How To: Access Shared Network Folders with Different Credentials

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When you navigate to a shared folder on a Windows computer on a network, you might need permissions to access it. A dialog box appears in which you can request a user name and password. If you enter a working folder, you can change it the next time you try to open that folder. In the Windows GUI, there are no options to change the identification information of a network share.

To edit a user connected to a network folder, you must use the net use command. The first thing you need to do is to disconnect from the share, which happens with the following command:

net use \\share /d

This will remove the share that your computer is accessing. You can now use the following command to connect to the share with another user:

net use \\share\folder password /user:account

where the password is the current password used by the account to connect to the shared folder. The account name is a valid Windows user on the computer you are trying to navigate on.

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To make access to shared network resources more efficient, you can create a shortcut to a folder that is shared by another PC or network device. The process of creating this type of shortcut is called mapping a network drive. A mapped network drive has the following properties:

  1. It has a drive letter that is mapped like any other partition on your system.
  2. It points to a shared network folder.
  3. Only resources on your network are referenced.
  4. You need the appropriate credentials to log in.

Map Shared folder

You must map the shared folder on each computer to use different credentials.

  1. In My Computer, click Tools (hidden by default, displayed by pressing ALT), Map network drive, type the path to the drive, and then click Connect to various identifiers below.
  2. In order for the identification information to be accepted, the correct format for the user name is selected:
  3. \\SERVERNAME\username
  4. Then only the normal password for the account.

Use My Network Places

The server is the computer on which the shared folder is stored, and the share name is the name given to the shared folder when the share is configured.

Another way to connect to shared network resources is to use the My Network Places window. If you use the My Network Places window, you can create a shortcut that facilitates access to a shared resource. You can then access the shared resource by double-clicking a shortcut instead of having to enter its address each time you want to connect.

  1. You can access this window by selecting Start, My Network Places.
  2. If you do not see this option, you may need to make it visible by accessing the taskbar properties. Right-click anywhere on the taskbar and select Properties.
  3. Then click the Start Menu tab, and then click the Customize button.
  4. On the Advanced tab, make sure that a check mark is set next to My Network Locations.
  5. If the My Network Places window is open, select Add Network Places from the list of tasks on the left.
  6. Click Next, click Select another network location, and then click Next again.

Using the Command Prompt

You can specify it from the command line using the net command.

net use <driveletter>: \\<server>\<sharename> /USER:<domain>\<username> <password> /PERSISTENT:YES

You can also specify various credentials using the Windows Explorer graphical user interface. In the Map Network Drive dialog box, there is a check box for “Connect using different credentials”.

Note: If the menu bar is not displayed in Windows Explorer, press ALT to display it.

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