USB Flash Drive Name Not Changing – 3 Possible Reasons Why

With my Windows 10 computer whenever a USB flash drive is connected the Windows Explorer / My Computer displays the wrong drive label for my device. The name is correct in Disk Management, but Explorer is incorrect, as well any program which uses Explorer to parse the device and read the volume name.

I’ve also seen where any USB device connected displays a specific label name, but not the correct label name as seen in Disk Management.

When the above situation occurs there are three possible reasons why the USB drive name displays the incorrect label. Starting with the most common and easiest to fix, let us take a look at the three solutions to resolve this problem:

Reason #1

Check the device connected for an .inf file. An .info file is a Setup Information file and tells the host computer what to do [Wikipedia]. Many times this is a hidden file, so you may need to turn on “Show hidden files, folders and drives.” If you don’t know how to do this, jump to the bottom of this article and shows you how.

In the screen shot below you can see the drive letter D, which is a flash drive, having a very long label (or Volume) name of “How To Make a CD ROM Partition” The image also shows the autorun.inf file open with the instructions to rename the drive label to be “How To Make a CD ROM Partition”

To resolve the problem of the label name being different than what you expect, or see is Disk Management, you will need to delete this file. Once the file is deleted you must power cycle, or reconnect, the USB drive to see the changed affects.

If you want to learn more about using inf files with USB drives, we did a post on this many moons ago, back in April of 2009. Here is the link on how to use inf files to rename your flash drive.

Reason #2

The second most common reason would be a rogue registry entry that is somehow sticking around. The registry of a computer system is like a huge log file, or registry, of things changed on your PC, connected to your PC, software installed on your PC and drives on your PC. It is very likely the Windows operating system has, some how, locked in the volume name to the drive letter… so whether one USB device or another is connected, the registry pitches out the locked volume name. A quick way to resolve this issue is clean out the rogue registry entries. wrote a blog post about this a long time ago, but in summary, a Windows registry will make over 200 entries or edits for each USB stick connected. That is a lot of information! Once the drive is disconnected, the registry information is still there. These “historical” entries are what must be cleaned out. It’s a good article if you have a few extra minutes [found here].

To resolve the issue for reason #2, you can download this registry edit cleaning tool and remove those old registry entries. USBScrub – Is a registry cleaning tool developed by Nexcopy, a California based company. Free of charge, no sign ups, log-ins, etc which you find so frequent these days.

Reason #3

If the first two solutions do not work, our last resort is a manual solution. Using the Windows search function, type in “reg” and the first suggestion is Registry Editor. You do want to be careful win in Reg Edit because some wrong moves could really mess up your computer. However; Windows does a good job of making you double confirm changes before they take affect, so think twice before you make the change. Unless you are being blatantly reckless, you should be fine and feel comfortable.

In the search function type in the volume name you see in Disk Management. The editor will take some time to search through the data, but it will eventually find what you are looking for.

You can double click the registry entry for the device name and edit the name here. This should clear any rogue entries which affect you situation.

If any of the above did not resolve your volume name problem, please shoot us an email and highlight your problems and the things you tried to resolve it… we will see if can help out: gmo [at] getusb [dot] info

To view hidden files on your system, do the following: Open File Explorer and from the tabs on the top left, look for the “View” tab. Once on this tab, look to the far right and you should see a button named “Options” and click that button. From that click the following dialogue box appears and you want to click the View tab and check the radial button to “Show hidden files, folders and drives” and once you click that radial button, click Apply and the change will be instant. You should now be able to see the hidden .inf file, if it was hidden.

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Mark McCrosky

Kicking around in technology since 2002. I like to write about technology products and ideas, but at the consumer level understanding. Some tech, but not too techie. Posting on as well.

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