How do I map a network drive?

Updated: 08/02/2019 by Computer Hope

Microsoft Windows 10 and Windows 8

To map a network drive in Windows 10, follow the steps below.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. In Explorer right-click on This PC and click Map network drive.
  3. In the Map Network Drive window, select the drive letter you want to use and type in the network path as the folder. For example, if the networked computer is named hope to map to the computer we would type \\hope.
  4. Click Finish.

Microsoft Windows 7 and earlier

To map a network drive in Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and earlier versions of Microsoft Windows follow the steps below.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. In Explorer, click the Tools drop-down menu and select the Map Network Drive option.

If you cannot see the Tools menu at the top of the Explorer window, press the Alt key to make the Tools menu visible.

  1. Specify the network drive or network computer as the folder. Below are two examples.

    For instance, let's say the computer's name is hope. To map to that computer, type \\hope.

    If you want to map to a shared folder on hope named "mp3" folder, you would type \\hope\mp3.
  2. If a different username or login is required to connect to the computer or drive, it must be specified in the network mapping window before clicking Finish.

Windows command line

Windows users may also map a network drive through MS-DOS by using the "net use" command and following the steps below.

  1. Open an MS-DOS command prompt window.
  2. Type a similar command to what is shown in the example below. In the example below, the z: represents the drive letter the new share will become, and the \\computer\folder is an example of the shared network path.

    net use z: \\computer\folder

If the network computer or folder is not available or offline, you will not be able to create the mapped drive letter. To determine what computers and shared folders are available, open "Network Neighborhood" or "My Network Places." If you know the name of the share, you can also type it in the Run or Search field in the Start menu to see if it is accessible.


When opening or mapping a network computer or folder, you must use the backslash and not the forward slash.