label (command)

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Developer(s)Microsoft, IBM, Digital Research, Novell, Joe Cosentino, ReactOS Contributors
Operating systemMS-DOS, PC DOS, OS/2, Windows, DR 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]



  • /MP Specifies that the volume should be treated as a mount point or volume name.

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


C:\Users\root>label D: Backup

Supported file systems[edit]


FAT volume labels[edit]

FAT volumes have the following limitations:[5]

  • Volume labels can contain as many as 11 character bytes and can include spaces, but no tabs. The characters are in the OEM code page of the system that created the label.
  • Volume labels cannot contain the following characters: ? / \ | . , ; : + = [ ] < > "
  • Volume labels are stored as upper-case regardless of whether they contain lower-case letters.

NTFS volume labels[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jamsa, Kris A. (1993), DOS: The Complete Reference, Osborne McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0078819040.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Microsoft TechNet Label article
  4. ^
  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
  9. ^

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]