How to map a network drive in Windows 10

Windows OS

In this guide we'll be showing you how to map a network drive in Windows 10. Network drives also known as Network Attached Storage (NAS) are a very important tool for PC users. It's useful for both professional and home use.

In a home environment users can backup their files and folder to a NAS drive that's attached to the same network as their device. This is helpful as it's easily accessible and if anything fails on their device they can still recover back from the NAS drive.

In a business environment NAS drives are extremely important. It allows companies to meet standards and have sufficient backups in place in case anything goes down. It also allows for different departments to have separate file shares to access relevant resources across the network.

Setting up a network drive is simple and we've got the step by step guide to prove it. We'll be explaining mapping a network drive in Windows 10 to view the drive as if it was physically connected to your PC.

Connect your network drive to your router

They are plenty of different NAS drives and most should come with instructions but generally the process is the same. Plug the drive into the wall to provide it with power through the mains. Then connect it via Ethernet (network cable) to one of the ports on the back of your router.

Then we move on to mapping the network drive on Windows.

Navigating to "This PC" in Windows Explorer

Open up file explorer in Windows, you can do this by pressing the Windows Key and E on your keyboard. Once it's loaded look at the sidebar on the left of the window. Proceed to click "This PC" and then click on the "Computer" tab at the top of the window.

You can also access "This PC" by typing it into Windows search. When in this window make sure to keep a note of the letters assigned to each drive to make sure you don't create any duplicates later.

Mapping the network drive

On the top bar click on "Map Network Drive". This will allow you to select a letter to assign to the drive. Avoid using the C drive as this is commonly the main one used for the Windows Operating system. 

Ensuring the assigned letter isn't one associated with anything else ensures fewer complications down the line.

Finding your network drive

Clicking on the "Browse" button will allow you to navigate to the drive itself within the network menu that pops up. If this is your first network drive, you'll hopefully just have one listed. However, if you've got multiple or setting one up for a business you may need to navigate through several.

Shared folders

Within the drive you'll find options for shared folders if there are any set up. If there isn't you can create your own. This will be where you'll eventually drop your files into for access anywhere else as long as you have connection to your network drive.

To create a folder right click and click "New Folder". You can name it whatever you want to just remember that name because you'll need it to locate it from a different machine.

Authentication

The password will be required when logging onto the network drive, so make sure to keep a note of it and notify anyone connected to it if changes are made. 

Select "Reconnect at sign-in" so that it ensures the drive can connect when you power on your PC. You can skip this step if you prefer however, it means that your folder is accessible to anyone able to log onto your Wi-Fi network, so we advise to put a strong password on it.

If you've already set a password up for your NAS drive then you'll need to enter this.

Access the drive

Click onto "Finish" and you'll need a new window open for the drive and will be denoted by the letter you assigned previously. You'll also see it's contents and if there are any shared drives set up on there.

As you can see it appears as if there is a hard drive physically connected to your PC.

Moving files to the network drive

The drive will now be listed under "My PC" to which you can now drag documents, photos and any other files to it. You can copy, cut and paste.

You should now have your network drive set up without any issues. If you're finding an issue along the way please feel free to contact us using the following details:

Email – info@directcomputers.co.uk

Phone – 0114 296 0035