In my previous article, How to Share a Folder Over a Network, I showed the basics of sharing over a network. In this article, I’m going to show you how to map that shared network drive or folder for easier access.
I’m going to start out with a little refresher from the last article in case someone missed it. The first thing you want to do is set the sharing options up on the drive or folder you want to share. This requires you to be on the computer that houses the drive or folder. For instance, if I want to access a file on my desktop from my laptop, I need to first use my desktop to share the folder.
As an example, I will be sharing the My Pictures folder as seen below. This example is for a folder, but the instructions would be exactly the same for a drive.
Now, you need to right click on the folder and select properties.
Once you click properties, a window will pop up. You want to click the sharing tab. Once in the sharing tab, you will see that the second box in the page gives you some sharing options. We want to start by clicking in the box next to “Share this Folder on the network.” After this is completed, you can give the shared folder a shared name if you prefer.
As you may have noticed, the second check box becomes available after clicking the first one. Let me explain the difference between the two.
The first option allows you to access folders on another computer over your network, but you can’t edit or rename the files in the folder. Also, you can’t add any files to the shared folder. If you decide you want more control, you can click the box next to “Allow network users to change my files.” This will allow you to do all of the things mentioned above.
Remember after the changes you have made to make sure you press the apply button to apply the changes.
Now, you want to go back to your laptop or other computer. First, open up the My Computer window. Once this is open, you will click on the Tools menu and within the menu you will click on Map Network Drive.
After you click this, the following window will pop up. The top drop down menu allows you to select the drive letter for your drive or folder. After you select the drive letter, you want to click the Browse button.
A new pop up window will now appear. In it, you will see your network which by default is called MSHome, but you may have changed that. Expand the file tree until you see the drive or folder you want to map. For this guide, I wanted to map the F: drive on Ctrlcntr, so I expanded the MSHome file tree and the Ctrlcntr file tree to find the drive I was looking for. Now, I highlight the F: drive by clicking on it and click OK.
Now, your My Computer window should look something like this one, and as you can see at the bottom, there is now a Network Drives section. Remember that this guide works for folders or drives, so you can map whatever you need access to whether it is an entire drive or just one folder.