The Mysterious Q Drive On Windows 7

I have seen a lot of questions in several forums regarding the same problem. All of sudden you’ll find a Mysterious Q drive under your “Computer” when you click on it will give you “Access Denied” error message. This happens after install Microsoft Office 2010 using Click-to-run method.

What is Click-to-Run?

Click-to-Run is a new software delivery mechanism built by the Office product team. It’s based on core virtualization and streaming technologies from the Microsoft App-V team in Cambridge, MA. Click-to-Run is optimized for home users on broadband connections. Click-to-Run products also take up about half the disk space of normal products, they repair more completely, and they won’t break other software installed on the PC because they have private copies of all of their files and registration.

Click-to-Run is not a new Office “product”, it’s a new way of delivering and updating the products with which you are already familiar. Click-to-Run delivery is available for both the Office Home and Student 2010, and Office Home and Business 2010 products.

Find if the Office 2010 is installed using Click-to-Run method

In Office click on File Menu and Click on Help there you’ll find if Office is installed in that Method.

Uninstall Office Click-to-Run products

1.       In Control Panel, click Programs, and then click Programs and Features.

2.       Click Microsoft Office Home and Business 2010, Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010, or Microsoft Office Starter 2010.

3.       For the Remove Office user settings check box, do one of the following:

  • If you want to save Microsoft Office settings, such as Ribbon customizations, do not select the check box.
  • If you don’t want to save the Office settings, such as Ribbon customizations, or if you are having a problem with settings that you want to fix, select the check box.
  • Click Uninstall.

Learn how to Repair, update or uninstall Microsoft Office Click-to-Run.

If it doesn’t help, you may want to see this post : How do I uninstall Office 2003, Office 2007 or Office 2010 suites if I cannot uninstall it from Control Panel?

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Shyam aka “Captain Jack” is a Microsoft MVP alumnus and a Windows Enthusiast with an interest in Advanced Windows troubleshooting. Suggestions made and opinions expressed by him here are his personal one's and not of his current employers. He blogs at


  1. npc

    Thank you from the research. Does this mysterious Q drive show up in diskmgmt.msc when active?

  2. I don’t believe it does.

  3. Tuff Guy

    So, does anybody else wonder if microsoft is collecting copies of ALL my MS Office files on the Q: drive for unconstitutional dissemination to our illustrious federal spy agencies to, ya know, keep America safe and the citizens under Obama’s thumb?

  4. sumit barda

    hi there …I tried the above mentioned thing but it failed.Now when i try to open Q drive it shows the same
    message “access denied”.My hard disk drive is 0f 500GB but unfortunately i am able to use only 300GB .I think my rest of 200GB is in Q DRIVE….HELP ME OUT

  5. Ian Crick

    I have an Acer laptop and it has a drive Q: and it you go to file explorer and click on computer (left panel), the right panel show C: and Q: and if you single click on Q: drive it states ‘Microsoft Office Click-to-Run 2010 (Protected)’. I also have a 500Gb drive and it say I have 447Gb, yet Q: drive uses 0 bytes. I know Acer store backup files in-case you need to re-install windows, but this must be hidden.

  6. Yes that’s possible. Uninstall Office Click-to-Run products

  7. Del Truax

    Wow, have I got an unusual situation……interesting, puzzling, but definitely strange!

    I have a second hand laptop (Dell Inspiron 1545, Win7-64 Home Premium) that may have had Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010 on it at some point, but no longer. This is verified by checking in Control Panel | Uninstall a Program: There are absolutely no Microsoft Office products installed, nor any “click-to-install” programs.

    However, when I plug in an external hard drive, the so-called Q: drive shows up along with the C: drive, but NOT my external hard drive. The Q drive does not appear when I plug in a camera, an iphone, or a USB drive, but only my external HD (which connects via firewire through an expresscard).

    SO HOW CAN THIS BE?? There are no MS Office programs running on my computer. What is creating the Q: drive?

    When I go into Control Panel | System Security | Adminsitrative Tools | Computer Management | Storage | Disk Management, no such Q drive area appears, however, a mysterious 4 GB unallocated partition is there. Could that be a clue? The computer is malware free (scanned with Kaspersky, ESET, malwarebytes, Hitman Pro, Emsisoft).

    Anyway, I’m totally puzzled.

  8. Dimitrios G. Panagiotidis

    Diskmgmt.msc displays physical drives. Drive Q: (click-to-run) is a virtual drive.

  9. Dimitrios G. Panagiotidis

    Diskmgmt.msc displays information about physical drives. Drive Q: is a virtual drive. It does n’t “really” exist and it is not taking up physical space on your hard drive. If you don’t like it, you can either hide the letter Q: from explorer, switch to an msi delivery method of the software or not install the software using the click-to-run method.

  10. Michael Javert

    Wondering why anyone would pay for Office when you can get Open Office or Libre Office for free, that is just as good as, if not better than Microsoft. But I guess some people just like to piss their money away and don’t care that Microsoft reads and pilfers what they’ve written. Sad !

  11. Caleb

    Probably because Microsoft Office is far superior to Open Office or Libre Office or any of the other free offerings.

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