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?

5 Answers 5

  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"

Screenshot: This filesystem will be automatically unmounted prior to any changes

  • 2
    I can't find this Utility in my application menu. What's its command line launcher please?
    – Slyx
    Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 15:07
  • What is the unmount volume button? The buttons don't seem to have tooltips -_- Commented Sep 12, 2016 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
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 18:41
  • The executable is called disks. It can be run via ALT+F2
    – moooeeeep
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 11:35
  • 3
    The executable is called gnome-disks on Ubuntu 14.04 and later.
    – wjandrea
    Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 16:53

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.

Install the mtools package (GNU Tools for MSDOS filesystems):

sudo apt-get install mtools

Then you might need to configure the mtools drives settings, hence add the following two lines to /etc/mtools.conf (you will need sudo to edit)

# second and third drives, first partition
drive u: file="/dev/sdb1"
drive v: file="/dev/sdc1"

Having saved, you should then be able to look at your USB drive in (say) /dev/sdb1 as drive u:

sudo mtools -v u:

(See comments ....) Then relabel:

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
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 0:56
  • 4
    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
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 20:38
  • 2
    Just to restate, the skip-check setting is probably required ....
    – MikeW
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 12:08

None of the given answers worked for me on my 14.10 system. I used gparted as described in https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RenameUSBDrive.

  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
  • 6
    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
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 9:51
  • 1
    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
    Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 15:48
  • I should have immediately thought of gparted when I wanted to do something with a filesystem.
    – Jon Carter
    Commented Jan 17 at 18:09

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
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 8:22
  • I presume they mean when the USB drive appears as an icon on the desktop. This implies use of GUI !
    – MikeW
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 11:20
  • I presume they mean when the USB drive appears as an icon on the desktop. This implies use of GUI !
    – MikeW
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 11:21
  • In 18.04 Bionic Beaver LTS, it isn't allowed while the device is active. And if you eject it Nautilus don't show it anymore
    – artu-hnrq
    Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 0:44


Insert USB into a Mac or Windows PC

Right click on the device in Finder or Explorer > Rename


In macOS Finder > command click on USB name > it is selected > type new name


In macOS Finder > select USB > hit Enter > name is selected > type new name

  • 1
    Might not be supported if it's ext4
    – KTibow
    Commented Oct 15, 2020 at 2:08

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