Hide Drives from Your Computer in Windows 7 or Vista

By Lowell Heddings on August 22nd, 2007

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?

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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
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