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Hide Drives from Your Computer in Windows 7 or Vista

If you’ve got drives in My Computer that you never access, such as a USB Flash drive that you are using solely for ReadyBoost, a floppy drive, or a network drive only used for a particular piece of software, then you might want to simply hide the drive from your computer.

This tip will only hide the drive from being displayed, applications and the command prompt will still have access to it, and you can still manually browse to the folder if you type in the path.

Now what’s that floppy drive doing there?

image

Configure the Hidden Drives

Open up regedit.exe by using the start menu search box, and then browse down to the following key.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

If the Explorer key does not exist, you can right-click on Policies, select New Key and name it Explorer.

image

The NoDrives key most likely does not exist by default, so you’ll need to create it with right-click \ new 32-bit DWORD and name it NoDrives.

This value is a 32 bit number, and the bits are arranged in reverse order with a value of 1 hiding that drive. For example, if we wanted to hide drives A: and F: we would arrange it like this:

Z Y X W V U T S R Q P O N M L K J I H G F E D C B A
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1

Converting 100001 to decimal we end up with a decimal value of 33 or a hex value of 0x21, so if you double-click on the key in the registry editor, choose Decimal and then enter 33 into the value field.

image

In order to see these changes, you’ll need to restart explorer.exe, which you can do easily from Task Manager or the longer way by just logging off and back on.

Uninstall Tweak

To disable this tweak, simply remove the NoDrives registry key entirely.

Reference Info

Here’s a list of the values you’ll want to enter for a few different drive letters.

Drive Letter Decimal Hex
A 1 1
B 2 2
C 4 4
D 8 8
E 16 10
F 32 20
G 64 40
H 128 80

If you want to hide multiple drives, you’ll need to use the table of all the drive letters to figure out the correct binary code, and then convert that to decimal or hex. (hint: you can use the calculator in scientific mode)

Look, now that worthless floppy drive is gone!

image

Naturally it would be better to disable the floppy drive in your BIOS, but this tip is still valid for other types of drives.

Note that this also works on Windows XP.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 08/22/07

Comments (57)

  1. Yariv

    Can’t it hide virtual drives?
    Try to hide H: on Windows XP and didn’t work

  2. The Geek

    I’m not sure what you mean by virtual drives?

    Also, did you remember to restart explorer.exe ?

  3. Yariv

    I mean to drive created by DaemonTools.
    yes, I’ve restarted explorer.exe

  4. PJ

    Just a tip, If you dont know how to convert between dec to bin and vice versa. Windows Calculater is your best buddy ;). Switch to scientific view, select Bin(binary) type in for eg ‘100001’ , then select Dec(Decimal). Voila its converted, pure magic :)

  5. Yariv

    PJ: when you select between Dec / Hex on regedit’s Modify dialog, it’s convert the value on the field automatically.

  6. Bob

    Note that in XP, this is a feature of TweakUI, which under My Computer–>Drives gives a list of 26 checkboxes, A-Z, to select or not.

    Come to think of it, TweakUI for Vista would be at the top of my bounty list.

  7. Floppy Hater

    Actually, you can rid of the Floppy Drive permanently…actually, im not sure of that but anyways, you can right click on the “Floppy Drive (A:)” select properties, then the hardware tab, double click on the floppy drive, and then go to driver and click the uninstall button. YAY that useless floppy drive icon (A:) is gone!!!

  8. Dr Doom

    I use separate swap partition which I had set to drive Z: Couldn’t get Tweak UI to work. Once I found a binary to decimal converter worked like a charm. Thanks.

  9. STEPHEN J KERRIGAN

    i bought my son a new laptop, it works fine but had to get new drivers for his external freecom hardrive.
    it now works fine,the only issue we have now is when we plug in his usb memory stick vista wont find it or let it work…. its a freecom stick,but i tried mine which isnt,and thats the same….your help would be so good,he needs his stick to work, his university work is on it.and needs it daily.

    regards

    stephen.

  10. Gary Shapiro

    Howdy Geek.

    I can’t seem to get this to work on my system, Vista Ultimate x32. I am trying to hide A: and the reg entry is a one. My tweak programs that also hide drives shows A unchecked, I even hid A&B using the Group Editor. All the tools at my disposal say A: is hidden but it isn’t.

    Any ideas on this one?

  11. Gary Shapiro

    Just figured out my problem.

    There are 3 places that have the NoDrives entry in my Registry. Two of them had the right value in them including the one you mention above. However I found another one. When I set this one to the proper value and rebooted my A: drive was gone. The key is:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\Nodrives

  12. a Geek

    ===Quote The Geek===
    “Also, did you remember to restart explorer.exe ?”

    ==END QUOTE===

    if not he may have slight problems :P

  13. Curt

    I ran your procedure on my computer and it hid the correct drives on my profile. Not sure why it did not work on the other three profiles. I’m the only one with admin privileges. Any thoughts?

  14. ken miles

    Nice tip, works for x64 Vista too. Only need to change the 32 bit Dword.

  15. BABAR

    hey
    does (need for speed mostwanted) hider work in windows vista? if yes then send me the link where i can got it … ?

  16. saransh

    i used regedit to hide my drive c… but i could not see it back even after deleting the nodrives entry..what should i do to see my drive back…

  17. Stephen Kreyenbuhl

    You can also disable the drive from the Device Manager. No need to uninstall the driver, no need to hack the registry, no need to reboot explorer.exe.

  18. Jeremy

    Ok I followed the instructions and was able to hide 1 drive but how do you hide 3 drives. I cannot add another NoDrives key for each hdd so how do I hide 3 at a time?

  19. waltzie

    To hide more drives just SUM them & put into NoDrive value

  20. WiseAdmin

    Far better to use:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\Nodrives

    And then the drive is hidden for all users, instead of just the user who is logged in when you run regedit.

  21. Nitin

    thanks geek…
    this works very fine, keep it up….

  22. Lou

    Hey, is this a “Per User” setting or an “All User” setting?
    Thanks.

  23. Munim

    Thanks for the tip! I have hidden my laptop’s recovery partition! :)

  24. Chhunly

    That’s great dude, I can short out my issue. Any way I have tried with winXP so I strongly hope that it will work with my widow Vista home.
    Cheers,

  25. Paul Coddington

    @CURT

    Use HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE for all users.

    You cannot set HKEY_CURRENT_USER policy in a non-admin user account (because otherwise non-admin users could revoke the restrictions placed on them by network admins).

  26. BSOD

    Great thanks!
    I just did in Windows seven and works just fine!

  27. Gary

    used some gb for paging and was tired of seeind the drive and being notified. this plus another regedit together works great, like its not even there. still shows up in computer management and everest also

  28. Gary

    I used it with
    NoLowDiskSpaceChecks with a hex value of 1 (dword 32 bit)

  29. adekunle olanrewaju

    this is nice. thanks guys.

  30. Jonas

    Beautiful! I been wondering how to do this for a while and havent been bothered to do anything about it but it only took a second!

    Thx!

  31. Sanaz

    hi
    how do i unshare a share drives without return then restart?
    thanks

  32. Jr

    o/ I’ve waiting for this for some days, exactly what i need..
    Much better than install programs!
    Thanks!

  33. ats

    You really saved my nerves here.

    Office 2010 Beta creates an empty (0 byte) virtual drive for whatever reason you can’t disconnect. With this I was able to easily get it out of my eyes.

    Thanks!

  34. Mohindar

    hiiiiii sir thnxs for hide hardrive…..

  35. Ed

    Worked like a charm, thank you :-)

  36. BW

    @ATS
    What Dec did you use, Im trying to hide Q drive ?

  37. aleli

    hello there anyone can help me.. coz. i cannot work it on my vista when i check in the registry and i make a new key named explorer it has no value on it.. so what did i do now.. pls.help

  38. Derik

    If I wanted to hide drives F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, and N, does anybody know what value I would put in?

  39. Raju

    How to hide Drive for any other user as an administrator.

  40. Mushtaq Hussain

    hi
    i want hide the Drive “I” in my computer ,,,, how can i hide it plz?

  41. Doc Holiday

    Great tip, thanks a bunch :)

  42. micoskie

    Thank you for these info. You Help a lot.

  43. Gino

    Thanks man! I had this drive (F:), after I did some unhide setting I found out it had some important stuff like a boot folder and things like that. It just appeared after I updated to Win 7. And I wanted to make sure nothing happened to it. So I did this, thanks!

  44. garotas

    I just sent your post to my web contacts as I agree with most of what you’re saying here and the way you’ve presented it is awesome.

  45. Outspoken

    If you are scared of the Registry, then here is : http://nodrvman.sourceforge.net/

    Which I found recommended by LifeHacker : http://lifehacker.com/5396910/nodrives-manager-hides-your-hard-drives

  46. nabaraj

    my recovery drive has been hidden i can’t access i search but still i don’t find plz any one help me

  47. hi

    I want to hide those drives that i have personal files in. like drive D or others. from everyone’s vision.
    how can i do it?

  48. Gates

    Hello there.in this site they dont reply to your queries very fast.I know a site in which they act swift.Yoy all visit anandgokul.blogspot.com. I have asked a question and in 5 minutes i got the reply for product keys i asked for……….

  49. switch

    This worked! Thanks.

  50. Nazzal

    Someone made an ahk script to do this, check it out
    http://www.autohotkey.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=55492&highlight=hide+drive

  51. VistaUser

    Germany -> bad english…
    I use the value 136 (D: 8 & H: 128) but it doesn’t work! …WHY???

  52. mohsen

    great!

  53. Vidura lakshan

    This is easy follow this

    Here is a simple way to hide and unhide Disk Drive Partitions from My Computer in any version of windows. This deosn’t work with Windows OS that cannot support NTFS.
    How to hide a partition in Windows?
    Right-Click on My Computer [Computer in Windows Vista and Windows 7]
    Click on Manage
    From the list of options Click on Disk Management that will be located in the left-bottom section
    All your hard disk and its partitions will be show in the right hand side
    Right-Click on the partition that you want to hide and select “Change Drive Letters and Path”
    Click on “Remove” and click “Yes”
    Your drive will now be hidden in my computer

    To unhide the drive :
    Go to Disk Management Right-Click on the hidden partition [there will not be a drive letter on the hidden drive] again select “Change Drive Letters and Path”
    Click on add and select an appropriate drive letter.
    Click Ok
    Now the drive is unhided.

  54. dufftime

    You can hide the drive for all users by updating the equivalent HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer.

    NoDrives value calculator: http://www.wisdombay.com/hidedrive/index.php

  55. Mission 62

    I so missed this tweak from PowerToys. So nice of you to post the registry equivalent!!!

    Worked like a charm in Windows 7 and functions exactly the same as the PowerToy tweak for XP.

    Cheers,
    Mission62

  56. annalol

    I understand most of it but when it comes to hiding a particular drive (in my case (F)) I am a bit lost.
    What value must I use?

  57. annalol

    Oh wow so simple i just clued in! Thank you lol…

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