Accessing files from your local hard drive is about the easiest thing you can do on your computer. Taking this to another level and accessing files on hard drives on another system is a bit more complicated. Mapping a network drive is one way of achieving this.
Mapping your location will imply that you can create a shortcut to another drive or folder shared on your network. Doing this means that the mapped network drive will display under "This PC" in file explorer.
You can map a network drive using the file explorer or from the control panel.
Turn on Network Discovery
Before we map a network drive, we need to turn on the "Network Discovery" feature so that it can detect other computers in the network.
1. Open Settings and navigate to "Network & Internet -> Sharing Options."
2. Under the "Network Discovery" section, select the "Turn on network discovery" option.
3. Click "Save Changes."
Mapping network drive: File Explorer
These next steps will help you map a network drive in Windows 10 using File Explorer.
1. Open "File Explorer" and click on "This PC" on the right pane.
2. Select the computer tab, and in the ribbon menu at the top, click on "Map network drive" and select "Map network drive."
3. Select an alphabet to represent the drive folder from the drive drop-down list. click Browse. (The other computer has to be in the network and have the "Public folder sharing" option turned on before it shows up in the list.)
4. In the pop-up displayed, locate the folder you want to map, and hit the OK button after selecting it.
5. Once you have confirmed your selection, hit the "Finish" button at the lower-right corner. Note that on the "map network drive" window, you have the option to choose between reconnecting at signin or connecting using different credentials.
At the end of this process, the new drive will appear any time you navigate to this PC in File Explorer, and you will be able to access its content from there.
Mapping network drive: Command Prompt
You can achieve the same results you did with File Explorer using the command prompt. Just follow the nest steps to map a network drive using your command prompt.
1. Open the command prompt. You can do this simply by typing
cmd and hitting the Enter key on the Run window.
2. On your command prompt, type the following command:
net use x: \\computer name\sharename
Note that "x" represents the name you want to assign to the shared folder.
3. You can slightly tweak the above command to insert some additional parameters. You can insert a different set of credentials using the following command:
net use x: \\computer name\sharename /user username password
4. After restarting the computer, the drive will no longer exist. To avoid this and make the drive permanent, you can use the command:
net use x: \\computer name\sharename /P:Yes
5. Using the command
net use x: /delete will delete the mapped drive, while using the command
net use * /delete will delete all mapped drives.
Mapping a network drive in Windows 10 is really a basic process that you will find very handy when sharing files on a network. Whatever way you opt for to achieve this should depend on your personal preferences and what you find easier.
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