How exactly would I rename a USB drive?

I've read that you can go into the Disk Utility, click on Edit Partition, and there is an option to rename the label but I can't click in the area to rename.

Is there any other way?

up vote 23 down vote accepted

First, obtain the location of your USB drive:

sudo fdisk -l

Assuming that your device location is /dev/sdb1/:

You can safely check the current label without any side effects by issuing the following command:

sudo file /dev/sdb1 -s

Most USB sticks are formatted using FAT16/FAT32. To change the label via the prompt, use the mlabel command. The label of a FAT filesystem requires to be exactely 11 characters. No more, no less. When characters are omitted, spaces are added at the beginning, and seemingly random characters are appended at the end.

sudo mlabel -i /dev/sdb1 -s ::"LABEL HERE "

For other filesystems (rarely used for USB sticks), see this page.

  • 1
    I also found when using the Disk Utility, I had to unmount the volume before it would allow me to rename the label. – Muhnamana Feb 13 '12 at 0:56
  • 1
    Just a heads up - You may have to do sudo nano ~/.mtoolsrc, then add "mtools_skip_check=1" to the file and save it in order to change the label of your USB. – Krieger Jan 29 '17 at 20:38
  1. Open "Disks" application
  2. Select the flash drive in the panel on the left
  3. Press the Unmount button (should look like a "stop button")
  4. Click on the gears icon ("More actions") and choose "Edit filesystem"
  • I can't find this Utility in my application menu. What's its command line launcher please? – Slyx Feb 14 '14 at 15:07
  • What is the unmount volume button? The buttons don't seem to have tooltips -_- – pfctdayelise Sep 12 '16 at 5:17
  • 1
    On Ubuntu 16.04 you find the unmount button on the right side panel, after you select your flash drive, below the list of volumes. It should look like a square (like a "stop button"), and when you click it it will change in a triangle (like a "play button"). To change the flash drive label click on the gears icon and then on "edit file system". – gerlos Jan 16 '17 at 18:41
  • The executable is called disks. It can be run via ALT+F2 – moooeeeep Oct 26 '17 at 11:35
  • The executable is called gnome-disks on Ubuntu 14.04 and later. – wjandrea Jun 19 at 16:53

None of the given answers worked for me on my 14.10 system. I used gparted as described in

  1. sudo apt-get install gparted
  2. open gparted
  3. choose the thumbdrive from the dropdown in the top-right corner
  4. unmount the volume (right-click on drive)
  5. right click and choose "label"
  6. click on green tick to apply changes
  • 4
    None of the other solutions worked. This is the best way to do it. I would add another step: 6. Click on the green tick to accept the label change. – Calabacin Jan 26 '17 at 9:51
  • Additional comment on the gparted solution above ... I am using gparted version 0.25.0 which requires you to explicitly apply operations, so after typing the new label I had to [Edit || Apply All Operations], or Ctrl-Enter for the KB shortcut. Even at that, the 'mount' option was not enabled, but quitting gparted made the volume mount and appear again in the file browser. – Mac Shout Jun 19 at 15:48

Right click on the drive you want to edit to bring up the properties window. Then the name will be highlighted by default. Just type your name and click enter.

  • Please tell me in which application I should do the right click. Thank you – guettli Oct 21 '14 at 8:22

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