Map a network drive

Table of contents:

Map a network drive
Map a network drive

This wikiHow teaches you how to turn a folder on your computer into a shared network drive. To do this, your computer must be connected to the same network as the computer where the folder is located. You can map a network drive in both Windows and Mac.


Method 1 of 2: In Windows

Step 1. Open Start


Click the Windows logo at the bottom left of the screen.

Step 2. Open File Explorer


Click the folder icon at the bottom left of the Start window.

Step 3. Click on This PC

This folder is in the left column of the Explorer window.

Step 4. Click on the Computer tab

It's on the left side of the "This PC" window. A menu will appear under the tab Computer.

Step 5. Click on Make Network Connection

This option is in the 'Network' section of the menu; it looks like a gray station with a green bar underneath. Clicking on this will bring up a pop-up window.

Step 6. Select a drive letter

Click the 'Station' submenu, then click the letter you want to use for the map.

  • Hard drives are all assigned a letter (for example, the hard drive on your computer is most likely labeled 'C').
  • Choose a letter like X or z to conflict with one of the letters a to f for the drives your computer will use at some point.

Step 7. Click Browse…

You can see this in the middle right of the window. Another window will open.

Step 8. Select the folder you want to use as the drive

Click on the name of the computer you want to use, then navigate to the folder you want to use as the drive and click on it if you have it selected.

You must be connected to at least another computer on your network or you will not be able to select the folder

Step 9. Click OK

This button is at the bottom of the window. This will save the chosen folder as the destination drive.

Make sure that the owner of the computer where the folder is located no longer moves that folder

Step 10. Make sure 'Reconnect at login' is checked

Click the checkbox to the left of the option if it is not checked. Then you know that you always have access to the folder.

If you are connected to a shared folder on the network that is not on your computer, you may need to log in first. If this is the case, check 'Connect with other credentials' and enter your login details

Step 11. Click Finish

This is at the bottom of the window. This completes the setup process and associates your computer with the selected folder. The folder should now be usable as a drive.

The folder in question will appear in the 'This PC' window, under the heading 'Devices and drives'. It will have been assigned the letter you specified

Method 2 of 2: On a Mac

Step #1. Open Finder

Click the blue face icon in your Dock.

Step #2. Click Go

This tab can be found in the main menu at the top of the screen. A drop-down menu will appear.

Step 3. Click Connect to Server

You will find this option at the bottom of the drop-down menu. A new window will open.

Step 4. Enter the address for the folder you want to use

For example, if the folder has a name like pickles and located in the folder Documents is located on a computer called Hall, then type Hal/Documents/Pickles/ on the right side of the tag smb:.

  • Depending on your network type, you may see ftp: or something similar, instead of smb:.

Step 5. Click +

This can be found on the right side of the address bar. This will add the address of the folder to your Mac.

Step 6. Click Connect

You will find this blue button at the bottom of the window.

Step 7. Enter your details when prompted

The login name and password you need to enter here depends on the network, so ask your system administrator if you don't know how to log in.

Once you're logged in, you should see the folder's drive icon appear on your desktop


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