There are a number of articles talking about how to map SharePoint libraries to your local drive, but few of them are in depth, especially on how to set up the prerequisites. I hope this post can provide detailed information for users who need to do this. I will also give an overview and talking about some advantages of mapping SharePoint libraries with local file drive.
You need to make sure the “WebClient” service is up and running on your server. If this service is disabled or missing on your server, you will have an error saying “The folder you entered does not appear to be valid. Please choose another”
To check if “WebClient” service is in your services list, just open services and see. If it is missing, please follow the steps to make it available:
- Start the Windows Server Manager.
- In the tree view, highlight the Features node.
- In the details pane, click Add Features.
- In the Add Features Wizard, check the Desktop Experience box, and then click next.
- Click Install.
- When the Add Features Wizard has finished, click Close.
- Click ‘Yes’ when promoted to restart the computer.
Map SharePoint with file drive
- Open “Windows Explorer” from your server
- Right click on “Computer” icon, select “Map network drive..”
- Click “connect to a web site that you can use to store your documents and pictures”
- In “specify the location of your website”, input the library url where you want to store files (e.g. http://yourwebapplication/Shared%20Documents). Note in lower versions of SharePoint the url can’t contain %20 charactors, so simply change the url as http://yourwebapplication/Shared Documents in this case.
- Give it a name
- Follow the instructor and finish!
After that you will be able to see the folder under your computers: If you just want to quickly open a SharePoint library on your windows explorer, simply reformat your library url and paste into the address bar. For example if the url of your library is http://MySPSite:1234/DocumentLibrary then you should change it to file://[email protected]/DocumentLibrary
Benefits for using this mapping
- You can drag and drop files/folders into the mapped drive and it will be synced to SharePoint library (especially when you are using lower SharePoint versions before SharePoint2013)
- Manage (adding/updating/changing/deleting) files from either SharePoint or file drive
- Leverage version control of SharePoint
- Leverage SharePoint search.
- Security controls