How to Create a Shared Network by Mapping Network Drives

several people using laptops and tablet computers in a circle

Shared networks are extremely common among businesses, as they allow your employees to access important company documents much more efficiently. Your IT department may have set up a shared network for your organization, without you even realizing it. 

Knowing the workings of shared networks and how to map a network drive on your device is a very useful skill to have in the workplace. So, we’ve created this short guide on how to create a shared network by mapping network drives. 

What are Shared Networks?

As the name suggests, a shared network allows resources, like documents or media, to be shared with users and devices connected to the same network. With a shared network, information can be accessed by more than one device at the same time. This makes accessing and exchanging information much more efficient in an office setting.

What Does it Mean to “Map a Network Drive”

When you map a network drive, you’re making a specific drive available to other users on your network. This makes it easy for those other users to quickly access the files you’re sharing as if they’re locating files on their device’s hard drive. When a drive is mapped, it will show up under “This PC” in file explorer for other users on that network.

How to Map a Network Drive 

  1. Turn on Network Discovery

Turning on network discovery allows you to locate the network you want to map. To do this, go to your Control Panel and select the View Network Status and Tasks option. From here, select the Change Advanced Sharing Settings on the left-hand side. Be sure that the Turn on Network Discovery option is checked, then save your changes.

  1. Select a Drive to Map

First, click on This PC in your File Explorer. From here, select Map Network Drive from the options located at the top of the window. You’ll then see a window open with options to select a drive to map, along with a folder path for your drive. You can browse the files here or if you’d rather select a proper location for your drive, do that now. 

  1. You’re All Done!

Once you’ve made your selections, click Finish. If you’d like a more simplified process moving forward, you can check the Reconnect at Sign-In box. That’s all there is to it!

It’s important to keep in mind that the domain policies on your network might prevent mapping a network drive. This is intentional and meant to protect your information. 

A lot of this process depends on the configuration of your network and the level of access you’d like other network users to have, so we recommend contacting a professional if you’d like to make adjustments. Wheelhouse IT is more than happy to help you out with any tasks related to business technology!

We hope you learned something new from this blog! Stay tuned for more great articles on technology tips, tricks, and news.