If the “map network drive” icon is not showing in File Explorer in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, this post is for you.
Latest posts by Michael Pietroforte (see all)

I don’t have to map network drives often lately. SharePoint, various collaboration tools, and the cloud made file sharing somehow obsolete. Nevertheless, we sometimes still need to map network shares. With every new Windows version, Microsoft places the “map network drive” icon in another position in File Explorer. After I find the command, I usually don’t use it again for a couple of months, and then I start searching again.

The problem started with Windows Vista. If I remember correctly, one had to press the ALT key to make the menu appear in File Explorer (Windows Explorer, as it was called then). It drove me nuts until I discovered this. If you still have a Vista machine, please confirm.

Windows 7 ^

In Windows 7, the menu appears by default in File Explorer, and you can find the “map network drive” command in the Tools menu.

Map network drive in Windows 7

Map network drive in Windows 7

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 ^

Compared to Windows Vista, that was easy. Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 raised the level of difficulty again. The Tools menu disappeared, and the “map network drive” option is now in the Computer Ribbon. If the Ribbon is minimized, you have to click the Computer menu. The tricky part is that the Ribbon is only displayed if you click the Computer symbol (Windows 8) or the This PC icon (Windows 8.1) in the File Explorer’s navigation pane. For some reason, I always assume that I have to click the Network symbol, which is not the case.

 Map network drive in Windows 8Map network drive in Windows 8.1

Map network drive in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

I suppose that, after writing this post, I will never again forget how to map network drives. Let’s see where this feature will be hidden in Windows 9. 😉

Command prompt and PowerShell ^

The nice thing about map a network drive on a command prompt is that it is not changing with every Windows version.

net use Z: \\Server\NetworkShare

If you want that Windows automatically maps the drive again at next logon, then this is your command:

net use Z: \\computername\sharename //Persistent:Yes

The complete syntax is this:

NET USE
 [devicename | *] [\\computername\sharename[\volume] [password | *]]
 [/USER:[domainname\]username]
 [/USER:[dotted domain name\]username]
 [/USER:[username@dotted domain name]
 [/SMARTCARD]
 [/SAVECRED]
 [[/DELETE] | [/PERSISTENT:{YES | NO}]]
 NET USE {devicename | *} [password | *] /HOME
 NET USE [/PERSISTENT:{YES | NO}]

And in PowerShell you could map network share to drive Z like this:

New-PSDrive -Name Z -PSProvider FileSystem -Root \\computername\sharename -Persist

Map network drive in PowerShell

Map network drive in PowerShell

Lots of type type, if you ask me. Of course you can also do it more complicated.

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