How to map a network drive

Updated: 03/13/2021 by Computer Hope

To map a network drive on your computer, select from the list below and follow the steps.

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 This PC and select Map network drive.
  3. In the Map Network Drive window, select the drive letter you want to use and type 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.

    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, 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 using the "net use" command and following the steps below.

  1. Open the 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 becomes, 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 cannot 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, type it in the Start menu Run or Search field to see if it's accessible.


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