How to map a network drive
If you use information from a shared local network drive, you might access it by browsing the network or typing in a "UNC path" like
There are possible problems with this:
- Some programs have problems with UNC paths.
- Browsing a complex, busy network can be slow and confusing.
- UNC paths and/or network browsing doesn't work correctly in some versions of Parallels on Mac.
You can solve either problem by "mapping" a drive.
Ah. You'd like that in HumanSpeak?
It just means telling Windows "I want you to pretend that my computer has a drive named P: and when I ask for something on drive P, I want you to go find it on this shared network drive. Don't bother me with the details, don't make me type those long path thingies and don't make me browse the whole network every time I want to find my stuff. OK?"
Map? It's a Snap!
- Doubleclick My Computer
- Choose Tools, Map Network Drive. If you have Windows Vista or later, there may be a "Map network drive" on the toolbar already. If so, click that.
- In the screen that appears next, choose an available drive letter from the upper list box. Pick a relatively high letter so it doesn't interfere later with "thumb drives" or other removable storage. We'll use P as an example because that's what we use here for our Public area, accessible to all users on the network. You can pick any letter that makes sense to you, but you may want to avoid Q if there's any chance that you'll install the Click-To-Run version of Office. Better yet, avoid Click-To-Run.
- Click Browse and browse to the network share you want to use
- Put a check next to "Reconnect at logon" so you don't have to do this each time you log on to the computer.
- Click OK.
A new P: drive appears in My Computer. It actually represents the shared folder or drive on the network server, but you can use it like any other drive whenever you want to use the files you've stored there.