mapped network drive

Definition of mapped network drive in The Network Encyclopedia.

What is Mapped Network Drive?

A shared folder on a network that has been associated with an available drive letter on a local PC. The result is that the shared folder behaves like a local drive on the PC.

How It Works

In Microsoft Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows 98, and Windows 95, you can use one of the following procedures to map a network drive:

  • Right-click on My Computer or Network Neighborhood on the desktop and choose Map Network Drive from the shortcut menu. Select an available drive letter, enter the Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path to the shared folder, and specify credentials to gain access to the shared folder.
  • Click the Map Network Drive button on the toolbar in Windows Explorer and continue as described in the first procedure.
  • From a command prompt, use the Net Use command.

At times, it might be preferable to access a shared folder on a network by using the run command instead of mapping a drive because the run command does not require you to use an available drive letter. Choose Run from the Start menu, and then type the UNC path to the network share.