Sharepoint Online map as local network share in file exporer (Windows 10)

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New Contributor

Hello,

 

we are using SharePoint Online.

How do I map a SharePoint URL as a network share in file Explorer?

Does it work like \\servername\sharename ?

 

help is welcome

 

kind regards,

Roland

7 Replies
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Hi Roland. Microsoft have a support article on mapping network drives here https://support.office.com/en-us/article/how-to-configure-and-to-troubleshoot-mapped-network-drives-...

 

If you prefer a supported solution for network drive mapping to OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online you could try Zee Drive. Zee Drive provides the core drive mapping functionality plus file management features that are available directly from the File Explorer context menu.

 

Myles

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Hi Myles,

 

the Microsoft support article works for me.

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/how-to-configure-and-to-troubleshoot-mapped-network-drives-...

But I do not find the "stay signed in" option in our SharePoint online.

 

Kind regards,

Roland

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Roland,

    While there are some options for mapping SharePoint has a file share I would caution against it. I've seen plenty of weird issues/error when doing this.  Not to mention it undermines all the benefits of using SharePoint for your file management. 

 

If you are going to just put all your files in SharePoint and then map a network drive, use a network file share. If you are going to put all your file in SharePoint, use SharePoint like it was meant to be used and have the browser/SharePoint interface be your primary method of accessing and working with the files.

 

IF you do need files accessed in a mapped network drive sort of way, leverage the OneDrive sync client to take them offline and sync them locally. This still gets you some of the benefits of SharePoint (you still don't get everything) and is more reliable in my experience.  You also get the files on demand functionality using the sync client.  But still, even with this, be selective in what you sync.  Don't just go sync everything locally b/c you don't want to use the SharePoint interface...

 

I do get there are circumstances where you may need to map a network drive, although in my experience they are VERY rare. In that case, other have provided methods.  Again though, this should be the very rare exception, not a normal operation you perform for all your users.

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Hi @Ben Stegink,

 

Which features of Sharepoint would be lost, other than the HTML interface itself (which I'm trying to avoid)?

 

I want my users to have the same read/write power that they had in the UNC file structure, and the suggestion on this site (https://support.office.com/en-us/article/troubleshoot-mapped-network-drives-that-connect-to-sharepoi...) seems to address my need perfectly.  I am also anxious to avoid edit conflicts, and I'm perfectly willing to sacrifice offline access to accomplish that.

 

Thanks for your clarification, and have a great day!

 

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@Elliot-Svensson 

 

I'm going to try to put a blog post together to try to cover this in more details as there is a little more to the whole conversation than just "what features are lost".  However, I'll try to hit a few highlights.

 

Before that though, don't get me wrong as you read through this. There is definitely a place for the OneDrive sync client. I use it, I recommend people use it, it should definitely be used instead of a UNC path, but it shouldn't be used as a replacement for a file share/UNC path as the ONLY way for users to access their files in SharePoint/OneDrive.

 

OneDrive for Business sync will give them the same read/write power they had in the UNC file structure. But then it's exactly that, a really glorified (and ussually more expensive) file share. If you are looking for the co-authoring, or some of the file restore capabilities, you definitely get some of those over a traditional file share.

 

However, what you lose is exactly what you're trying to avoid, all the benefits of the HTML interface:

  • The metadata to sort, filter, and group files
  • Creating views based on said metadata
  • The searching that comes with the metadata
  • Content types and templates that you can add to document libraries
  • The ability (if desired) to ingrate other third-party products like Adobe or Docusign
  • Overall, in my opinion, is much easier to find and work with files in the HTML interface if done properly 
  • While you still have versioning, you end up in the HTML interface to use it/rollback
  • The ability to set up alerts on files being added/modified
  • Pinning important files to the top to make sure people see them
  • Previews of files (without opening every one in the thick client)

There is just a lot of functionality and features in the HTML interface that people miss out on if you avoid it by using using the sync client.

 

Another thing I have seen, is you end up with things like the OneDrive client crashing (or for some reason not starting after a reboot) and a user doesn't realize it, and their files are syncing. Or an error in the sync and the user doesn't realize it.

 

I've seen issues with clients trying to use the OneDrive sync client to do a full-on replacement of UNC paths. Like I referred to above, OneDrive should be used is a tool to use along-side SharePoint. There are definitely cases where I tell clients to use it due to the business case. But I will never tell someone to migrate a file share to SharePoint and then use OneDrive sync to replace UNC paths and avoid the SharePoint interface completely.

 

Finally, if you want to give it a listen, we recorded a podcast talking about this a while back you can listen to here - https://www.msclouditpropodcast.com/episode61/.  Some of the features have changed as OneDrive has evolved, but the basic premise is the same.

 

Hope that helps a little bit.

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@Elliot-Svensson 

Hi Elliot,

SharePoint does not support WebDAV, that means your users are going to keep complaining and that you will not even be sure of the state of the database inside SharePoint where files, lists etc are catalogued.

Kind regards,

Stephan

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Hey @Roland Schmid, I am pretty sure you solved your question but in any case, you need more info, here a detailed step by step process of how to map SharePoint online library like a network drive.

 

https://bauensolutions.com/2017/01/20/how-to-map-your-sharepoint-online-library-like-a-network-drive...

 

It is the easiest guide I have found. 

 

Let me know if you, or anybody else, have any further questions. 

 

Mauricio