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How to Login to a Shared Network Drive

by Jeff Grundy

If you have several computers in your home, Windows 7 makes it easy to share files and folders in a home network. Although previous versions of Windows allowed you to create a local area network, Windows 7 makes granting access to your shared files and folders as simple as a few mouse clicks. After you have created a home network, other people in your home can access, copy and even open the files in your shared folders. Connecting to a shared folder over the network is a task almost anyone can accomplish.

Step 1

Right-click on the Windows "Start" button and then click "Open Windows Explorer" on the pop-up list.

Step 2

Scroll to and click the "Network" link in the left side of the window. Wait for Windows to load the local network information and create a list of computers on the home network.

Step 3

Click on the icon for the network computer that has the shared folder you want to access.

Browse to the shared folder and click its name to open it. Enter a user name and password if prompted to do so and press the "Enter" key. In most cases, you are not required to enter a user name and password to login to a shared folder. However, a user can choose to limit access to certain shared folders, thus creating the need to enter a user name and password.

Tip

  • You can create a drive letter and permanent connection to the shared folder on the other computer by clicking the "Map network drive" button in "Computer" and following the on-screen prompts.

Warning

  • You can only access on a shared network drive if the other computer is on and logged into Windows.

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