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Published on 04.27.07 by Brent Trahan

Map a Shared Folder

Learn how to map a shared folder in Windows Vista.


This guide shows you how to map a shared folder on a networked computer. Mapping a shared folder makes it easily accessible via an assigned drive letter.


Before you can map a shared folder you need to make sure a few things are set up.

  • Make sure all computers on the network are on the same workgroup. If you need help checking your workgroup see my Change the Workgroup Name guide.
  • Make sure all the computers on your network have their network locations set to Private. For help with this see my Change the Network Location Type guide.
  • Make sure Network Discovery is turned on. Changing your network location type to private does this by default but it’s always a good idea to double-check. If you need help with this see my Turn Network Discovery On guide.
  • I’m assuming you’re using the Windows Vista firewall. If you’re using a 3rd party firewall you might have to change its settings to allow network discovery.
  • The folder you want to map needs to be shared. If you need help sharing folders in Windows Vista, check out Share a Folder in Windows Vista.

Map a Shared Folder

  1. Click the Start button and then open Computer.
  2. Click Map network drive at the top of the Computer window.
  3. The first thing you need to decide on is what drive letter you want to use. The default drive letter is the last available letter of the alphabet.


  4. After you decide on the drive letter you need to give the location of the shared folder you want to map. There are two ways to do this.
    • Browse to the shared folder:

      Click the Browse button and wait for the computers on your network to populate.


      Double-click the computer with the shared folder and then double-click the shared folder. Click OK once you’ve double-clicked the shared folder you want to map.

      Note: This will not work if the folder you’re trying to map is password protected and the user name and password of the computer mapping the folder is not the same. If this is the case try typing the address of the mapped folder and selecting a different user to connect as in the steps below.

    • Type the address of the shared folder:

      If you know the address of the shared folder you can type it in the folder box. Examples of addresses of shared folders are:

      Using IP Address: \\\Pictures

      Using Computer Name: \\fileserver\Pictures

    Note: If you need help finding a computers IP Address or name see my Find your Computers Name or IP Address guide.

  5. If the shared folder you’re mapping is password protected and the user name and password on the computer accessing the shared folder is different than the folder being mapped you need to click Connect using a different user name.
  6. Type the user name and password in the Connect as window and click OK when you’re done.


  7. If you always want to have access to the mapped folder make sure Reconnect at logon is checked off.
  8. Click Finish. If everything goes through the mapped folder will open automatically letting you know it worked.

Now that the shared folder is mapped you can access it by clicking the Start button and then click Computer. The mapped folder will be listed under Network Location.


Disconnect a Mapped Folder

To delete a mapped folder you need to disconnect it by right-clicking the mapped folder and select Disconnect.

Still need help? Ask your computer question now.

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