How to Map a SharePoint Online Document Library as a Network Drive using PowerShell?

Requirement: Map SharePoint Online library as a network drive.

How to map SharePoint Online as a network drive?

In SharePoint Online, you can use Map as a network drive to access your SharePoint files in File Explorer on your computer. When you map SharePoint as a network drive, you can manage/upload/download files and folders in bulk using Explorer view, just like they are stored on your local computer. You can open and edit files, drag and drop files, and save files directly to SharePoint. Mapping the SharePoint Online document library as a network drive is necessary to manage the SharePoint site folder structure efficiently in a long run. Here is how to map a network drive to the SharePoint Online document library:

  1. Go to Windows Explorer on your computer >> Right Click on “Computer” (or “This PC”) >> Choose “Map to network drive”.
    powershell to map sharepoint online document library as network drive
  2. Select the drive letter you want to use >> Enter the URL of your SharePoint Online document library. E.g., Your SharePoint library URL could be https://tenant.sharepoint.com/sites/marketing/Shared%20Documents/. You can also enter the site URL to map a SharePoint Online site as a network drive.
  3. Choose the “Reconnect at logon”, and “Connect using different credentials” options according to your requirements, and click on the “Finish” button. You may get a sign-in prompt. Enter your Office 365 login credentials, and click OK. map network drive in sharepoint online
  4. Click Finish to create a new network drive mapping for the given SharePoint Online document library URL without taking up storage space on your device.

Now, you can access the SharePoint Online document library from Windows Explorer (or File Explorer!).

BTW, Microsoft recommends using the Sync feature through the OneDrive sync client, instead of mapped drives for performance and data consistency reasons. Furthermore, it leads to issues like version history being lost, and features like metadata, alerts, etc. won’t be available.

Common Errors and Solutions:

Error: “The mapped network drive could not be created because the following error has occurred. Access Denied. Before opening files in this location, you must first add the web site to your trusted sites list, browse to the web site, and select the option to login automatically.”

Solution: Make sure your SharePoint Online site URL is added under the “Trusted Sites” zone of the browser security settings (Open Internet Explorer >> Tools Menu >> Internet Options >> Security Tab, Trusted sites zone has your site added and “Automatically log in with current user name and password” configuration set!). Also, the WebClient service must be started in the Services console (Services.msc). Otherwise, You may get the below error message! This error also happens when the user sessions expire! Just log in to SharePoint through Internet Explorer (any other web browsers like Firefox or Google Chrome don’t work!) to re-establish the session.

access denied. before opening files in this location, you must first add the web site to your trusted sites list

If you get the same error event after setting the above configurations, apply this KB: Error when you open a SharePoint Document Library in Windows Explorer or map a network drive

Users must have at least “Read-only” permission to the Site level to be able to open the document library in Explorer view! So, if you granted them access at the file/folder/library level, Add them to the site level too!

access denied. before opening files in this location you must first add the web site to your trusted sites list

Here is the Microsoft article on troubleshooting issues with mapping network drives: Troubleshoot mapped network drives that connect to SharePoint Online

PowerShell to map a network drive in SharePoint Online

To Map a SharePoint Online Document library to a network drive using PowerShell,

#Variable 
$LibraryPath = "https://crescent.sharepoint.com/sites/p/salaudeen"

#Map Path as Network Drive
$Network = new-object -ComObject WScript.Network
$Network.MapNetworkDrive('R:', $LibraryPath)

Once executed successfully, you can see the given path mapped as a network drive from File Explorer.

You can use the New-PSDrive cmdlet to access the file system location, which can be remote or on a local computer.

#Variable 
$LibraryPath = "\\[email protected]\DavwwwRoot\Sites\p\Salaudeen"

#Virtually map SharePoint Online Folder as PSDrive
New-PSDrive -name "R" -Root $LibraryPath -PSProvider filesystem

This doesn’t appear in File Explorer, But you can access it through PowerShell.

Getting Error?

By the recent security updates, The above methods work only when you have an active browser session in place! Otherwise, You’ll see an error:

“New-PSDrive : The operation being requested was not performed because the user has not been authenticated”.

I tried implementing the fix from https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/troubleshoot/windows-client/networking/error-access-network-drive-mapped-web-share, but that didn’t help for some reason. So, as a workaround, you must either login to the site through Internet Explorer or handle it in PowerShell! E.g.,

#Parameters
$LibraryPath = "https://crescent.sharepoint.com/sites/Marketing/Branding"
$UNCPath = "\\[email protected]\DavwwwRoot\Sites\Marketing\Branding"

#Establish a browser session
$IE = Start-Process -file iexplore -arg $LibraryPath -PassThru -WindowStyle Hidden
Sleep 15
$IE.Kill()

#Map a PowerShell Drive
New-PSDrive -name "R" -Root $UNCPath -PSProvider filesystem

You can also add SharePoint to file explorer under quick links as in How to Add SharePoint Document Library to “Quick Access” in File Explorer?

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - SharePoint Expert with Two decades of SharePoint Experience. Love to Share my knowledge and experience with the SharePoint community, through real-time articles!

13 thoughts on “How to Map a SharePoint Online Document Library as a Network Drive using PowerShell?

  • Hi,

    This is working by now with IExplorer.exe, does someone know if there is a way of getting this switched to Edge?
    The moment MS is closing IE on the system, or even removing it, a lot of those connections are screwed…..

    Thanks
    Sebastian

    Reply
    • There is a compatibility mode in Edge that uses iexplore. I also use IEtab in Chrome. Both of these methods work for getting authorisation / connection to the sharepoint drives

      Reply
  • have you ever tried to Map a SharePoint Online Document Library as a Network Drive using GPO on windows server 2012?

    Reply
  • Did anyone solved the problem reported abovfe?

    Reply
  • I get this message, any ideas?

    The operation being requested was not performed because the user has not been authenticated.

    Reply
  • Hi, how are you? I hope well.
    I stumble upon your post and was very pleased.
    I have a question: Can I do this procedure for SharePoint sites that requires user authentication?
    Every time the user logs in the mapping need’s to be done. But using Microsoft Teams is out off question. We found a way off doing by Group policy, but needs opening SharePoint in IE compatibility mode on Edge. My wish were to do all this in one single script. But the authentication part has become.
    Thank you anyway.

    Reply
  • Will this method work even with the end of Microsoft 365 support in Internet Explorer?

    Reply
    • This feature depends on WebDav! I tested it in a PC without Internet Explorer and found it works.

      Reply
  • I am getting below error

    The network name cannot be found.
    At C:\Users\Rakesh.Menon\Desktop\MapNetworkDrive.ps1:23 char:1
    + $net.MapNetworkDrive($drive, $LibraryPath, “true”)#, $user, $cred.Get …
    + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo : OperationStopped: (:) [], FileNotFoundException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : System.IO.FileNotFoundException

    Reply
    • Looks the $LibraryPath is not resolved! Check if you are able to browse to it.

      Reply

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