Windows has a fair amount of networking features that let you access entire drives and computers remotely. However, if you’re accessing a particular drive remote quite often, it makes sense to map it inside Windows Explorer, so it’s easy for you to access your data.
In this article, we’re going over how you can map a network drive in Windows 11.
Mapping a network drive
You can follow these steps to map a network drive in Windows Explorer rather easily.
Step 1: Open This PC by opening the File Explorer (Windows Key + E).
Step 2: Click the three horizontal dots on the top and select Map network drive.
Step 3: Set up your network drive in the pop-up menu that appears. You can select a drive letter, enter the path for the shared folder the drive should be mapped and set the drive to reconnect at sign-in automatically. You can also connect using different credentials than your own Windows accounts.
Once done, click the Finish button, and Windows will attempt to connect to your network drive. If you choose to log in with different credentials, you’ll be asked for a username and password before proceeding. Once you type them in, you’ll see the network drive show up under Network locations in the File Explorer.
Mapping the drive for all users in Windows
When you map a network drive using the method mentioned above, you’re only creating it for your user account. If any other people use this computer with different accounts, they’ll not be able to see the drive.
To map the drive for all the users. open up a notepad file and type in the following command
net use * "\\netword\drive\link" /p:yes
If you want to map a drive with additional credentials, use this variation instead.
net use * "\\netword\drive\link" /p:yes /user:username\password /savecred /p:yes
Now save the file with a .BAT extension. Once you’re done, place the file in the All Users Startup folder to run it automatically each time someone logs in to the computer. You can access this folder by running the following command in the Run dialog box (Windows Key + R).
Also read: Windows 11 lid controls explained
Requirements for mapping a network drive
Before we start mapping your drive inside Windows Explorer, keep in mind that there are specific settings you need to have in place before you start.
Other than having your computer on the same network as your network drive, you also need to enable Network Discovery, File Sharing and keep track of certain password settings before starting.
Step 1: Click on the network icon in your taskbar and click on Properties under your active WiFi network.
Step 2: Under Network Profiles, make sure that Private is selected.
Step 3: Now head over to Network settings using the back button on the same page.
Step 4: Click on Change advanced sharing options.
Step 5: On this page, make sure you enable network discovery and file and printer sharing if you want to use the feature.