Map a Network Drive – Three Options

So you want to map a network drive. Sometimes, someone else is sharing a file or files you’ll need access to more than once. You could continually use the Network tab in File Explorer, or repeatedly type a UNC path. Or, you can map the folder you’re using to a network drive. If this is sounds easier, you’re in luck; you have options. In this article, I will go through those with you, and try to make this helpful trick as painless as possible.



File Explorer – Map a Network Drive The Most Familiar Way


There are a couple options here, based on what you want to do. If you’re adding the root shared folder, and not a deeper subfolder, it’s a simple right-click. Then you’ll see Map Network Drive. Pick a drive letter (whatever you prefer) and you’re done. Now under This PC you should see it like it’s own drive. If you need to map a subfolder, the process isn’t much more difficult. You navigate to the folder you want to map, click in the address bar, Select all and Copy. Then right-click This PC and choose Map a Network Drive. When it comes up, where it says Folder, Paste the previously copied address. Choose your drive letter, and again, you’re done. For those of you experienced with UNC paths, you can also just hand-type the path to your folder. UNC paths begin with “\\” and are followed by the name of the device sharing whatever you’re looking to map. Such as “\\SERVER2021\Quickbooks\Company Files\” or “\\FAMILY-PC\Pictures\Vacation 2010\”.


Command Line – Anyone Remember DOS?


This method to map a network drive is also pretty simple, but you’ll be doing some typing. In command prompt you have to be precise, or the command won’t function. First, let’s go ahead and open Command Prompt. You’re going to want to press and hold the Windows key. That’s the one between Ctrl and Alt on the bottom left of your keyboard. Then, tap the R key, and let go of both keys. At the bottom left of your screen, you should now have a Run prompt. It says to type the name of the program, document, etc that you want to open. In this box, we type “cmd” with no quotes, and hit enter. You will now be presented with a black background with white text, Command Prompt window. Here, you will need to type everything correctly. The syntax of this command is “net use DRIVE: PATH”. If we use the example above, with the drive letter of Q, the command would type as follows. “net use Q: \\SERVER2021\Quickbooks\Company Files\” This will map the network drive for you, but by default this would disconnect when you restart. You’ll want to add a “switch” to make it permanent. You would add “/persistent:Yes” which would make your new command “net use Q: \\SERVER2021\Quickbooks\Company Files\ /persistent:Yes” It’s worth mentioning that if you need a username or password to connect to the sharing device, you need to add that here as well, with a different “switch”. This switch is /user:USERNAME PASSWORD, so if your User is Owner, with a password of P@ssWord, your command would be “net use Q: \\SERVER2021\Quickbooks\Company Files\ /user:Owner P@ssWord /persistent:Yes”


Powershell – The Newer Command Line Interface


Powershell is the more up-to-date command line interface that is built into Windows now. The process is similar, but the syntax is different in Powershell to map a network drive. The command, known as a Cmdlet in Powershell, is “New-PSDrive”. To set up a mapped network drive that is persistent, it would be “New-PSDrive -Name “LETTER” -PSProvider FileSystem -Root “\\PATH” -Persist” So if we continue the same example as we’ve been using, the command would be “New-PSDrive -Name “Q” -PRProvider FileSystem -Root “\\SERVER2021\Quickbooks\Comapny Files\” -Persist”.


In Conclusion


You now know how to map a network drive. You’re all set to use those network resources without hunting them down each time. If you have any issue with any of these instructions, shoot us an email at [email protected]. And please feel free to take a look at one of our other helpful articles like this one about how to share files.

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