Connect to a Shared Drive or Network Folder

Connecting to (a.k.a. mapping) network drives allows University members to access files stored on University servers. Storing files on network drives provides a user more storage space, backups of their files, and secure ways of sharing files between departments.

Considerations when mapping a network drive:

  • In order to map a network drive, users must be granted permission by their department or supervisor to access the material. If a user is in need of permissions, supervisors or departments can submit a Departmental Data Storage request form.
  • Due to HIPAA compliance, AHC drive mappings are not typically permitted.

Common network drive locations:


Mapping a network drive

Mapping a network drive in Windows 10

  1. Connect to Split Tunnel or Full Tunnel VPN if off campus.
  2. Click the Start menu.
    The Windows Start menu button, located in the lower left corner of the screen.
  3. Type File Explorer in the field where it says Type here to search, then press enter.
  4. Click This PC in the left side shortcut menu.
    File Explorer menu. This PC on the left hand menu is highlighted.
  5. Click Computer > Map network drive > Map network drive to enter Mapping wizard.
    Windows 10 Computer tab in This PC. Map network drive option is highlighted.
  6. Confirm drive letter to use (next available shows up by default).
  7. Enter the server path for the network folder (e.g. \\\NAME\FOLDER, or \\\YOUR_DEPT\Research).
    Map Network Drive wizard. Examples of available drive letter and folder paths are given.
    • Used letters are followed by server paths in parentheses.
    • Tip: Select Reconnect at sign-in to connect this drive every time Windows starts.
  8. Select Connect using different credentials if using a computer that is not University-owned.
    • Enter\your Internet ID and password when prompted.
    • Not sure if your computer is University-owned?
      • Check the computer name.
      • University-owned machines typically have names that start with UMN or end with
  9. Click Finish at the bottom of the window.
  10. Find the network drive located in the Network locations section of This PC.
    This PC window. Network locations section is highlighted.

Mapping a shared folder in Mac OS X

  1. Connect to Split Tunnel or Full Tunnel VPN if off campus.
  2. Click Finder in the Dock.
    Mac OSX Finder Icon, located in the dock.
  3. Find Go in the top menu bar.
  4. Click Connect to Server (command + k).
    Go submenu in Application menu bar. Connect to Server... is highlighted.
  5. Type cifs: + the network drive path (e.g. cifs://
    • Note: Your department may give you the path as \\\NAME or \\\NAME, but Mac paths use forward slashes, not backslashes.
    • Try smb: + network drive path if cifs: does not work.
    • Tip: Click the + button to save frequently used network drive paths for future use.
      Connect to Server window with Server Address entered. Add to Favorites button is highlighted.
  6. Type AD\ + your Internet ID and your password if prompted. Server log in window. Example of AD\ + username shown.
    • Note: Use a backslash (\), not a forward slash (/). Use AD\ if computer is not bound to the AD. Use your Internet ID only if the computer is bound to the AD.
  7. Click Connect.
    • To navigate back to your network drive share.
      1. Click Finder.
      2. Click under Shared in the left hand Finder menu. directory in Finder will now appear under Shared in Finder menu.
      3. Navigate to the folder that was shared with you.
        • Note: While all of the folders in are visible, you can only see the contents of folders specifically shared with you.

Last modified

May 4, 2023