Does anyone know of a third party (or even windows native) solution to this simple problem?

I want to map an internal network share on our windows server to a folder on each of the client machines in the network. I don't want to to use drive letters; I would just like to set up a folder on my C drive that is actually a Windows share. For example, C:\Data\Network Docs should actually point to \Server\SharedData.

Is this possible? Is there any tool that does it? All clients are using Windows XP and Windows 7.

  • please update for windows 10 also – userJT Nov 1 '17 at 13:51
up vote 77 down vote accepted

In Windows Vista or Windows 7, you can create a "junction folder"/"Symbolic link" to redirect the contents of one to another.

Simply type:

mklink /d "c:\data\network docs" "\\server\shareddata\"

I have not tested it with a FQDN, but as far as I can tell, it should work. I have tested it with a network mapped drive, and this works perfectly... so at a last resort, you can map first, then do this.

The /d creates a directory (c:\data\network docs in this example) and it must not exist. It will be created by this command.

You must have admin privileges when you run CMD. You can do this under an admin account by pressing ctrl-shift-enter instead of enter when you run CMD.

The end result is also achievable in Windows XP, but it is not as easy. Guide here

  • 3
    Note that for Windows XP, the linked guide explicitly says, "you can’t create a junction point on an NTFS drive that points to a network drive." (for Windows XP) – Bill Nov 13 '12 at 16:41
  • 3
    Adding to @Bill's comment. You can't make a junction point in Win7, etc either, but the mklink tool functions like a symbolic link. If you try to use a junction (ie, using the Sysinternals junction tool), it will make the junction, but will not function. – Nick Sep 26 '13 at 2:45
  • 1
    Works for Windows 8.1 as well. Make sure to run the command prompt with administrative privileges. – dave k Oct 25 '13 at 20:21
  • 7
    This is a symbolic link, not a junction link, there is a difference. – Cestarian Apr 13 '16 at 11:53
  • what about win 10? – userJT Nov 1 '17 at 13:52

It runs ok for me:

net use \\\server\share\folder1\folder2
mklink /d "C:\Users\Admin\test\mi_enlace" \\\server\share\folder1\folder2
  • will this persist over months and years (reboots?) (I am currently using map network drive to letter but would prefer mapping to folder) – userJT Nov 1 '17 at 13:52

This is an example fore the solution already provided by William Hilsum

open cmd
type: cd \folder-parent-of-the-folder-to-clone
type: deltree folder-to-clone (or you will get the following error: Cannot create a file when that file already exists)
type: mklink /d "folder-to-clone" "g:
The software will prompt: symbolic link created for folder-to-clone <<===>> g:\folder-to-clone

Create a shortcut to a folder and modify it to point to \\Server\SharedData. Then rename it to whatever you want.

  • 1
    A shortcut can't be used like a normal folder so this won't work to do what they are requesting. – Steve Hiner Aug 3 '16 at 18:38
  • Point taken. I was still a beginner at that point! i needed to get some reputation points for a course i was doing. – still thinking about it yesterday

If you use a junction switch then there is no need for admin mode.

mklink "c:\data\network docs" "\\server\shareddata\" /j

Hence on your netlogon script you use a condition

where if exist "c:\data\network docs" (
goto next
)else (
mklink "c:\data\network docs" "\\server\shareddata\" /j
  • 7
    Attempting to use a junction in such a way results in a "Local volumes are required to complete this operation" error. – EAMann Jul 12 '14 at 20:03

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