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?

  • You forgot to mention your OS. XP? Vista? 7?
    – caliban
    Sep 2, 2009 at 11:17
  • Currently Vista, but I'm considering upgrade to Win7.
    – skevar7
    Sep 2, 2009 at 11:46

5 Answers 5


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

  • 1
    Where is this option? I installed Win7 and all inactive drives are visible.
    – skevar7
    Sep 4, 2009 at 4:54
  • 3
    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, 2009 at 8:54
  • 2
    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, 2009 at 14:35
  • You also have to have "hide hidden folders and drives" checked. Dec 29, 2009 at 13:08
  • 5
    regrettably, "hide hidden folders" is not an option for a prorammer...
    – Frank N
    Jan 27, 2013 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.

  • Interesting idea. I'll need to try this when I get home.
    – ChrisF
    Sep 2, 2009 at 11:46

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


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.

  • 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, 2009 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. Sep 2, 2009 at 12:23

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.

  • This disables them? Just want to hide them when no memory card is inserted.
    – Moab
    Oct 18, 2019 at 1:19

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