Map a Network Drive on a Mac

Sep 20, 2010 - 35 Comments

map network drive mac

If you frequently access a file server from a Mac it’s pretty helpful to map the network drive to your desktop. There’s two ways to do this, one method is just mapped for one time use and will reset after a reboot, and another method is a more permanent route that allows the mapped network drive to always appear and mount on your desktop after system reboots and user logins.

Map a network drive to Mac OS X

This method maps a network drive that will disappear if the network connection drops or if you reboot your Mac:

  • From the Mac OS X Finder, hit Command+K to bring up the ‘Connect to Server’ window
  • Enter the path to the network drive you want to map, ie: smb://networkcomputer/networkshare and click ‘Connect’
  • Enter your login/password and click “OK” to mount the network drive
  • The drive will now appear on your desktop and in the Finder window sidebar

Map a network drive to Mac OS X that re-mounts after system reboot

This method allows you to reboot your Mac and have the mapped network drive automatically remount and appear on the desktop, this is more persistent than the above method:

  • From the Finder, hit Command+K
  • Enter the path to the network drive you want to map, ie: smb://networkcomputer/networkshare and click ‘Connect’
  • Enter your login credentials and click “OK”
  • The drive is now mounted, but continue on to map for system reboot persistence
  • Now enter into System Preferences, from the Apple menu
  • Click on ‘Accounts’
  • Click on “Login Items”
  • Click on the + button to add another login item
  • Locate the network drive you previously mounted and click “Add”
  • Exit out of System Preferences

Your network drive will now be mapped and automatically remounted when you reboot your Mac.

Make the mapped network drive visible on the Mac desktop

It’s possible that the mounted drive will not appear on the desktop due to a system setting. If you want the mapped drive icon to be visible on the Desktop, be sure to do the following additional steps:

  • From the Finder, open Finder Preferences by hitting Command+,
  • Click the General tab
  • Select the checkbox next to ‘Connected Servers’
  • Close Finder Preferences

Selecting the checkbox next to Connected Servers ensures that you’ll see the icon on your Mac Desktop, otherwise it will only be visible in the Finder window sidebars and Open/Save dialogues.

Remount mapped network drive with a click

A great additional step for either method is to create an alias of the mapped network drive. This allows you to reconnect to the share with just a click. Here’s how to do this:

  • Right-click on the mapped network drive on the Mac OS desktop
  • Select “Make Alias”

Now you can double-click that alias to reconnect to the network drive instantly.

As you may have guessed, shared network volumes are treated differently by the OS than external drives and disk images, which is why this a different technique than what you use to mount an ISO in Mac OS X. You can also access and mount smb shares via the command line which allows for scripting possibilities, if you’re interested in a more technical approach.

Enjoy this tip? Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:

Related articles:

Posted by: Manish Patel in How to, Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

35 Comments

» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Vijay Kumar says:

    Thannks Manish
    However, in the System Preferences -> Accounts -> Login Items, I click on the mounted drive and attempts to connect to it again and fails. Tried this a couple of time, no workee. It may be something to do with my network here.

  2. Johan says:

    You can also mount the drive as usual and then drag it to the dock. When rebooting you’ll no longer be connected to the drive but the icon will still show up in the dock so the drive is still one click away.

  3. Tony says:

    Networking on the mac is very bad. Sure you can do all you said, but it is always very slow. The first time you click on one of your shortcuts, it takes a while to mount in the background. On windows it is instant. Why?

    • rgalway says:

      your comments regarding networking on the mac are just to vague to really reply too. One could guess though, that maybe the mac you are connecting to is a sleep and you are waiting for the drives to spin up… and become available to mount, while the widows box is not asleep and the drives are set not to sleep, there for available instantly!

      As an example of the exact opposite situation, the g4 server in my studio, mounts IMMEDIATELY when I browse. Where as the windowsXPpro workstation up stairs takes about 20seconds to mount. Networking on widows is very bad…. Why?

  4. Bruce says:

    Your instructions worked perfectly and now I have mapped drives that stay connected. I chose the reconnect every time I reboot.

    This is very convenient.

  5. Ricky says:

    Hi all,

    Mounting a network drive works fine towards my Synology NAS system. The problem I have is that I would like to change the user it connects with. Each time my system starts up (still OS X 10,5,8) it uses UserA where I want it to be UserB. Any idea how to get rid of that???

    Cheers,
    Ricky

    • Tor I. says:

      You probably need to dig into the keychain login identities, nuke the old one and then mount the volume using the new one.

  6. matt says:

    Hi,
    i have this working, but in some cases i need to re-boot my nas.

    when i re-boot, the connection comes good, but itunes wont re-establish the connection, and im forced to re-add all my media into itunes….
    any thoughts?

  7. marc says:

    Thanks so much this is EXACTLY what I was trying to figure out how to do. I wanted to replicate the network drive experience I have at work on Win 7 with network storage appearing as mounted hard drives. I was beginning to think this wasn’t possible on my mac.

    Something I have noticed.

    Is Mac OS X Lion making viewing your drives more difficult? It seems to me that it requires more trickery to simply view all of your available drives. I just got a new 13″ Macbook Air running Lion and it’s my first experience on Lion from Snow Leopard. It feels like they are trying very hard to obscure the nuts and bolts (finding my hard drive to view it on my new mac was a challenge) of how the Mac OS works from the user. Scares me for hard core Mac users. Simple tasks are likely to become more complex and or buried in system settings.

    1.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor
    4GB memory
    128GB flash storage1
    Intel HD Graphics 300

  8. marco says:

    reconnecting the network drive works perfectly for me, thanks.

    One question still. Every boot the network drive is automatically opened in a window. I want the network drive to be mounted, but I dont want the window to be automatically opened.
    How can I change this?

    • Chris says:

      Hey Marco.. this is exactly what I’m looking for as well. Did you figure out how to disable finder from opening on login?

      • Greg says:

        Same thing is happening to me. Even if I go into the login items and check it to hide it still pops open. I tell you one thing… MAC and networks are so stinking finicky!

        • Jorge says:

          I have the same issue. It’s not really a problem, just an annoyance. If anyone knows the fix please let is know. The “Hide” checkbox does not work either. Just a heads up on that.

  9. KhKu says:

    I have PPC 8100/80 Mac OS 9.1 that its all file shearing are set and ready to go, and I can ping it from my MacBook Pro Mac OS X 10.7.3, but I cannot map any drive through “Connect to Server…” command!

    Any solution, please.

    TIA

    • PTia says:

      I’ve been trying the same thing, only I’m still on Snow Leopard instead of Lion, and having no luck so far. Have you set up the PPC to use TCP/IP? I keep reading that the latest OS’s have to use that protocol.

      I’ve got the two machines connected with a crossover cable. How are yours connected?

  10. sea says:

    Worked beautifully for me.
    thankyou
    great article


    I am on 10.6X, with TimeCapsule

  11. Rainer says:

    Get a Windows PC

  12. Doug says:

    Thanks — the creation of the “alias” on the desktop worked perfectly for mounting my network connected drive

  13. […] you’re already familiar with mapping a network drive in Mac OS X you can skip the first part of this and go straight to System Preferences in the second […]

  14. Chris Hills says:

    Hi,

    worked well for me except when it mounts the 10 external volumes it automatically opens the file finder… how do I stop it doing that?

    • Conrad says:

      When you add the drives in Login Items, there is a check box under the Hide column. When you tick this, the connection to the shared drive is established, but it will not open up.

  15. […] hard drive (i.e. \192.168.0.5seagate). If you’re using Mac OS X, you can follow these instructions to map the network […]

  16. osascript -e ‘mount volume “smb://username:password@192.168.1.111/path/path”‘

    Using Automator, this is simple.

  17. japanese Parsley says:

    Thanks a bunch!!! Worked perfectly

  18. raennik says:

    Brilliant, like a charm ;) Thanks!

  19. jrasicmark says:

    Most of the computers where I work are PCs. They recently did something to the network and moved my H drive. They sent me this link to try to re-map it. Everything worked fine until I got to the login window and none of my old passwords work. Do they need to re-set passwords on their end?

  20. Anshul says:

    Hi
    I tried following these intructions however the system is asking me for a username and password, not sure which user name I am suppose to use here. Can someone please help?

  21. dpbrick says:

    Thanks for a very helpful post. One thing to note: In Mountain Lion, “Accounts” has been changed to “Users & Groups”.

  22. Ibrahim says:

    I love you guys!! … Mac seems tough to be used in the beginning

  23. Pat Casey says:

    I know this thread is a little old but I didn’t see a repeated question get answered so this may help someone later.

    If you don’t want the mapped network drive folder to automatically open on your desktop why not just turn off “connected servers” from appearing on your desktop. Click on “Finder” from Finder’s top menu bar and select preferences. Uncheck “Connected Servers” from the list of what you want to appear on your desktop.

  24. Adam says:

    Do you think that re-mount method could be applied for SSHFS?

  25. Mike says:

    Hey, I have a similar question that goes a little deeper than just mapping a drive:

    1. I want to map a share on OSX 10.9.4 to a Windows share that is a couple layers deep in the share hierarchy. For example: smb://server/share/folder

    When it maps initially it opens a folder to this deeper point in the share, but if I close this Finder window I then have to re-drill down into the folder structure from the Finder sidebar. How can I map to the lower level folder and make it an Alias to leave on my desktop?

    2. Can I then put that deeper level share folder in the sidebar that I can access at any point?

Leave a Reply

 

Shop for Apple & Mac Deals on Amazon.com

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates