This article explains how to map a network drive in Windows 11, so you can easily access shared files from another computer on your network. We’ll also look at what the other computer needs to do to enable sharing and what to look out for if you’re having trouble mapping a network drive.
How to Map a Network Drive in Windows 11
It only takes a few steps to map a network drive through the This PC window.
1. Open This PC by launching File Explorer (WIN+E) and selecting ThisPC in the navigation pane.
2. Use the menu button See more (the three dots) at the top of the window to select Map network drive.
3. Choose a letter from the menu under which you want to identify the network drive. It can be any letter in the list.
4. Browse or type the path to the shared folder to which the network drive should be mapped.
If the share requires a specific password, you must choose Log in using different credentials. You will be prompted for a username (and password) to access the other computer.
5.Select to end.
You may need to wait a few seconds for Windows to establish the connection, after which you can access the share as you would a flash drive or local hard drive and rename its appearance in This PC.
Notes: If after completing step 5 you get an error or a password prompt, see the tips at the end for further instructions.
How to automatically map a network drive in Windows 11
The main way to configure an automatic network drive is to follow the steps above and choose Reconnect at login during setup. This will summarize the same network drive the next time you log in.
If you manage multiple computers at once, or even one computer with multiple users, and need to automatically map the network drive to each of them, there is a script you can create to do the job. The same method works to create the network drive for other users on a local computer; see steps below for instructions.
How to map a network drive in Windows 11 for all users
Mapping a network drive for all users at once is much easier than following the above steps individually under each account. Follow these steps whether you’re a network administrator who needs to perform this trick on your entire network of computers, or you want local accounts on your PC to easily access the same shared files.
1. Use the net use command to create a script that will automatically map the mapped network drive.
Here is an example, where the driver letter will be assigned automatically, and the connection to the share (server filesin this example) will persist (/p:yes) each time the user logs in:
net use * "\serverfiles" /p:yes
The script must be saved as a BAT file for Windows to run it when the user logs on.
Visit the net use command link above for examples of embedding credentials in the command. It is needed if the computer sharing the files requires a password.
2. Open the All Users Startup folder. An easy way to find it is to run this command in the Run dialog box (WIN+R):
3. Copy the BAT file from step 1 to the folder you discovered in step 2.
Now when a user connects to this computer, the network drive you configured in the script connects automatically.
Troubleshoot Mapped Network Drives
A few things need to be in place before network sharing is allowed in Windows 11.
If you’re sure your PC is on the same network as the one sharing the files (it’s a necessity), keep these things in mind if you’re having trouble mapping a network drive or using it once you mapped it:
Network discovery allows you to see network computers and their shares. Make sure it is enabled in Control Panel.
1.Open Control Panel and navigate to Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Change advanced sharing settings.
2. Expand the section that indicates the current profile and select Enable network discovery.
The computer doing the sharing (ie the one you are trying to connect to) must have selected Enable file and printer sharing from that same screen before it can share with you on the network.
3.Select Save Changesthen try to map the network drive again.
Password protected sharing
You must either have the login credentials of the user sharing the files with you, or configure their computer to allow sharing even if no password is provided.
In the All Networks section, they can configure the network by selecting Disable password-protected sharing via the same screen as above.
You can configure sharing to allow a number of users simultaneously. It can even be limited to viewing files only, which means you can’t modify or add anything to the network drive. To obtain these permissions, the person managing the network share must make changes on their end.
If they access the tab Compartir folder properties, the button Advanced Sharing is an option to limit the number of users who can use the share at a time. On this same screen, in the area permissionsthe file manager can give you full control or edit access.
Make sure you are accessing the real share path. Manually entering the path while setting up the network drive may result in an error. You can get the share path from the computer sharing the resources.
Open File Explorer and navigate to network from the navigation pane of this computer. Open the computer name you see there, then find the folder you want to access. This is the path you need to enter in your computer to complete the mapped drive.
The same path is accessible from the folder itself. Right click on it, go to tab Compartir and copy the text from the area network path.
How to unmap a network drive in Windows 11?
Get to ThisPCselect the three points at the top of the window and choose Disconnect network drive. Choose the drive you want to disconnect, then choose okay.
How to reconnect to a network drive in Windows 11?
If you are having trouble connecting to a network drive, disconnect the drive, then remap it. When mapping the drive, make sure that Reconnect at login is selected.
How to Share Network Files in Windows 11?
Besides mapping a network drive, there are other network file sharing options in Windows 11. These include cloud file sharing with OneDrive, Windows public folder sharing, and third-party sharing solutions.
If you have any questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments. Also consult this guide if you want to learn how to change your network profile on windows 11.