What Is a Volume Label of a Drive?

Volume Label Definition, Restrictions, and More

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A volume label, sometimes called a volume name, is a unique name assigned to a drive, disc, or other media. In Windows, a volume label is not required but it's often useful to give a name to a drive to help identify its use in the future. A drive's volume label can be changed at any time but is usually set during the formatting of the drive.

Volume Label Restrictions

Certain restrictions apply when assigning volume labels depending on which file system is on the drive - NTFS or FAT:

Volume Label on NTFS Drives:

  • Maximum of 32 characters
  • No tabs

Volume Label on FAT Drives:

  • Maximum of 11 characters
  • No * ? . , ; : / \ | + = < > [ ]
  • No tabs

Spaces are allowed in the volume label no matter which of the two file systems is used.

The only other important difference between volume labels in NTFS vs FAT file systems is that a volume label on an NTFS formatted drive will retain its case while a volume label on a FAT drive will be stored as uppercase no matter how it was entered.

For example, a volume label entered as Music will be displayed as Music on NTFS drives but will be displayed as MUSIC on FAT drives.

More About Volume Labels

In Command Prompt, the vol command is used to display a drive's volume label and the label command is used to change a drive's volume label.

Here are some common things you might do related to volume labels:

  • Find the Volume Label of a Drive in Windows
  • Change the Volume Label of a Drive in Windows

The volume label is stored in the disk parameter block, part of the volume boot record.