Use Your Mobile Number As A USB Drive Label

USB drives have lots of great uses, but they're also easy to leave behind. One Lifehacker reader adds an extra degree of identification by making his phone number the volume label for his USB drives.

David offered up the hint in a comment on our post on 10 USB drive tricks:

I always use a volume label of my mobile phone number . . . If I leave the USB device somewhere, it’ll show my phone number and hopefully someone will recognise it's a phone number, and call me to tell me they’ve found it.

Volume labels can have up to 11 characters, so a standard 10-digit Australian mobile number fits in nicely. To change the label in Windows, right-click on the drive in an Explorer Window (or from the Computer icon on your start menu), select Properties, and then retype the label, as seen in the screenshot.

The success of this approach depends on users noticing the volume label, of course: if you're a real klutz, then a stick-on label with your phone number (or email address) might be a necessary extra, Nonetheless, it's a neat and unobtrusive idea for added security. Thanks David!


    I've been doing this for yonks with the same idea. The "welcome" message on my phone has my name and PO box address on it, too.

    At uni I always had my student number as my volume label. Just as I was thinking that I'm not at uni anymore and that I need to change my volume label... this is a good idea.

    I have a polite message on mine.
    "Pls call my owner 0410xxxxxx"
    This can be read by WinXP as far back as SP2.

    There's probably a good and bad side to this tip.


    "I have your porn."

    Put a text file on your memory cards with your name and number/address so that if someopne finds your camera/camera bag they will be able to find the owner..

    the other option is a JPG file with the same info in it, this way it can be viewed from the camera..

    don't put your address/rego on your keys though..

    Most people are stupid and use Windows, which doesn't recognise more than one partition on a USB stick. If I leave my stick somewhere the person who picks it up will likely see the small partition that only has a LOSTUSB.txt file that has my phone number and email and unless they are running Linux (or maybe MacOS) they won't see my other data.

    Also, this link has a better alternative.

    I just have a text file called READ IF LOST with my contact details on it.



    have it open the text file with details.

      should be opEn.. also saw the link 2 up does this better.. _:)

    In a text file, I put a link to a website with my contact details. This way, I can change the details if needed. Because I could be overseas or at different contact details.

    On that website, I have a script which logs all the IP addresses that hit it.

    If I lose my drive, I will know the IP address of the person that has my drive. With the IP address, I can do a Reverse DNS lookup and find out where the person could be located. eg, coffee club or university or someone's workplace or at a friend's place.

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