Mapping a shared drive into your computer system allows for easy and quick access. After you map the drive, it is only a click away in Windows explorer.
We’re familiar with sharing specific files through the network with other users. Drive mapping is a similar process that allows you to share your complete disk drive. Since you’re making your whole drive discoverable to other users, they can simply get any data they need through their Windows explorer.
There are a couple of ways to do this on your computer system. One being the generic network mapping program and another by using the command prompt. You can learn both of these ways in this article with us.
How to Map a Network Drive in Windows
Mapping a drive lets you access the data of other users in the same network. You can also write into the mapped drive if you wish to. You can also unmap the drive if you don’t need it anymore. Check the steps for both mapping and unmapping network drives below.
Using the Network Drive Wizard
Windows has a built-in wizard to help you set up a network drive. You can directly access the shared network drive from the root of Windows explorer or the ‘This PC’ root. Before setting up the network drive, you’ll need to turn on network discovery first. Here’s how you do it:
- Press Win + I to open settings and click on ‘Network and internet.’
- Open ‘Network and Sharing Center’ under Advanced network settings.
- Click on Change advanced sharing settings on the left panel.
- Choose ‘Turn on network discovery‘ under Network discovery and press ‘save changes.’
- Input your user account password and click ok.
After you turn on network discovery, follow these steps to learn how to map a network drive on your Windows computer.
- Open file explorer and go to ‘This PC’
- Click on the ‘Computer’ tab on the top bar.
- Click on ‘Map network drive.’
- Choose any preferred letter for the drive from the drop-down menu.
- Click on Browse and navigate to the folder you want to connect to.
- Press on Finish.
The Windows explorer will now show you the mapped drive path in the left panel along with your other drives and locations.
Using the Command Prompt
Apart from the wizard, Windows also allows you to map a network drive from the command prompt.
Follow these easy steps to learn how to do it.
- Search for cmd in the search bar and run as administrator.
- Type this command into the command line and press enter.
net use <Assigned_letter> "\\Path"
Where Assigned_letter stands for the assigned drive letter and the path stands for the name and location of the drive.
- You can also use other additional commands so you can get more control over them. Such as:
Using the ‘
*’ in place of assigned_letter automatically assigns a drive letter. Similarly, adding the /persistent command keeps the drive mapped even after you reboot your PC.
How to Disconnect Network Drive?
You can disconnect a network drive just as easily as connecting it. Here are the steps to disconnect the drive it:
- Open file explorer and click on This PC.
- Click on the computer tab on the top bar.
- Click on the ‘Map Network drive’ dropdown menu and choose Disconnect network drive.
You can also disconnect your drive using the command prompt. Use the command
/delete after the previously mapped drive to delete them. It should look something like :
net use <Assigned_letter> \delete
If you replace the drive letter with ‘ * ’, it will delete all the mapped drives at once.
How to Map Multiple Drives at Once?
You can make a batch file that automatically executes the commands when run. It’s very easy to make and convenient. You can simply execute it while starting the computer to map the drives. Here’s how you make the batch file:
- Open the notepad and copy these into the file:
Echo begin mapping drives net use <Assigned_letter> "\\Path" password /USER:XXXX net use <Assigned_letter> "\\Path" password /USER:YYYY exit
- Replace the values accordingly. Also, add the password and username at the end if necessary.
- Save the file with a
.batextension, so it looks something like ‘
It’s better to save it on your desktop as you can click it as soon as you boot into your PC.