Remote storage

How to map network drive on Windows 11

These are the best ways to map network drives on Windows 11. The guide also shows you how to disconnect the drives if they are no longer needed.

Windows 11 map network drive

Windows 11 has several ways to map a network drive to your computer, including using File Explorer or commands with PowerShell or Command Prompt. This guide will show you how, including the steps to disconnect.

When mapping a network drive, the system technically only creates a “shortcut” or “pointer” that allows Windows 11 to locate the shared folder and access its contents as if it was a drive physically attached to the computer. After the mapping process is complete, the storage will appear on “This PC” under the “Network locations” section in File Explorer.

If you no longer need access to the network resources, Windows 11 also provides quick ways to disconnect the network drive using the same tools.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to use File Explorer, Command Prompt, and PowerShell to map a network drive on Windows 11.

Map network drive on Windows 11 using File Explorer

To map a network drive with File Explorer on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer on Windows 11.

  2. Click on This PC from the left pane.

  3. Click the See more (three-dotted) button in the command bar and select the “Map network drive” option.

    Explorer map network drive option

  4. Use the “Drive” drop-down menu and choose a letter to assign the drive.

  5. In the “Folder” field, enter the network path to the shared folder. (Or click the Browse button to browse the folder to map as a network drive, and click the OK button.)

    Windows 11 map network drive

  6. Check the “Reconnect at sign-in” option to make the connection permanent.

  7. Check the Connect using different credentials option if the credentials are different from the account you are already using.

  8. Click the Finish button.

  9. Confirm the network account credentials (if applicable) to map the network drive to Windows 11.

  10. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, the network drive will become available in File Explorer.

If you cannot connect to the shared folder, use the IP address instead of the computer name. However, if the remote device uses a dynamic IP address configuration, it may change in the future, and you may need to reconnect again.

Also, if the device providing the resources is using a Microsoft account with the passwordless option, you will need to create a local account you can use to connect. Otherwise, the mapping won’t work.

Disconnect mapped network drive on Windows 11 using File Explorer

To disconnect a network drive on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer.

  2. Click on This PC from the left pane.

  3. Under the “Network Locations” section, right-click the network drive (select See more options) and choose the Disconnect option.

    File Explorer disconnect network drive

After you complete the steps, the network drive will no longer be available on the computer.

Map network drive on Windows 11 using PowerShell

To map a network drive with PowerShell commands, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for PowerShell and click the top result to open the console.

    Quick tip: Do not run the terminal as an administrator to allow the mount to appear in File Explorer.
  3. Type the following command to map network drive assigning letter manually and press Enter:

    New-PSDrive -Name "DRIVER-LETTER" -PSProvider "FileSystem" -Root "\\DEVICE-NAME-OR-IP\SHARED-FOLDER" -Persist

    In the command, replace DRIVER-LETTER with a drive letter not already in use. Then change DEVICE-NAME-OR-IP and SHARED-FOLDER for the computer name or IP address of the computer hosting the shared folder and the name of the share.

    For example, this command maps the ShareFiles folder to the computer with the “Z” drive letter:

    New-PSDrive -Name "Z" -PSProvider "FileSystem" -Root "\\vm-10v21h2\ShareFiles" -Persist

    PowerShell map network drive

Once you complete the steps, the shared folder will mount as a network drive on the computer, and it will appear in File Explorer.

Map network drive with password on PowerShell

To map a network drive providing the account name and password, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for PowerShell and click the top result to open the console.

  3. Type the following command to create a variable to store the account information and press Enter:

    $cred = Get-Credential -Credential USERNAME

    PowerShell store password in variable

    Quick tip: If you are mapping a drive in Active Directory, specify the user name like this: network\admin.
  4. Confirm the account password.

  5. Click the OK button.

  6. Type the following command to map a drive assigning drive letter manually and press Enter:

    New-PSDrive -Name "E" -Root "\\DEVICE-NAME-OR-IP\SHARED-FOLDER" -Persist -PSProvider "FileSystem" -Credential $cred

    In the command, replace DRIVER-LETTER with the drive letter not already in use. Then change DEVICE-NAME-OR-IP and SHARED-FOLDER for the computer name or IP address of the device hosting the shared folder and the name of the share.

    For example, this command maps the ShareFiles folder to the computer with the “X” drive letter:

    New-PSDrive -Name "X" -Root "\\vm-10v21h2\ShareFiles" -Persist -PSProvider "FileSystem" -Credential $cred

    PowerShell map drive with password

After you complete the steps, the command will map the shared folder with your specified credentials.

When you try to connect using credentials, you will always get prompted to provide a password manually. If you want to avoid this step, you could store the password in an encrypted file on the computer and query that file using PowerShell. Or you can speed up the process by holding the remote host account name and password in Credential Manager and then using the same command without the -Crendtial option like this: New-PSDrive -Name "E" -Root "\\vm-beta\ShareOne" -Persist -PSProvider "FileSystem"

You can create a new entry in Credential Manager using this command: cmdkey /add:pcname /user:network\username /pass:password

Disconnect mapped network drive on Windows 11 using PowerShell

To disconnect and remove a mapped network drive with PowerShell on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for PowerShell and click the top result to open the console.

  3. Type the following command to view all the mapped drives and press Enter:

    Get-PSDrive -PSProvider "FileSystem"
  4. Type the following command to disconnect the mapped network drive and press Enter:

    Remove-PSDrive -Name DRIVE-LETTER

    In the command, replace DRIVE-LETTER for the drive letter of the mapping.

    For example, this command disconnects the “X” drive:

    Remove-PSDrive -Name X

    PowerShell disconnect network drive

  5. (Optional) Type the following command to disconnect multiple mappings and press Enter:

    Get-PSDrive DRIVER-LETTER-1, DRIVE-LETTER-2 | Remove-PSDrive

    In the command, replace DRIVER-LETTER-1 and DRIVE-LETTER-2 with the drive letters you want to disconnect.

    For example, this command disconnects the “E” and “F” drives:

    Get-PSDrive E, F | Remove-PSDrive

Once you complete the steps, the network mapping will no longer be available on the computer.

Map network drive on Windows 11 with Command Prompt

To map a shared folder with Command Prompt on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Command Prompt and click the top result to open the console. 

    Quick tip: Do not run the terminal as an administrator to allow the mount to appear in File Explorer.
  3. Type the following command to map a drive assigning drive letter manually and press Enter:

    net use Z: \\DEVICE-NAME-OR-IP\SHARED-FOLDER

    In the command, replace “Z” with the drive letter not already in use. Then replace DEVICE-NAME-OR-IP and SHARED-FOLDER for the computer name or IP address of the device hosting the shared folder and the name of the share.

    For example, this command maps the ShareFiles folder to the computer with the “Z” drive letter:

    net use Z: \\vm-10v21h2\ShareFiles

    Command Prompt map network drive

  4. Type the following command to map a drive assigning drive letter automatically and press Enter:

    net use * \\DEVICE-NAME-OR-IP\SHARED-FOLDER

    In the command, the (*) is the option that automatically assigns a random available drive letter. Then replace DEVICE-NAME-OR-IP and SHARED-FOLDER for the computer name or IP address of the device hosting the shared folder and the name of the share.

    For example, this command maps the ShareOne folder to the computer:

    net use * \\vm-10v21h2\ShareFiles

    Command Prompt map network drive automatic letter

  5. Type the following command to map a drive providing authentication details and press Enter:

    net use Z: \\DEVICE-NAME-OR-IP\SHARED-FOLDER PASSWORD /user:USERNAME /persistent:yes

    In the command, replace “Z” with the drive letter not already in use. Then change DEVICE-NAME-OR-IP and SHARED-FOLDER for the computer name or IP address of the device hosting the shared folder and the name of the share. The PASSWORD and USERNAME have to be replaced with the credentials to authenticate with the remote machine. The “persistent” option allows the folder to stay mapped after reboot.

    For example, this command maps the ShareFiles folder providing the user credentials and making the mapping persistent:

    net use Z: \\vm-10v21h2\ShareFiles password /user:admin /persistent:yes

    Command Prompt map network drive with password

Once you complete the steps, the network shared folder will map on the device, appearing in File Explorer.

Disconnect mapped network drive on Windows 11 with Command Prompt

To disconnect a network drive on Windows 11 with commands, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Command Prompt and click the top result to open the console.

  3. Type the following command to disconnect a mapped network drive and press Enter:

    net use z: /Delete
    

    Command Prompt disconnect network drive

    In the command, replace “Z” for the drive letter of the map you want to remove.

  4. (Optional) Type the following command to disconnect all the mapped network drives and press Enter:

    net use * /Delete
    

After you complete the steps, the mapped drives will be disconnected and no longer accessible from File Explorer.