Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My flash card reader shows multiple drive letters (one letter for each card type), even when cards are not inserted. Is there any way to hide these inactive drives?

share|improve this question
You forgot to mention your OS. XP? Vista? 7? – caliban Sep 2 '09 at 11:17
Currently Vista, but I'm considering upgrade to Win7. – skevar7 Sep 2 '09 at 11:46
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Windows 7 has the option to hide inactive drives until a media is inserted. So, solution - upgrade to 7?

Alternatively, if you are going to stick with XP, you can use the TweakUI Powertoys to hide drives from appearing in Explorer. Subsequently, use the Desk Drive utility to show the drive on your desktop when media is inserted.

TweakUI Powertoy | Desk Drive

share|improve this answer
Where is this option? I installed Win7 and all inactive drives are visible. – skevar7 Sep 4 '09 at 4:54
Under "Folder Options" Open the View tab In the options list, locate the line "Hide empty drives in the computer" If the box is checked, readers will no longer appear empty in the explorer If the box is unchecked, Windows 7 will behave like XP and Vista and will show all drives – caliban Sep 4 '09 at 8:54
Just checked and it doesn't work for me. A multicard reader is connected, and 4 drives appear in the Explorer although they're all empty. The box "Hide empty drives in the Computer folder" is checked. – Snark Oct 18 '09 at 14:35
You also have to have "hide hidden folders and drives" checked. – Dana Robinson Dec 29 '09 at 13:08
regrettably, "hide hidden folders" is not an option for a prorammer... – Frank N Jan 27 '13 at 9:24

From the disk management section you can change the slots from being allocated to drive letters to be allocated to folders, so what I have done is set up a folder called card reader on my c drive then created subfolders called SD, MemoryCard etc. and reallocated each slot on the reader to the appropriate folder. This has the advantage of not having to remember the letters.

share|improve this answer
Interesting idea. I'll need to try this when I get home. – ChrisF Sep 2 '09 at 11:46

Go into computer management ... disk manager.

You can remove letters from drives there. If you still want to access the drive you can map to a mount point (i.e. a folder on an NTFS drive) and have it mapped there.

To be able to remove/add drive letters to existing volumes the "diskpart" command line tool could be scripted. See here for details.

share|improve this answer
I think it is too much of a hassle to go to disk management just to hide drives until media is inserted. Admittedly it is a solution nonetheless. – caliban Sep 2 '09 at 11:19
(+1) Do what I did! Go to disk management and assign pathnames instead of drive letters. I now use C:\USB\MemoryStick, C:\USB\CompactFlash, C:\USB\SD and C:\USB\IForgotTheNameOfThisOne... Not only does it remove unwanted letters but it also makes it much clearer which card is located where. – Wim ten Brink Sep 2 '09 at 12:23

Long time ago I used THIS TOOL to hide drive letters of inactive drives. Worked fine for me.

share|improve this answer

Hide Empty Card Reader Drives in My Computer. To do so,

  1. Go to computer management
  2. Click My Computer > Manage > Storage > Disk Management
  3. On the empty drives right click on each one and change the drive letter to something like M, N, O, P
  4. Verify in My Computer that the drive letters changed (hit refresh if needed)
  5. Then go back to Disk Manengment and right click again on each of the newly assigned drive letters and select properties
  6. In properties under the General Tab go to the Device Usage drop down list and select "Do not use this device (Disable)"
  7. Click OK
  8. Go back to My Computer and verify (Hit refresh if needed)

The drive should be gone now.

Also, when you go to disk management and want to rename any existing drives, those drive letters you assigned to the disabled Card Drives will be back on the list for usage.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.