How to Map Network Drive in Mac OS X

How to map network drive in Mac OS X.

1. In the Finder, click on the Go menu, select Connect to Server.

2. Enter the address to where the resource is you wish to map. (i.e. smb://

3. Enter your network password when prompted.

4. A new icon should appear on the desktop. That is your mapped network drive.


  1. pedro says

    My Windows 2008 server seems to be rejecting the request. Does anyone know what do we need to do in order to allow the connection?

  2. Joe says

    I’m useless with this stuff but I set up a static IP and followed the steps but it’s not working… does it matter that I’m trying to connect to an https address? It’s my h drive at work… no idea what I’m doing, any help/suggestions would be appreciated :)

  3. Mark says

    I read your posts, I agree is a slight inconvenience, however I appreciate the fact that my mac is a safer than pc to use no viruses and/or trojans, windows machines have countless vulnerabilities as I’m sure the drive mapping is.

    This drive mapping by the bsd “Linux Core” of Mac OS X is not really something I’d complain about myself.

    Problem is quickly solved mapping the drives in nfs then it’s just a matter of opening a folder if you are connected to network it has data in it if not it’s blank.

    And Yes I realize this is an old topic but people are switching to mac os more now in my opinion, and is still a topic that comes up.

  4. Fred says

    With DHCP and on boot, my Imac tried to connect the network drives before an IP address had been assigned resulting in an error. Using a fixed manual IP address solved the problem.

  5. Peter Da Costa says

    I have this mapping at work on my Windows server 2008 for XP and Windows 7 machine.

    Option Explicit
    Dim objNetwork, strRemotePath1, strRemotePath2
    Dim strDriveLetter1, strDriveLetter2

    strDriveLetter1 = “P:”
    strDriveLetter2 = “M:”
    strRemotePath1 = “\\fhs-girls\18year5″
    strRemotePath2 = “\\fhs-girls\Mavis”

    Set objNetwork = CreateObject(“WScript.Network”)

    ‘ Section which maps two drives, M: and P:
    objNetwork.MapNetworkDrive strDriveLetter1, strRemotePath1
    objNetwork.MapNetworkDrive strDriveLetter2, strRemotePath2

    We just got few iMacs now. What is the equivalent of this on a Mac.

  6. Jens says


    I have this mapping at work on my Win XP machine.

    net use H: \\server\home\%username% /persistent:no
    net use I: \\server\info$ /persistent:no
    net use O: \\server\dept$ /persistent:no

    What will it look like on a OS X

  7. Alex says

    I believe you could use Automator (Comes with OSX) to manage the whole thing, handy if you have multiple servers to connect to and just want one click to do it.

    Also the Connect to Server pane/window has the ability to just add servers to a list of saved (mapped) connection points (+ button) . So within two clicks you’re connected.

  8. Alex says

    I think you’re missing some things about the substantial nature of 10.x updates. They are equivalent or greater than the differences between XP, Vista, and 7. The difference is OSX isn’t constantly changing it interface to con people into thinking it’s different. NT, XP, and Vista are all pretty much the same thing, only with face lifts, and fools pay top dollar for “upgrading.” 7 being the first one that actually got significant systematic and interface differences MANY of which mimic OSX, and Linux.

    I haven’t had ANY issues integrating OSX into Windows server networks. Overall it’s really a question of the incompatibilities of Windows, and the competence of the IT team. Considering Linux(and friends), and OSX all play nice together, it’s really Windows that has the problem. MS is extremely proprietary in how they implement technologies and protocols, intentionally making interoperability an issue. The more STANDARD protocols they use the better things will be for everybody. Not only that you are beholden to MS for security updates, and if they don’t issue them you’re boned. Where as any competent programer can patch Linux for what they need, and allot of OSX is easily patched without waiting for Apple to update too, considering the open source nature of many of it’s components.

    As for your external drive, check with Promise for updates, drivers, etc. OSX is actually really easy to use once you get out of the mind set of having to operate the OPERATING SYSTEM that MS gets you into. It’s a big relief letting the OS actually operate the system for me in OSX.

  9. BSquared says

    Awesome! Thanks Kevin for your straightforward instructions. HP Media Vault now connected – now on to merge my iTunes libraries (ie. will be coming back for more advice no doubt!).

  10. jimbobmcgee says

    I need something slightly different, but ultimately the same.

    I need a determinable, fixed mount point in which to mount per-user shares, that connect with the credentials of the currently logged-in user.

    I’ve tried putting the following in a shell script and running via /Library/Preferences/loginwindow.plist:

    mkdir -p ~/Mounts/server/share
    mount_smbfs //server/share ~/Mounts/server/share

    This claims to be successful but in ~/Mounts/server I just see an alias with a stop sign and, when I click on it, it says ‘The folder ‘share’ can’t be opened because you don’t have permissions to see its contents.

    Any ideas?
    I do, I’ve checked.

  11. Douglas Bratten says

    I have a windows business network and one applemac for CAD drawings etc.
    I had mounted/mapped a drive on the Mac to allow the Mac user to transfer files onto my server.
    Didn’t mind having to reconnect all the time, it worked!
    Trouble is that the “mapped drive” ran out of space at the 16gb level.
    Next time I rebooted I did not connect to the original shared drive but created a new “Map” to a subfolder.
    Whilst the connection works, this new “mappred drive” is full already!
    Any ideas?
    Does the Mac have a cache memory of files accessed/copied/whatever on the main server and if so how could I clear this?

  12. Brain says

    I work on a mac everyday in the office but prefer the comfort and ease of working with a pc due to this the incompetence of a mac working with any type of PC network. Doesn’t Apple understand that in the real world, we all work on networks? Macs are great for at home use in a little tiny environment where all pieces of equipment have that cute little overpriced apple logo. Seems that every time I’ve got a problem with my mac, Apple wants me to buy something else to make it work. For crying out loud they even have switched their electrical plugs for the cpu units so you can’t use old pieces with new machines. They want to charge you for os upgrades even if it is within the same os version. Windows always releases new updates for it’s software for free. Why would I have to pay to upgrade my operating system from 10.4.11 to 10.5? I could understand 10.4.11 to 11, 12 and so on.

    My problem with the Promise Smart Store drive is that when I choose command K, enter my ip address of my drive system, it results in the forever spinning beach ball. The only way to quite is command option esc (mac’s option for cntl alt del)

    On the other hand, I have been able to always connect with the Intel G5 same 10.4.11 Tiger OS X. Snow Leopard seems to work in the same environment on the non Intel machines.

    UGH! If anyone knows of a better option that doesn’t require filling the pockets of Steve Jobs any more, I’d love to hear it. I’ve heard something about “DAVE” networking and wondered if that would solve my problems with this SmartStore Drive?

  13. Astroboy says

    Could you create or find an applescript then add the script to logon items?

  14. Dimitris says

    i was using win xp and from my mac i have access to share drives from xp automaticaly when i join in my wireless..
    when i install windows 7 in finder at Shared, my shared drives from win 7 don’t appear automatically.. i should go to connect to server and then they are appearing..
    why does it happend? i don’t want to place my drives in login item because 5 windows appear every time i login in my macbook..
    any suggestion?

  15. Joshua Allen says

    Step by Step

    1. Click on the desktop and press command + K
    2. Type smb://yourcomputername/yoursharedfolder and click Connect
    3. Click on the apple in the upper left corner and go to System Preferences
    4. Under System, click Accounts
    5. Choose your account on the left and select Login Items
    6. Click the + then locate the drive to be mapped under SHARED then click Add
    7. The drive will now show up as a login item, DO NOT to click the check box
    8. Click the desktop and click Finder
    9. Click Preferences, General Tab
    10. Select the check box next to Connected servers
    11. Congrats, your have an icon on your desktop that is mapped

  16. helene says

    The alias solution doesn’t quite work for me because Finder won’t let you put the alias directly on the sidebar, only a folder with the alias in it, and I don’t want it on my desktop. To avoid that one extra click, I figured out that if you drag the particular folder you want to connect to on the network drive to the sidebar, it stays there permanently and automatically reconnects if you click it while it’s disconnected. To access the whole drive, I just put all the subfolders inside a top-level folder named the same as the drive and put that on the sidebar. It even works through a program’s “save as” dialog while disconnected.

  17. Robb says

    Uhmmm… all Kevin answered everyones question way back in August of 2008…

    > Use the login items under the Accounts section in System
    > Preferences. Just hit the + button and choose your share.

    That’s all you need do. Your Share will be forever visible in the Finder as another device.

  18. Kevin says

    I’ve found that the simplest way to map a network drive on a mac is to follow the above procedure, and then make sure it’s visible on the desktop. From there you just make an alias of it. I keep the severs hidden on my desktop so all you see is the alias. You just double-click on it like it’s a normal volume and it automatically mounts the drive.


    1. Press Command + K
    2. Then enter: smb://servername/sharename or IP address
    3. Open the finder preference pane
    4. Make sure the box next to “Connected Servers” under General is checked
    5. Right click on the icon on your desktop representing the mounted drive
    6. Choose make alias (And optionally rename the drive to something more specific)
    7. Go back and uncheck the box next to “Connected Servers”
    8. Upon restart or disconnect, just double-click on the alias and it will remount

    I use a network drive to hold all of my music so it can be accessed from multiple machines running the same library file. This method works perfectly for my needs.

  19. Ron says

    Mapping network drive solved!

    To map a network drive and have it permanently available in Finder first enable view connected drives on the desk top under Finder Preferences. Locate the drive to be mapped on the desk top. Right click and “Make Alias”. Drag the alias anywhere on your hard drive (I put it under the Macintosh HD, doesn’t matter where). Name it what ever you want and then drag the alias to the upper area of the Finder window (next to the Search), wait for a space to be created, and that drive will stay there until you remove it. When the network is disconnected, the icon stays there. Just click on it to re-attach. For saving and file transfer, you will need to click on it one time in the finder window to re-attach the drive, but it will stay attached until you disconnect.

    This solved my issues hope this helps!

  20. mike says

    to: Andre R., on September 3 2009

    I dont know but after using DOS since the 1981-82 timeframe and then Windows since its inception, I cant get Vista to MAINTAIN A DRIVE LETTER MAPPING for my life.

    I walked over to my iMac and followed the instructions by (qriff, on March 3 2010) and viola.

    I am becoming more and more a Mac fan. It just works is so true.

  21. qriff says

    1) Open Finder
    2) Command key + K (map alias)
    3) Command key + C (Finder connections)
    4) Drag to Dock (right side)

  22. Thomas says

    Website does not like my formatting, it should be
    systemitems->VolumesList->(a number)
    useritems->CustomListItems->(a number)

    in my last post in step 2 and 3 respectively.

  23. Cliff says

    This is pretty simple. Just open up the network drive in the finder window, then drag whatever you want mapped into the location you would like it under “Places” in the Finder window. Piece of cake.

    BTW, I’ve been a Windows user my entire life and just switched to MAC (I swore I would never do it), but it’s awesome.

  24. Tony says

    A quick method i use for an SMB share is, to connect to the share then in finder preferences show connected servers, then drag this icon to the dock next to the trash can, then rehide connected servers. when you next login you will get an icon on the dock the same as the connected server icon on the desktop till you click on this and it makes your connection, i am using OS X 10.5

  25. Tucker says

    I was hoping someone could help me with what Mark (Post #9) had asked about and what Marcel (Post #19) was trying to suggest a solution for. I have almost an identical situation to what Mark is referring to however, Marcel’s solution isn’t exactly best practice for us as we have many shares with specified ACL permissions. Meaning if we setup NFS mounting for everyone to all shares they will have root access to the shares bypassing our ACL permissions to child directories. Is there any way to setup Kerberos authentication with NFS or some other way of having mounted drives upon sign in using AD credentials?

  26. Matt says

    We’ve already been over this auto-mounting from login BS many times. It is NOT what we’re talking about here.

    However, I have noticed in Snow Leopard that my remote SMB shares are MORE persistent. That is, they don’t just disappear after a share goes offline, but will actually give me the option to eject or ignore. And, the best part is that the drive will reconnect when it’s available once again. Sounds like Apple may have finally taken a hint. This is new to me (and presumably Snow Leopard, too) so I don’t know how well this will work in other environments, but it’s definitely encouraging.

    Does anyone else have a similar experience with Snow Leopard and SMB shares?

  27. John says

    I have 2 network drives I am trying to access on my macbook. I can connect to the server using the SMB method as above, and then one of the shared drives will appear in a list to connect to, however the second does not show up…

    The shared drive which cannot be found is called group$ – does mac have a problem with this because of the $ symbol in the name?

  28. Black says

    Found it…
    And this might be the answer to your questions here as well?!

    Double click on your network drive in finder.
    Click on your computer name (don’t see your computer name? Finder->Preferences->Side Bar & make sure computer is checked off)
    Drag the network drive to the bottom of the list on the sidebar under the devices category.

    That will allow you to save files to your network DRIVE from within applications.

    Alternately, if you want to access a specific FOLDER on your network drive, then drag that folder in the same window to the places category on the sidebar, and it will then show up on save/open application windows.

  29. Black says

    Some apps, like XCode can don’t show servers (and neither their shares) on the save as screen as a possible location. How do you fix that issue?
    Thanks for any hints and tips,

  30. Craig Benting says

    The reason mapping network drives is so important is simply because Windows users are used to always having them there and available on their computer if the server is available. Being an IT guy for nearly 20 years and now running my IT business, I’ve seen a lot of Windows users who have 5-10 network drives mapped all the time. They may not use them all the time, but maybe 3-4 they do every day. So, the answer to just connect after every login with Command-K is not reasonable for users like that, especially when each share may be on one of several different servers, so each server you have to authenticate with.

    I’ve been using Macs at work for my work since 1991, and this issue is worse today and is not going away: Single-Sign-On using an Active Directory Server that most businesses use today. How can you do that on the Mac? If I bind my MacBook to my business domain in Directory Utility, how do I login with an Active Directory Account? Why do I have to keep entering my domain username and password to mount server fileshares?

    Until this is made to work, and work well, Macs are just second-class citizens on business networks…

  31. Felipe says

    For some of the answers here, the underlying problem still remains. I want AUTOMOUNT of SMB shares on the Finder, not only at login but whenever the share becomes available (i.e. whenever a server is turned on). Also I would like to see what shares are available without me having to look for them or knowing their name or IP address.
    Most of the solutions show how an existing share can be mounted, but they assume that a) you know the name or IP of the share and b) that you know the SMB is on. This does not really help specially if you have a laptop and move from and to networks that have about 50 shares available, all of which could or could not be available at any moment. So with that being said, I don’t think there has been a real solution to the problem yet.

  32. Marcel Kraan says

    The we can always mount it as root with NFS
    (you can add that to the /etc/fstab on the client)
    mount /data
    Then you only need to define the /etc/exports file on the server for access.

    There is also an SNFS (Secure NFS via ssh2)
    Here is some info.
    It has nothing to do with mac but it’s unix based

  33. Sven says

    I totally agree with Andre. Apparently Mac-users don’t work with network drives as you do on Windows.
    I’ve switched from Windows to Mac myself and I’m happy with pretty much everything on the Mac except how it manages network drives which is completely retarted.

    I want a shortcut to my network drives accessible at ALL TIMES.
    Today it is removed as soon as the network drive becomes unaccessible, which is unavoidable if you have a laptop and uses it in multiple locations.
    If I create a shortcut on my desktop or similar I can connect to it quickly but it doesn’t help in open/save dialoges etc.

  34. Andre R. says

    This is NOT the same as mapping a drive, not even close.

    On Windows, if you map a drive, it stays as a placeholder even if the server/share becomes unavailable, even if it disconnects. You still have the mapped drive there so if a user or program tries to access it, it reconnects behind the scenes and you’re good to go. Frustratingly, Macs don’t have that. For network admins trying to integrate Macs into the workflow, it’s a nightmare. You can’t rely on Macs to do automated tasks over the network because if they lose their network connection, someone has to manually reconnect. It’s a lot of nonsense and babysitting that network admins don’t need and that Windows machines don’t require.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been using Macs since 94 but this oversight by Apple is an ongoing frustration that they should have fixed ages ago.

  35. Matt says

    To all you guys bashing the Windows “laziness” understand this >> It’s not that we don’t want to hit two keys. It’s that if you are conducting a large file transfer between a network drive and your Mac laptop/desktop, and your internet flakes for a few secs, your file xfer will cut off right in the middle and have to be started all over again. It’s a real PITA with that’s a 10GB+ xfer. This is a major problem, for instance, when backing up a Mac to a Win Server over WiFi using Backup.

    A server mapping is not “mapped” in the Windows sense in that OSX won’t always try to reconnect when you have a network connection change if you just do SMB://blahblahblah. Windows will always try to reconnect to the mapped drive whenever it’s called. OSX just takes a look, sees that it’s not connected, and says “sorry, bro!” without trying to reconnect. And then the OSX Backup app will time out and you’ll have to start from scratch again. So, yes, this is actually a HUGE problem in a mixed Mac/Win environment.

    Now, everybody in the world seems to know how to mount a network drive in OSX, but what about creating a persistent network mapping, like discussed above (and like iDisk)??

  36. Chris Kraft says

    I have the same problem. using Connect to server doesn’t recognize the share as a disk that Time Machine will automatically find. I’m sure there’s a simple solution – what is it?

  37. anonymous says

    I am not prompted for the password when trying to map a network drive… however I will get the error wrong user name or password, (when using the IP Address to map)

    When I use the host name I get a different error (some data can not be read or written) try again?

    Any ideas anyone?

  38. Chetan says


    It worked :-)

    SMB://server name or IP Address of the server/Share Name

    and connect.

  39. Paul says

    I have a Mac Mini that I use as a HTPC on my TV. I have some content on an external drive connected to an AEBS (AirDisk). I want the Mini to connect to the AirDisk on boot (easy with the add to Login Items – I’ve been doing that for ages), but when it sleeps, it drops the connection. Sure, I could then cmd-k and reconnect, but I have a non-geeky wife and two preschool girls using the Mini who wouldn’t remember this no matter how often I show them.

    I wrote the following script to run on waking (using SleepWatcher, – the delay is to give the computer time to set up the network connection:

    tell application “Finder”
    if not (exists POSIX file “/Volumes/Media Disk”) then
    delay 5
    mount volume “afp:// Disk” as user name “paul”
    end if
    end tell

    This works most of the time but seems a bit flakey – it doesn’t always work, and the delay is hacky. Does anyone know of a way of checking if any network drive is available but not mounted?

    In Tiger, I could configure the Mini to connect to such a network drive automatically using Airdisk Utility. Not automounting AirDisks is a regression in Leopard.

  40. Kwdaye says

    I am trying to map a network drive to my home computer from where I work. I am having trouble with this. I have a laptop mac but want to map to a windows computer. I know the Ip address and i have the folder shared on the windows pc.I do the command-k and fill in the info but I don’t get anything. Can someone help me please.

  41. mark says

    Does anyone know how to create a Mac equivelant login script that maps to a individual network drive on an Apple Xserve for multiple users (690 users to be exact…).
    Note 1: authentication come from Active Directory. The user logs onto the domain from a Mac, authentication comes from Active Diretory. Now I need a way of mapping that users network share to the Mac that they have logged onto to.
    Note 2: these are roaming user a/c’s, therefore that mapped drive will need to follow the user profile no matter what MAC they log onto.

  42. DarknightOTC says

    I’m not a Mac Genius just a Windows IT Pro, but it’s not that hard. Just connect your drive like normal using the typical CMD + K or by menu THEN go to System Preferences to the account options. There you can add login items. Just select any of your mapped drives and from now on you will have it automatically “mapped” each time you login. Simple.

  43. Scott A. Bontrager says

    Honestly compared to MS Windows, is an extra keystroke really going to kill you? Once you connect once, it will be at the top of the list of servers to connect to. Therefore, to connect to your mounted network drive all you have to do is, CMD + K then RETURN. Done.

  44. Gavin says

    See, this doesn’t work like “MAPPING” should. Mapping allows you to access a folder on another computer as if it was a Hard Drive. This doesn’t help me at all because I was hoping to use Time Machine to backup my Mac onto my PC.

  45. Nick says

    Once the drive is mounted the 1st time you can create an alias of the drive and then click it when you log on. It’s pretty simple.

  46. Kevin says

    Use the login items under the Accounts section in System Preferences. Just hit the + button and choose your share.

  47. Lance says

    I agree. All i want is for the icon to be there when i turn my machine on. Once again OSX has failed me in the domain environment. Not to mention on the whole. How hard can it be?

  48. Peter says

    This is not mapping a drive: all this does is _mount_ a drive. Mapping (in the windows sense) would be the equivalent of automounting the drive every time a user logs on.

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