Mapping a network drive in Windows 10 sounds maybe a bit complicated, but it’s actually pretty simple. And the advantage of it is huge, no more browsing to that file server or (Synology) NAS, but with one simple click access to all shared files.
We are going to map a network drive in our Windows Explorer, this way we can access all shared files through the explorer or from any program that we are using. You can map the network drives from a NAS (Network Attached Storage), like a Synology, or from another computer or server.
Mapping a Network Drive in Windows Explorer
We are going to start with the most convenient way to map a new network drive in Windows 10:
- Open your Windows Explorer (Windows key + E)
- Click on This PC in the left pane
- You will now see the option Map Network Drive in the toolbar under the tab Computer
- Select a Drive letter, this can be anything you like.
- Click on Browse… to select the network drive
(if you get an error, then read below for the solution)
- Select the computer or server and then the folder you would like to connect to.
- You probably need to enter a username and password to access the network share.
- Make sure the box Reconnect at sign-in is checked
This way the network drive will be re-connected every time you log in.
- Click Finish
You will now see the network drive in your explorer alone with your own drives.
You will now see the network drive in your Explorer with the letter that you assigned.
Network Discovery is turned off
If you get an error at step 5 while mapping network drive windows 10, then your Network Discovery is turned off or you are connected to a public network. This prevents you from seeing other network shares and printers.
- In Windows Explorer, scroll down and select Network in the left pane
You will get the error probably again, click it away
- Windows 10 will show a notification bar with the option to change the setting
- Click on Click to change… and click on Turn on Network discovery and file sharing.
- Choose No, make the network …
This way the network you are on is set to a private network (like your home network), which allows you to share files and folders.
Don’t select the other option, “Yes, turn on … for all public network”, because this way your files are potentially shared on all networks that you visit (like the public wifi on an airport or school).
Map Network Drive from the Command line
If you know the network adres of the network share you can also add it from the command line. This is really usefull if you want to create a script to automatically add a network share to multiple computers.
Open your command prompt to get started.
So first let start with listing all the network drives that you have currently in use.
This will give you a list of all network connections. Most of the time we use this command to check if the network drive is mapped, so we don’t have to open Explorer for this (so we can stay in the command prompt)
Adding a network drive
All we need to add a network drive is a free drive letter and the path of the network share. With the following cmd you can add the network connection
net use u: \\servername\folder /persistent:yes #or net use u \\servername\folder /p:yes
I added the
/persistent:yes switch to it. This way your network connection will reconnect after you reboot. If you only need the network connection ones, you can simply leaf the
/persistent switch away.
The last setting of the /persistent switch will stay active during the command-line session. So if you need to add multiple network shares, then you only need to set the switch to yes ones.
Removing a network connection
To remove a network connection, simple add the switch
net use u: /delete
So I hope this article helped with mapping a network drive in Windows 10. If you are trying to access a folder on another computer, then make sure you use the login credentials of that computer. This way you will have access to all the files and folders
On network storage devices you can most of the time create a network share for all users or protect it with a username and password. Make sure you check those settings as well if you are having trouble connecting to it.
If you have any questions, just drop a comment below.
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