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Mapping a network drive in Windows 10: Here's how to do it

Mapping a network drive in Windows 10
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If you need to share files across a network, mapping a network drive in Windows 10 a trick you need to know. Forget sending email attachments or passing around a USB stick, this allows you to set up a drive that can be shared and accessible by multiple devices simultaneously.

This function is extremely useful if you’re collaborating with people from a remote location, or for working on group projects with people across timezones. In today’s current climate, it’s a vitally important tool that looks to only become more useful. 

Mapping a network drive might sound extremely complicated, but on Windows 10 it’s actually a fairly straightforward task. Once you set it up, you can be automatically logged into the drive when you start your device as well, so you won’t have to repeat the setup multiple times. 

So, if you’re unsure how to go about mapping a network drive in Windows 10, let's get to our step-by-step walkthrough to show you how to do it:

1. Select Settings from the Start Menu 

Mapping a network drive in Windows 10 - select settings

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The Start Menu can be found on the bottom left of the toolbar in Windows 10. Just click the Windows logo to bring the Start Menu up and then select Settings. Alternatively, just type in ‘settings’ into the conveniently located search bar.  

2. Select Network and Internet

Mapping a network drive in Windows 10 - select network and internet

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With the Settings Menu open, select the Network and Internet option. If you’re having any issues locating it, you can also use the search bar at the top of the Settings Menu to easily locate it.  

3. Select Wi-Fi from the Network and Internet Menu 

Mapping a network drive in Windows 10 - select Wi-Fi settings

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On the left-hand side of the Network and Internet Menu you’ll see a tab labeled Wi-Fi, select this one. Again there is also a search bar, should you have any issues locating the tab.  

4. Select Change advanced sharing options 

Mapping a network drive in Windows 10 - select change advanced sharing options

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From the Wi-Fi tab in the Settings Menu, scroll down until you get to the “Related settings” subheading. Here click the “Change advanced sharing options” option.  

5. Click Turn on network discovery 

Mapping a network drive in Windows 10 - click turn on network discovery

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Ensure that network discovery is turned on in the settings, once you’ve done so hit the “Save Changes” button in the bottom corner of the window. If network discovery is already enabled then the button “Saving Changes” button should be greyed out. 

6. Open File Explorer 

Mapping a network drive in Windows 10 - open file explorer

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File Explorer may well be pinned to your toolbar. If it’s not, you can easily locate it using the search bar next to the Start Menu. 

7. Click on This PC and then the Computer tab 

Mapping a network drive in Windows 10 - click on this PC

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Once you’ve opened up File Explorer, navigate over to the This PC menu and then open up the Computer tab from the bar at the top of the window.  

8. Select map network drive 

Mapping a network drive in Windows 10 - select map network drive

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Click the Map network drive option from the Computer tab. This should bring up a new window.  

9. Select a drive letter 

Mapping a network drive in Windows 10 - select a drive letter

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From the Map Network Drive window, use the dropdown menu to select a drive letter. You can select any drive letter, it doesn’t matter which. Just make sure you remember it.

10. Locate the folder

Mapping a network drive in Windows 10 - browse to locate

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Search for your folder in the prompt, type its path into the field or use the browse tool to find the folder. If this is your first network drive you’ll see a single drive on the list, if you have several already setup then you should see them all when you click the Browse button.  

11. Select Reconnect at sign-in (Optional)

Mapping a network drive in Windows 10 - select reconnect at sign-in

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Select Reconnect at sign-in if you want your computer to automatically ensure that the mapped drive is available to you when you turn on your device. Uncheck the box if this is something you don’t need.  

12. Select Finish 

Mapping a network drive in Windows 10 - select finish

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Once you’ve followed all the above instructions, just tap ‘Finish’ in the Map Network Drive window and you’re all set.  

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