This guide demos how to map network drive with group policy.
This guide is for Windows Sys Admins. If you are an end user that needs to map network drive use the steps in this guide – How to Map Network Drive in Windows 10 (5 Methods).
Steps to Map Network Drive with Group Policy
The high-level steps covered in this guide:
- Create a Group Policy Object (GPO)
- Link the GPO to an Active Directory Container
- Publish a Network Share in Active Directory
- Configure Map Network Drive with Group Policy
1Create a Group Policy Object (GPO)
The first step to map network drive with Group Policy is to create a new GPO.
Here are the steps:
- Logon to a Domain Controller and open Server Manager.
- From Server Manager, click Tools. Then click Group Policy Management.
- When Group Policy Management opens expand your domain name. Then expand Group Policy Objects.
- To create a new GPO, drag Default Domain Policy to Group Policy Objects container.
- You will then receive a Copy GPO prompt. Click OK. When the copy is completed, click OK (See the second image below).
- Right-click the new copied GPO and click Rename. Then give the GPO a descriptive name. See mine in the second image below.
2Link the GPO to an Active Directory Container
After creating a new GPO, the next step to map network drive Group Policy is to link the new GPO to an Active Directory container.
Here are the steps:
- From Group Policy Management, drag the new GPO from Group Policy Objects container to the AD container you wish to link the GPO. For this example, I want to link the GPO to the Account Users OU.
- When you drag the GPO to the AD container, you will receive a prompt to confirm that you wish to link the GPO to the container. Click OK.
- To confirm that the GPO is linked, expand the container. The GPO should be beneath the container.
Before you can map network drive with Group Policy the share has to be published in Active Directory.
Obviously, you have to have shared the folder on the server before you can publish it in Active Directory. For steps to share a folder, click this guide – 3 Ways to Share a Folder in Windows 10.
Here are the steps to publish a share in Active Directory:
- Confirm that you can access the share from from another computer: Open File Explorer and type \\ServerName\ShareName.
- Then logon to a Domain Controller and open Server Manager.
- From Server Manager click Tools. Then select Active Directory Users and Computers.
- When Active Directory Users and Computers opens, navigate to the container you wish to publish the share.
- Then right-click the container. Point to New and select Shared Folder.
- At the New Object – Shared Folder screen, enter a name for the share. Then enter the path to the share. Path should be entered in the format \\ServerName\ShareName. When you finish, click OK. The share will become available in the container (See the second image below).
4Configure Map Network Drive with Group Policy
The final step to map network drive with Group Policy is to configure the GPO.
Here are the steps:
- Open Group Policy Management. Then expand the AD container you linked the GPO you created earlier.
- Right-click the GPO and select Edit…
- When the GPO open for editing, navigate to User Configuration -> Preferences -> Windows Settings. Then click Drive Maps.
- Right-click Drive Maps, point to New. Then select Mapped Drive.
- When New Drive Properties opens, click the 3 dots beside Location field.
- When you click the 3 dots, Find Custom Search will open with a list of all published shares in Active Directory. Click the share you wish to use. Then click OK.
- Finally, check the Reconnect box. Then beneath Drive Letter, you could select Use the first available, starting at: or simply select a drive letter from Use: drop-down. Then click Apply, then OK. The mapped drive will be displayed in the Drive Maps node. See the second image below.
- When the user logs off and back, the mapped drive should show up in their This PC.
It is that easy to map network drive with Group Policy!
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