By Lily / Last update June 29, 2021

What is drive mapping?

Drive mapping means to associate a drive letter (A through Z) with a shared storage area to another computer over a network. After a drive has been mapped, it looks just like a local hard drive, but all the files in it are actually physically stored on another computer.

A mapped drive enables you to access resources shared on a local network, as well as files on an FTP server or a website. However, the files will be inaccessible when the network is down or the remote computer is turned off.

How to map a network drive in Windows 7/8/10 easily?

Looking for a way to map a network drive on your computer? I’ll show you how to do it in Windows 7, 8, and 10 respectively.

Map a network drive in Windows 7

Windows 7 supports mapping a network drive and the procedure of creating a mapped drive is pretty simple. Below are the concrete steps.

Step 1. Open Windows Explorer or My Computer from the Windows Start Menu. Click Map network drive in the Tools menu.

Map Network Drive Windows 7

Step 2. A new "Map Network Drive" window opens. In this window, choose an available drive letter from the Drive list.

Choose Drive Letter

Step 3. In the Folder box, input the name of the folder that is to be mapped. Also, you can click the Browse button to find the target folder. If the target device is encrypted, you are expected to provide its correct username and password.

Browse for Folder

Step 4. Tick Reconnect at logon if you want this network drive to be mapped permanently. Otherwise, this drive won't be mapped once the user logs off this computer. Then click Finish.

Finish

Step 5. When you access the Computer again, you will see that a new drive with the letter you assigned is listed there and you can access it at anytime.

Network Location

Map a network drive on Windows 8

Windows 8 has made great changes in its appearance. However, the basic operations are still similar to those of Windows 7. In Windows 8, you can map a network drive in the following steps:

Step 1. Click the File Explorer icon from your taskbar.

Step 2. Right click the Network from the left navigation bars. Then just click Map network drive to start the map. The rest steps are the same of those in Windows 7.

Map Network Drive Windows 8

Map a network drive on Windows 10

Windows 10 is the successor to Windows 8.1. It is now the most popular version of Windows worldwide. Follow the instructions below to map a network drive in Windows 10:

Step 1. Open File Explorer from the taskbar and you will get to the This PC interface.

Step 2. On the Computer tab, select Map network drive. When the “Map Network Drive” window appears, the steps are the same as in Windows 7.

Map Network Drive Windows 10

Helpful tips:

1. What to do if you are unable to map a network drive?

If you fail to map a network drive, you may check the following things and then give a second try:

  • The folder name is spelled correctly.

  • The folder was already set up for sharing on the remote computer.

  • The remote computer has turned on network discovery.

  • You input the correct username and password.

  • The network connections are proper.

2. How to disconnect a mapped network drive?

To remove a mapped network drive, you can simply right click the mapped network drive and select Disconnect. Or you can right click Network in the left pane and select Disconnect network drive.

Make use of the mapped network drive

So what is the main purpose of mapping network drives? For file sharing? Yes, indeed. This is the main function of mapping network drives. However, there is still another practical function, that is, to backup your data. Regarding to backup, the best free backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard plays an important role.

  • It enables you to create image backups for your computer operating system, internal/external hard disks, as well as important files or folders.

  • You are allowed to backup to an external HDD/SSD or a USB flash drive. You can also backup to NAS or a cloud service.

  • The backup process will run in the background without interrupting your work.

Download AOMEI Backupper to have a try! You can simply backup your data into the mapped network drive by selecting it as the target location. The backed up data are actually stored on another computer or a NAS device, thus avoiding data loss even if your computer cannot boot.

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AOMEI Backupper

Bottom line

It can be observed from the above explanations that mapping network drives in Windows 7, 8 and 10 is very easy. By mapping network drive, you can easily access the shared files of other computers in the same LAN, avoiding unnecessary hassles. This is a recommended method for file sharing if you have several computers as well as in a small enterprise. 

What's more, the mapped network drive can be regarded as a local hard drive and you can backup your data into it. AOMEI Backupper can help you backup files to a mapped network drive efficiently and it enables you to backup Dropbox to Synology, etc. Have a try and enjoy the benefits now!