Recently, I’ve learned a wonderful capability of Windows that lets users to map a Document Library as a network drive. In this post I will describe this way, hope it helps someone to solve their problems!

Consider that since the launch of Office 365, this way has become obsolete, because OneDrive syncs files from SharePoint to Windows perfectly!

Solution:

Copy the URL of document library to the clipboard.

Right click on “Network” located on Windows Explorer and choose “Map network drive…”.

In the opened up window click the “Connect to a Web site that you can use to store your documents and pictures” link

Click “Next” until the following window is shown:

Paste the copied URL into “Internet or network address” textbox

The key point is here: Delete the “http” word and replace “/” with “\” just like the above image and click Next

Give a network location a name by filling “type a name for this network location” textbox. By default it is the name of document library (here: TechnicalDocs) and Click Next.

Click Finish

Tips:

  1. Start Web Client Service in the Window’s Services
  2. Enter login information if credential window is displayed!
  3. In Internet explorer:
    •  Add Your site to the trusted sites
    • Choose Automatic logon with current username and password

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  • I wouldn’t say that this method is obsolete given OneDrive’s sync capabilities. Two reasons: there are uses cases – such as editing code – where you want updates to be immediate and the sync engine is still buggy.

    IMO, getting this mapping to work reliably is a PITA when you have multiple tenants. Adding the site to Trusted Sites and clicking the Sign in automatically box doesn’t seem to always do it. I end up rejiggering things all the time.

    M.

  • Hi Marc,
    Thanks for your useful comment.

  • Sara, fyi,

    I have found that as well as signing in automatically and adding the site to Trusted Sites, the Web Client Service needs to be set to Automatic in services.msc

    That nugget (or lack of, to be precise) cause me a lot of pain when I first tried to map a customer’s library as a network drive.

    Michael

  • Michael:

    If that makes it work all the time, I love you, man! I notice that I can set it to Automatic (it was set to Manual), but it shows Automatic (Trigger Start). Is that what you see as well?

    M.

  • Marc, that’s what I see also and the mapping is rock-solid once it is set.

    I don’t want to derail the tread but while I have this opportunity, I would like to pass on my appreciation for SPServices. It’s a wonderful asset and I use it all the time. I find it especially useful in terms of the UX,  removing the need for the less confident user to poke around in the SharePoint Online ribbon (and also removing a source of headaches for me..).

    Michael

  • You’re welcome, Michael. Glad SPServices is an asset to you!

    M.

  • Thanks Michael,
    Started web client service is a prerequisite for mapping. I completely forgot about that and will add it to this post as soon as possible.

  • Thanks Sara. Its easy and useful….

  • Looks like a great approach for individual users, but challenging to scale across an organisation. Honest disclosure – I work for the company I’m going to recommend – but in terms of enterprise solutions for drive mapping cloud storage like OneDrive for Business & SharePoint Online, our tool Cloud Drive Mapper is pretty great. Specific benefits above the competitor products / DIY approach: it’s stable, has resolved many of the niche issues that exist within the Windows/PowerShell approach, has a much better deployment mechanism for organisational environments. Plus it maps drives dynamically based on each user/policy, and has a nice single sign-on integration with ADFS. Consequently, you get pretty much the same administrative control and user experience as you do with network storage + group policy.