Windows supports several different methods for mapping a network drive. A network drive is a folder located on a remote computer that has been configured for sharing over a network, sometimes called LAN (Local Area Network). These instructions explain the process to map a shared network drive using Windows Explorer.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 1 minute

What You Need:

  • A computer running Microsoft Windows
  • The UNC name of the shared folder on the Server computer
  • Working network connections on both the local and Server computer.
Here's How:

1. Open Windows Explorer or My Computer from the Windows Start Menu.

2. From the Tools menu, click Map Network Drive. A new Map Network Drive window opens.

3. In the Map Network Drive window, choose an available drive letter from the dropdown list located next to the "Drive:" option. Any drives already mapped will have a shared folder name displayed inside the dropdown list, next to the drive letter.

4. Type the name of the folder to map. This name must follow the UNC (Universal Naming Convention.) Alternatively, click the 'Browse' button to find the correct folder by browsing available network shares.

5. Click the "Reconnect at login" checkbox if this network drive should be mapped permanently. Otherwise, this drive will un-map when the user logs out of this computer.

6. If the remote computer that contains the shared folder requires a different username and password to log in, click the "different user name" hyperlink to enter this information.

7. Click Finish.

8. If the drive letter was previously mapped to a different location, a message box will appear asking to replace the current connection with the new one. Click Yes to disconnect and un-map the old mapped drive.

9. If the Finish operation succeeds, the network drive will be mapped. If the network drive cannot be mapped, ensure the folder name is spelled correctly, that this folder was correctly set up for sharing on the remote computer, that (if necessary) the correct username and password have been entered, and that the computer network connections are functioning properly.