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Map Network Drive Windows 7

Drive mapping is the procedure through which you can associate a local drive letter (A to Z, as the ones used by your partitions) with an area on another network computer (like a shared folder) or internet location (e.g. FTP site). Using drive mappings can be very useful, especially when working with different operating systems on the same network. For example, if you use both Windows 7 and Windows XP in your home network, you cannot take full advantage of the HomeGroup feature. Using drive mappings can be a pretty good alternative.

Therefore, in this tutorial, I will show how to map a network drive towards a shared folder over your network and also to an internet location such as an FTP site.

Start the Map Network Drive Wizard

There are several ways to start the 'Map network drive' wizard. One way is to double click on the Computer shortcut and click on the 'Map network drive' button from the upper toolbar. Keep in mind that, if you browse through any partition, the button will disappear. It will only be available in the default Computer window.

Map network drive

Another alternative is to right click on the Computer icon and select 'Map network drive'. The 'Map network drive' wizard will now start.

Map a Shared Network Folder

First, select the drive letter you want to use for this mapping. Then, click on Browse and select the network location you want to map.

Alternatively you can provide the "path" to the network share if you know the "Computer name" and the "Shared Folder name".

IE: \\computer name\share name (Enter this info in the box to the left of the red 2 below).

(computer name can be found by going to Start, Right mouse button on Computer, Properties, and look for Computer name. 

You will need to know the share name or get it from your network administrator.

Map network drive

In the Browse window, select the computer & the shared folder you want to map to. When done, click on OK.

Map network drive

Instead of using the Browse button you can also directly type the location of the shared folder you want to map. Also, you can navigate to that location in Windows Explorer and then right click on it and select 'Map network drive'.

If you want Windows 7 to reconnect to this drive at each logon, make sure you check the box that says 'Reconnect at logon'. Also, if you map a drive to a computer using Windows Vista or Windows XP, you might also need to connect using a user account defined on that computer. In this case, check the box that says 'Connect using different credentials'.

When done, click on Finish.

Map network drive

In some scenarios, as the one mentioned above, you will be asked to enter a username and password to connect to the network location.

Here there is a very important catch: when you type the username and password, Windows 7 will use your computer as the 'domain'. This can cause problems when trying to access the network location because you will try to connect to another computer using a user defined on your computer. And, most probably it won't work. As you can see from the screenshot below, you need to make sure that the domain field has the name of the computer you are trying to connect to.

Map network drive

To do this, in the user name field type the name of the PC you are connecting to, a backslash ('\' key) and then the user you want to use for the connection. That user must be defined on the computer you are connecting to. Otherwise it won't work.

If you typed things correctly, you will see that the domain field has changed value to the computer you are trying to connect to. When done, click on OK.

Map network drive

If the mapping process worked fine, the newly created drive will open and will become available in the Computer window and in Windows Explorer.

Map network drive