Tuesday, May 5, 2015

How to map a network drive in Windows 7

On a Windows PC, if you have a network drive or network folder that you access often, you can create a shortcut to that drive or folder so that it's easier to get to.  That process is called network mapping, and this article will show you how to map a network drive or folder in Windows 7.

Click on the Start button (the Windows orb) to bring up the Start menu.  Right click on Computer and select the "Map network drive..." option.  The Map Network Drive window will open.

Next to where it says "Drive," select the drive letter that you want to use for your shortcut.  This can be any letter that's currently not in use by another drive, or reserved for a special purpose.  Typically, "Z:" will be selected by default, but you can change it by clicking on the box and selecting another letter from the list.

The next line down is labeled "Folder."  This is where you tell Windows how to find your network drive or network folder.  Click on the Browse button and navigate to the drive or folder, then when you've found it and it's highlighted, click OK.  (This folder will need to be currently accessible in order for you to select it, so if it's on another computer, that computer will need to be on.)  Below the Folder line, there is an option labeled "Reconnect at logon."  This option should be checked by default, but if it's not, check it now.

Next, click Finish to create the network map shortcut.  Windows may take a second or two to make the connection, and then your network drive or folder will open.  You'll see the drive letter you selected in parentheses after the folder name.

Once you've mapped your folder, the new network drive shortcut will appear in the Computer folder.  You can also place a shortcut on the desktop or anywhere else you would like to put it.

If you ever want to delete this network shortcut, go to the Tools menu in an open folder and select "Disconnect network drive..."  A new window will open, listing all of your current network drives that have been mapped.  Select the drive you want to remove the shortcut for and click OK.  The window will close, and that network shortcut will be gone.

(Originally posted on Helium.com, November 2012)

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