Mapping network drives using Group Policy preferences is flexible, provides easy control over who receives the drive mappings, and has easy-to-use user interfaces, all of which are in stark contrast with the complexities associated with scripts. In this post, we will show you how to map a Drive using Group Policy Preferences on Windows 11/10.
Group Policy preferences are a set of extensions that increase the functionality of Group Policy Objects (GPOs). Administrators can use them to deploy and manage applications on client computers with configurations targeted to specific users. The Drive Maps policy in Group Policy preferences allows an administrator to manage drive letter mappings to network shares.
Map a Network Drive using Group Policy Preferences
To map a Network Drive using Group Policy Preferences, do the following:
- Open Group Policy Management.
- Right-click the domain or the required subfolder to create a new GPO, or select an already existing one.
- Right-click and select Edit to open the Group Policy Management Editor.
- Go to User Configuration > Preferences > Windows Settings > Drive Maps.
- Right-click and select New > Mapped Drive.
Under the General tab, configure the following parameters accordingly:
Action: Select Create or Update.
Location: Specify the full file path, e.g. \\TWC-dc1\c.
Reconnect: Enable this to auto-connect the drive.
Label as: Pick a suitable name for the shared drive, e.g. SharedDrive.
Drive Letter: Select a suitable letter for the drive.
Connect as: Enter a username and password if you want users to connect with certain credentials other than their own Windows login credentials.
Hide/Show this drive: Select whether you want to hide the folder or make it visible on the network.
Hide/Show all drives: Select whether, by default, all the shared drives/folders are hidden or visible.
Click Apply > OK when done with setting the parameters.
For the settings to take effect, open a Command Prompt on the computer receiving the drive mapping, and type the command below and hit Enter.
Once the Group Policy settings have taken effect on the desired users/computers, the mapped drives should automatically appear under Network Location(s) in File Explorer.
Now when the users’ logon the drives will be effortlessly mapped.