Introduction

This is a how to guide on how to map network drives and pushing it out to multiple machines via Group Policy

Steps (7 total)

Ensure the network drive/folder you wish to map is shared and accessible

Make sure that you have shared the folder/drive so that other users can access it. To do this, on a machine that is reachable on the network simply right click the drive or folder you want to share and select Properties. Select the Sharing tab and click on Advance Sharing and tick the option to Share this Folder, give it a Share name and press OK. If you wish to limit who can access the folder either specify in the Sharing tab under Share or you can also control this via the Security tab.

Open Group Policy Management

Open GP editor:

Either open Start > Administrative Tools > Group Policy Management

or

Type gpmc.msc in the RUN box

Create or use and existing Group Policy

In Group Policy Management browse to your domain (Forrest > Domains > YourDomain)

If creating a new group policy object:

Right click on your domain name or inside one of the sub folders where you would like to add the new Group Policy (or select More Actions on the right hand side) and select Create a GPO in this domain and link it here. Give it an appropriate name and click OK.

or

If using an existing GPO select it on left hand side menu

Select Computers/Users/Groups to apply the group policy to

On the Group Policy Object make sure the first tab Scope is selected and under Security Filtering add and computers/users/groups you want the GP to apply to.

Note: Authenticated Users will be there by default. If you dont want this to roll out to all authenticated users make sure you remove this before making any changes to the Group Policy.

Browse to Drive Maps section of GPO

Right click on your GP and select Edit (or selct More Actions from the right hand menu and select Edit) and then browse to one of the following:

For users (recommended):
User Configuration > Preferences > Windows Settings > Drive Maps

For Computers:
Computer Configuration > Preferences > Windows Settings > Drive Maps

Add Drives to be Mapped

Right click on the shortcuts page and click New > Mapped Drive and complete the following options:

Action: Update (will create if doesn’t already exist or update if does already exist.)

Location: This should in the shared format name and have the full file path e.g. \\servername\sharedfolder

Reconnect: Tick this so it auto connects the drive

Label As: Pick a friendly name for the shared drive here

Drive Letter: Select either to use first available, or if multiple people will be using the drive and creating links to the drive I recommend specifying a letter for the drive from the drop down.

Connect As: Enter username and password if you want all users to connect with certain credentials. If you want them to use their own logins (which it will take automatically from windows credentials – users don’t have to login) then just leave this blank.

Hide/Show this Drive: select whether you want to hide the folder or make it visible on the network

Hide/Show all Drive: select whether by default all the shared drives/folders are hidden or visible. Change this if you want to override the current settings (default is visible)

Once done press OK

Repeat as Required

Repeat step 6 as required for multiple drives/folders. This will then apply to the selected users/computers/groups next time it updates its group policy settings.

A restart should kick this in or on the computer you want to update open a cmd box and type GPUPDATE /FORCE although it may request you log off and back on for the changes to take effect.

Conclusion

Once the group policy has updated for the desired users/computers your mapped drives should automatically appear in my computer under Network Locations.

Note: a reboot may be required once the GP has updated in order for the network drives to show.

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