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Windows 7 - How to Map a Network Drive

Mapping a network drive in Windows Explorer makes accessing frequently used folders or drives over a network more convenient. Once you have mapped a shared folder from a computer or network hard drive, the drive will appear alongside the local hard disk and other drives on your computer. You can also map a folder on the local computer for quicker and easier access. While you can complete this task using the Command Prompt, most users will find it much easier to do it from within Windows Explorer.

Click on "Computer" in the start menu and click "Map network drive" in the toolbar. Choose any available drive letter from the drop-down box beside "Drive." You cannot use a drive letter which is already in use. Click the "Browse" button and wait for a few seconds while Windows scans your local area network for connected computers and drives. Click on the computer containing the shared folder that you want to map. Only shared folders will appear in the list, regardless of whether you are accessing a network location or a folder on the local computer. Click on the folder that you want to map and click "OK."

Ensure that the "Reconnect at logon" option is checked if you want the mapped location to remain permanently. If you deselect this, the drive will disappear next time you log out or restart the computer. You can leave the remaining option unchecked unless you plan to access a password-protected network location as a different user. Click "Finish" when you're done. The new network location will appear in the Computer window, functioning like a separate drive. If the drive is ever inaccessible, such as when the remote computer is turned off, the drive icon will change to reflect this, but the mapped location will still appear in Windows Explorer.

If you want to remove a mapped drive from your computer, simply right-click on it and click "Disconnect." The drive will no longer appear in the Computer window.

You can also access available network locations from the "Network" section in the sidebar of Windows Explorer and browse through them just as you would with folders on the local computer.


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