A+ Certification / Beginners

Using a UNC path

You may also connect to a share by using the Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path. The UNC path is made up of two backslashes (\\), the computer name you want to connect to, one more backslash, and the share name of the folder you want to connect to. The entire syntax looks like this:


You would type this into the Run command, found by clicking the Start button.

Using UNC paths means that you have to be aware of the exact names used for resources on the network, including hidden shares. When you get used to the computer names and share names on the network, you'll find that the Run command is quicker than waiting to see the list of computers in Network Neighborhood or My Network Places.

Mapping a network drive

You may also connect to shares by mapping drives. If you find that you are constantly connecting to the same resource, you may want to map a drive for the sake of simplicity. The idea of mapping a drive is that, in the end, you have a new drive letter in your My Computer folder that points to the UNC path of the resource. After the drive is mapped, anytime you wish to access the folder on the network, you go to My Computer and double-click the mapped drive.

To map a drive, right-click My Computer and choose Map Network Drive. In the Map Network Drive dialog box, select the letter for the drive you want to create and then type the UNC path to the shared resource into the Path text box. You may also choose the option to re-create this drive mapping the next time you log on so that you do not have to do this again.

[Previous] [Contents] [Next]