Developer(s)Microsoft, IBM, Digital Research, Novell, Joe Cosentino, ReactOS Contributors
Initial releaseAugust 1984; 39 years ago (1984-08)
Operating systemMS-DOS, PC DOS, SISNE plus, OS/2, eComStation, ArcaOS, Windows, DR DOS, ROM-DOS, PTS-DOS, FreeDOS, ReactOS
LicenseMS-DOS, PC DOS, Windows, OS/2: Proprietary commercial software
FreeDOS, ReactOS: GNU General Public License

In computing, label is a command included with some operating systems (e.g., DOS,[1] IBM OS/2,[2] Microsoft Windows[3] and ReactOS[4]). It is used to create, change, or delete a volume label on a logical drive, such as a hard disk partition or a floppy disk. Used without parameters, label changes the current volume label or deletes the existing label.


5 1⁄4-inch floppy disk with hand-written label on it.

The command was originally designed to label floppy disks as a reminder of which one is in the machine. However, it can also be applied to other types of drive such as mapped drives.[5]

It is available in MS-DOS versions 3.1 and later and IBM PC DOS releases 3 and later.[6] It is an external command. MS-DOS 4.0x and earlier used as the external file. MS-DOS 5.0 and Windows use label.exe as the external file.[7] DR DOS 6.0 includes an implementation of the label command.[8] The FreeDOS version was developed by Joe Cosentino and is licensed under the GPL.[9]

In modern versions of Microsoft Windows, changing the disk label requires elevated permissions.[5] The Windows dir command displays the volume label and serial number (if it has one) as part of the directory listing.

In Unix and other Unix-like operating systems, the name of the equivalent command differs from file system to file system. For instance, the command e2label can be used for ext2 partitions.


LABEL [drive:][label]
LABEL [/MP] [volume] [label]



Note: If volume name is specified, the /MP flag is unnecessary.

Example for the command.

C:\Users\root>label D: Backup

Supported file systems


FAT volume labels

FAT volumes have the following limitations:[5]

NTFS volume labels

See also


  1. ^ Jamsa, Kris A. (1993), DOS: The Complete Reference, Osborne McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0078819040.
  2. ^ "JaTomes Help - OS/2 Commands". Archived from the original on 2019-04-14.
  3. ^ Microsoft TechNet Label article
  4. ^[dead link]
  5. ^ a b c d Label - Disk label - Windows CMD -
  6. ^ Wolverton, Van (2003). Running MS-DOS Version 6.22 (20th Anniversary Edition), 6th Revised edition. Microsoft Press. ISBN 0-7356-1812-7.
  7. ^ MS-DOS and Windows command line label command
  8. ^ "DR DOS 6.0 User Guide Optimisation and Configuration Tips" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2019-09-30. Retrieved 2019-08-12.
  9. ^ "FreeDOS 1.2 Updates Package - label (FreeDOS Base)". 2021-11-19. Retrieved 2022-09-04.

Further reading