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How to Map a Network Drive in Windows

A mapped drive is a shortcut to a specific drive on another device that allows you to access resources shared on your local network or files on an FTP server or website.

It looks just like a shortcut on your local hard drive with its own letter, even opens as if it were on the drive, but the files are physically stored on another computer or device.

Mapping is different from mounting a disk in that it allows you to open remote files as if they were saved on your own computer, while mounting allows you to open a file as if it were a folder.

The main limitation of using a mapped network drive is that it depends on a working network, so if it isn’t working or the connection isn’t working properly, you won’t be able to access files on the mapped drive.

How to map a network drive on Windows 10

We will show you two ways to map a network drive in Windows 10: using File Explorer and Command Prompt.

Using File Explorer to Map a Windows 10 Network Drive

Note. If this is your first network drive, you will see it in the list of drives. If you have multiple network drives, you will see several of them by clicking the Browse button.

Note. If your NAS has a username and password, you may need to enter them to access the drive.

Note. If you are unable to map a network folder or drive, check if the computer you are trying to connect to is turned off or check if you have the required permissions. You can also contact your network administrator.

You will see the network drive listed in the sidebar of Explorer under “This PC”. From here, you can open it and drag and drop files like documents, media and others into it. You can also copy / cut and paste like other files and folders.

When you’re done with a connected drive and you don’t need it anymore, just right-click it and choose Disconnect.

Use Command Prompt to map Windows 10 network drive

An advanced way to work with a mapped drive on Windows is by using the net use command on Windows or, if you prefer, PowerShell.

How to map a network drive on Windows 7, 8 and XP

Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 in January 2020, but you can upgrade to Windows 10 to receive regular security updates and technical support.

Did you manage to map a network drive following the steps in this guide? Let us know in the comments below.

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