Skip to main content
Skip to main navigation
Illinois State University

Map Network Drives in Windows

This article describes how to map network drives in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

Before You Begin

When you connect to a shared folder on a remote computer, it is known as mapping a network drive.

To map network drives at Illinois State University:

  • If you are off campus, you must first connect through VPN.
  • You must know the appropriate network path.
  • You must know the user name and password to the shared folder, or it must be an open, unprotected shared folder.


Mapping Network Drives

To map network drives in Windows, do the following:

  1. If you are off campus and want to connect to a computer or server on campus, you must first connect through VPN.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Windows 10: Type in This PC. Right-click on This PC. Select Map Network Drive.
    • Windows 7: Click Start. Right-click on Computer and select Map Network Drive.
    • Windows 8: On the Start screen, type the word computer. Right-click on the Computer icon. Then click Map network drive.
  3. The Map Network Drive window will appear. (Figure 1)

Figure 1:

Image Description: Choose your drive and network path.

  1. Select a letter from the Drive menu, or leave the default letter selected. It does not matter which letter you choose for the drive.
  2. Enter a network path in the Folder box.
    • Network paths use the following format: \computername\sharename
    • Refer to the Network Path section below for more information.
  3. Click Finish.
  4. If you are prompted to enter a user name and password, do so.
    • In most cases, your user name will be ADILSTU\yourULID (where yourULID is your ULID) and you will use your ULID password.
    • In rare cases, your user name and password will be assigned to you (and will be different from your regular ULID and password).
  5. Click OK.

The shared folder will automatically open once it is successfully mapped to your computer. The network drive is also now available by going into Computer. When you are done, you can disconnect from the remote computer by right-clicking on the network drive icon and choosing Disconnect.

Network Path

Before you can map network drives, you must know the network path to the remote computer you are attempting to access. A network path is comprised of two elements: a computer name and a share name. When mapping network drives in Windows, you must format the computer name and share name into a network path as follows:\computername\sharename

The computer name could be either a Netbios name or a DNS name. For example, Reggie Redbird wants to connect to a server maintained by his department. The server has both a Netbios name, Redserver, and a DNS name,

The share name is the name of the shared folder on the remote computer to which you are attempting to connect. A remote computer could have many shared folders. Some shared folders contain the dollar sign symbol. For example, there are many shared folders on Redserver, but Reggie Redbird is only interested in accessing the folder named DeptData$.

To access the DeptData$ shared folder on Redserver, Reggie should use one of these network paths:

To get help accessing a departmental server, contact your department’s technical support staff. For general help, contact the Technology Support Center.

VPN Required from Off Campus

To map network drives to computers hosted by Illinois State, you must be connected to the campus network. If you are off campus, you must first establish a VPN connection to the campus network. For more information, please refer to: