add” button.
  7. Select the “Assign the following drive letter” radio option.
  8. Choose a drive letter from the dropdown menu.
  9. Press the “Ok” button.
  10. With that, the drive/partition is mounted.
  11. You can close the Disk Management tool.
  12. Open the File Explorer to see the newly mounted drive.
mount a drive in windows

Using Command Prompt

You can also mount a drive using the Command Prompt with just a few commands. Here’s how.

Open the Command Prompt window with admin rights. To do that, search for “Command Prompt” in the Start menu and choose the “Run as administrator” option.

open cmd as admin

Next, execute the below command to list all the drives or volumes.

mountvol

The above command lists all the mounted and unmounted volumes with their respective GUIDs. Identify the unmounted volume and copy the respective Volume GUID.

A volume GUID looks something like “\\?\Volume{cf8ec040-28a9-43c6-bc10-3152b85b34cd}\.” You should copy the entire thing.

copy volume id

Next, execute the below command while replacing the “DriveLetter” with the drive letter you want to assign and the “VolumeGUID” with the actual string you copied earlier.

Important note: Make sure there is a space between the drive letter’s “:” and the volume GUID. Otherwise, the command won’t get executed. The drive letter you use in the command should not already be in use.

mountvol DriveLetter: VolumeGUID

The actual command looks something like this:

mountvol E: \\?\Volume{cf8ec040-28a9-43c6-bc10-3152b85b34cd}\
mount a drive or volume with command

As soon as you execute the command, Windows mounts the target volume with the drive letter.

How to unmount a drive in Windows

You can unmount a drive in Windows using the Disk Management tool or Command Prompt. Both methods are easy. Follow the one you think is easy. For beginners, I recommend following the Disk Management tool. If you are not afraid of commands or want to create custom scripts, follow the Command Prompt method.

Using the Disk Management tool

Follow these steps to unmount a drive in Windows using the Disk Management tool.

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Search and open “Create and format hard disk partitions.”
  3. Identify the drive you want to unmount.
  4. Right-click on the drive.
  5. Choose the “Change Drive Letter and Paths” option.
  6. Press the “Remove” button.
  7. Press “Yes” in the warning window.
  8. With that, the drive/partition is unmounted.
  9. You can close the Disk Management tool.
  10. Open the File Explorer, and you will no longer see the unmounted drive.
unmount drive in windows

Using Command Prompt

You can unmount a drive in Windows using Command Prompt with a single command. It is pretty neat and easy to use. Let me show you how.

Press the Start key, search for “Command Prompt,” and choose the “Run as administrator” option to open the CMD window with admin rights.

open cmd as admin

Execute the below command while replacing the “DriveLetter” with the actual drive letter of the drive you want to unmount. For example, if I want to unmount the E: drive, I will relace “DriveLetter” with “E.”

mountvol DriveLetter: /P
unmount a drive with command

Close the Command Prompt window after executing the command. You will no longer see the unmounted drive in File Explorer.

That is all. It is that simple to mount or unmount a drive in Windows.

I hope this simple Windows how-to guide helped you.

If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.

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