Automatically Connect to a Network Drive on Mac OS X Start Up & Login

May 4, 2012 - 7 Comments

For those of us who regularly connect to a network drive for file sharing or backups, it can be helpful to configure Mac OS X to automatically mount those shared drives. Network Drive Icon

1) Mounting the Network Drive

If 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 section.

  1. From the OS X desktop, pull down the “Go” menu and select “Connect to Server”
  2. Connect to the server and mount the drive you want to automatically connect to on boot
  3. Choose Guest or for a specific user check the box next to “Remember this password in my keychain”

Connect to a Network Drive

2) Setting Up Automatic Connections to the Network Drive on Login

Once you are connected to the network drive we can set up automatic connections upon logging into the Mac:

  1. Open System Preferences and click on “Users & Groups”
  2. Select your user name from the list and then click the “Login Items” tab
  3. Drag & drop a mounted network drive into the login items list
  4. Optional: check the “Hide” box to keep the drives window from opening on each login and boot

This can be used to automatically connect to and mount SMB drives for those that need to share files with a Windows PC often, though you’ll need to enable SAMBA beforehand within File Sharing preferences.

Confirm the drive will automatically mount by logging out of the active user account and logging back in, or by rebooting the Mac.

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Posted by: William Pearson in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Carlos says:

    For mounting on boot rather than login you must use a command line option

    – mount_ntfs

    – mount_smbfs

    – mount_msdos

    – mount_afp

    Stored as a LaunchAgent, ~/.launchd.conf, or set up with launchctl

  2. Fred says:

    Checking the “hide” box DOES NOT prevent the drive window from opening on boot/login. If only it were that easy – I’ve been searching for how to not have the window open, but only mount the drive for years (and through OS X 10.5, 10.6, and 10.7) now.

    • Rahul Shah (@shortduck) says:

      Yes, the check bot does not work atleast in this case. Has anyone figure out how to resolve this issue ?

  3. James says:

    Has anyone seen when using this method the drive shows up multiple times on the desktop if you have them visible? Every login it increments by one on the desktop. I have found no viable way to stop this behavior.

  4. Dan says:

    I use a simple Automator application i made. Simply drag get specified server into workflow, enter the address; afp://xx.x.x.x:548 then drag connect to server into the workflow. Run it to verify and then save as application. You can then set it to run at login from your System preferences.

  5. Ade says:

    Thanks for the advice – Automator works a treat and is really simple.

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