How to See All Drives Available on the Computer (2024)

Updated: 02/04/2024 by Computer Hope

How to See All Drives Available on the Computer (1)

Computers often have more than one drive, including CD (compact disc) or DVD (digital versatile disc) drives and hard drives. To view all the drives connected to your computer and their status (e.g., available drive or disk space), select your operating system in the list below.

Note

This page provides information on determining which drives and drive letters your computer currently uses. It is not a list of all possible drive letters.

Note

If you don't see a specific drive listed when following the instructions below, it's likely that the drive is not connected properly or is defective and not working correctly.

  • Windows 11, 10, and 8.
  • Windows 7 and earlier.
  • Windows 3.0, 3.1, and 3.11.
  • MS-DOS and Windows command line.
  • Apple macOS.
  • Linux.

Windows 11, 10, and 8

If you're running Windows 11, Windows 10, or Windows 8, you can view all mounted drives in File Explorer. You can open File Explorer by pressing Windows key+E. In the left pane, select This PC, and all drives are shown on the right. The screenshot shows a typical view of This PC, with three mounted drives.

How to See All Drives Available on the Computer (2)

OS & Primary Software (C:)

In our first example, the C: and F: drives are hard drives, listed as primary and secondary. Most computers only have a C: drive. The hard drive is the primary location where all files are stored on your computer. To open the drive, double-click the drive.

Tip

In our example, the drives are labeled "Local Disk" and "New Volume." A hard drive can be labeled anything and may be different on your computer. For steps to change your drive's name, see: How to rename or label a disk drive.

Note

All new computers no longer have a floppy drive (A: or B:), but still start with the C: drive by default. For why a computer starts with the C: drive, see: Why is the hard drive the C: drive?

DVD RW Drive (D:)

The D: drive in this example is the optical disc drive installed in the computer. In most situations, the disc drive will be the last drive letter. If a disc is in the drive, the contents of that disc are shown if you double-click the drive icon.

Tip

If the drive AutoPlays the disc, right-click the drive and click Explore.

How to locate an external hard drive, memory card, or USB Drive on your computer

As long as an external hard drive, memory card, or USB drive is connected to the computer or network, they should appear in File Explorer. The external drive or USB is usually labeled as "external hard drive," "USB Drive," or has the manufacturer of the drive listed in the drive name.

Other areas in Windows

In addition to the File Explorer, users can also use the following areas in Windows to view available drives.

  • Disk Management (view drives and partitions).
  • System Information

Tip

Windows users can also list available drives through the command line.

Windows 7 and earlier

How to See All Drives Available on the Computer (3)

Microsoft Windows 7, Vista, XP, and earlier users can identify which drives Windows has detected by opening File Explorer and then My Computer, or by pressing Windows key+E. The picture shows My Computer. As you can see in this example, three different drive types are listed.

Tip

In Windows 7 and earlier versions, you can access My Computer (Computer) by double-clicking the icon on the desktop. Or, open the Start menu, and select My Computer or Computer, depending on the version of Windows you're using.

3 1/2 Floppy (A:)

If the computer has a floppy disk drive, this drive is visible and usually set as the A: drive. If any floppy diskette is in the computer and the A: drive is opened, its contents are shown.

Note

All new computers no longer have a floppy drive (A: or B:) but still start with the C: drive by default. For why a computer starts with the C: drive, see: Why is the hard drive the C: drive?

Local Disk (C:), New Volume (D:), and New Volume (E:)

Next, in our example, the C:, D:, and E: drives are hard drives or hard drive partitions on the computer. Most computers only have a C: drive. The hard drive is the primary location where all files are stored on your computer.

Tip

In our example, the drives are labeled "Local Disk" and "New Volume." A hard drive can be labeled anything and may be different on your computer. For steps to change your drive's name, see: How to rename or label a disk drive.

Compact Disc (F:)

Finally, the F: drive in this example is the optical disc drive installed in the computer. In most situations, the disc drive is the last drive letter. If a disc is in the drive, the contents of that disc are shown if you double-click the drive icon.

Tip

If the drive AutoPlays the disc, right-click the drive, and click Explore.

Other areas in Windows

In addition to the File Explorer, users can also use the following areas in Windows to view available drives.

  • Disk Management (view drives and partitions).
  • System Information

Tip

Windows users can also list available drives through the command line.

Windows 3.0, 3.1, and 3.11

Windows 3.0, 3.1, and 3.11 users can open drives through the Windows File Manager. In the File Manager, click the drive icons above the folder and files. By default, the C: drive will be open. To move to the floppy disk drive, click the A: drive icon. If you're going to open the CD drive, click the D: CD-ROM (compact disc read-only memory) drive icon.

MS-DOS and Windows command line

Windows Vista and later command line users

If you're using Windows Vista, 7, 8, 10, or 11, use the wmic command at the Windows command line to view available drives on the computer. At the prompt, type the following command.

wmic logicaldisk get name

Or, for a little more information, such as volume size, use this command:

wmic logicaldisk list brief
  • See our wmic command page for further information and examples on this command.

Other Windows command line and MS-DOS version users

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to list all available drives on the computer through the MS-DOS prompt with one command. Below are different recommendations for viewing drives.

Change drive letter

Change the drive to an alternate drive letter to determine if a drive is available and ready if no error message is received.

  • How to change drives in MS-DOS and Windows command line.

Fdisk

Running the fdisk command lets you view how the hard drives are set up and configured on the computer. However, this command is only possible if you're running a version of MS-DOS or Windows that supports fdisk.

  • See the fdisk command page for additional information about this command.

vol

Running the vol command on a drive displays the drive label and serial number, if available. This command lets you see what drives are detected.

  • See the vol command page for additional information and help with this command.

Apple macOS

The most comprehensive way to view drives in macOS is through the Disk Utility. Here is how to open it:

  1. Navigate to the macOS desktop, then press Command+Shift+U at the same time.

Tip

Press the keyboard shortcut Command+Option+H+M to minimize all open apps and show the desktop.

  1. In the Utilities window that opens, double-click the Disk Utility icon.

How to See All Drives Available on the Computer (4)

  1. In the new window, the left third shows all available drives and their associated volumes.

How to See All Drives Available on the Computer (5)

Tip

Apple desktop and laptop users may also press the Shift+Command+C keyboard shortcut to open the Computer window that also displays available drives.

Linux

Linux users can use the fdisk command to see their partition and drive information.

  • Hard drive help and support.
  • See the drive and storage device pages for further information and related links.
How to See All Drives Available on the Computer (2024)
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