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How do I map a drive from my Windows computer to the network?

Directions on how to map a network drive on Windows, for the server resources supported by GNP IT.
In order to connect (map) network drives in Science Hall, you need to either:
  • be connected to an Ethernet cable within Science Hall (not WiFi) OR
  • be connected on WiFi using VPN (either inside or outside of the building)
If you aren’t connected to an Ethernet cable within the building, instructions for installing VPN can be found at

Connecting to server

  1. Open File Explorer and select This PC from the list in the left frame.

  2. Click to map network drive.
    • Windows 10: Click the Map network drive button in the ribbon menu at the top, then select Map network drive. (This is under the Computer tab, which should open automatically when you go to This PC, as above.)
    • Windows 11: Click the three dots icon on the right of the ribbon menu at the top, then click Map network drive.

  3. The Map Network Drive box will appear.
    Map Network Drive Window

  4. For Drive:, choose a drive letter (not one that is used).

  5. For Folder:, enter the path of the network shared folder you would like to connect to.
    • In Science Hall there numerous shared folders on the network, especially on the Discovery file server. Common shared folders on Discovery are:
      • Geography department shared folder: \\\Geography
      • Nelson shared folder: \\\Nelson
      • Geography office shared folder: \\\Geography\Office
      • State Cartographer's Office: \\\sco
    • Note: There are many different shares on many different servers. When asking for access to a network shared folder you should be provided the exact address to enter into the Folder: window above. If not, please clarify the exact path to map with your supervisor or contact the GNP IT Help Desk.

  6. Check the Reconnect at sign-in box if you want to keep the drive mapped persistently.

  7. If you are using a personal computer, check the box for Connect using different credentials.

  8. Click the Finish button.
    • If you checked the box to Connect using different credentials, you should be prompted to sign in.
      1. For username use ad\NetID (e.g., ad\helpdesk) or shc\username if you have one (e.g., shc\helpdesk).
      2. For password, enter the password associated with your NetID.

  9. When you're done, you should see the new drive letter under This PC and will be able to access its contents like you would any other folder.

  10. If you want to disconnect the network drive, right-click on it and select Disconnect.


  • Make sure you are connected to the UW network, either using a wired network connection or using VPN if you are on wireless or working remotely.
  • Make sure the path is typed in correctly.
  • Check that you have entered username and password correctly: either your NetID (ad\NetID) and password, or SHC username (shc\username) and password if you have one.
  • Make certain you have permission to access the requested server or share. If you are unsure, please have your manager contact the GNP IT Help Desk (
  • While the GNP IT Help Desk will provide best effort support for remote access, we cannot guarantee success due to ISP issues or blocks, router or modem misconfigurations, DoIT network outages, and other factors.


  • To see a list of shares that are available to you on a server you can do the following:
    1. Go to the Start menu, type Run, then press Enter.
    2. Type in \\ (e.g., \\, then click OK.
      • You might be prompted for credentials. If so, enter either your SHC username and password if you have one, or your NetID and password.
    3. A new window will appear that shows the available shares on the server.
      • If you get an Access Denied or Network Error message, you may not have access to any available shares on the server.
      • If you try to open a folder and get an Access Denied or Network Error message, you may not have access to that folder.
      • You also might not see folders where you do not have access.
    4. If you want to map one of these shares, you can right-click its icon, then click Map network drive. Then continue the above instructions from step 6.

Keywordsdrive, mapping, windows   Doc ID113883
OwnerDaven H.GroupDept of Geography
Created2021-09-23 15:09:21Updated2024-03-27 10:35:13
SitesDepartment of Geography
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