Screenshot of Network Mac OS X

How to Map a Network Drive on Mac (OS X)

In Networking by Danny SmithLeave a Comment

With the constant development and evolution of technology, data has been increasing in size at an exponential rate. Gone are the days when a 2GB pen drive would be enough for people to share media like movies, songs, images, etc. Now, with the quality of the files at an impressive state and with the different types of files, a small storage device does not meet the needs anymore. To fulfil the need for bigger storage devices, new devices and technology have been invented. These creations are not only useful for professionals, but for people of almost all age groups. Moreover, there are devices which store media on networks as well. This helps in sharing the data at a much easier and faster rate.

One such storage media is a network drive. It is used to store data for a Local Area Network (LAN). It can be used for home as well as office networks. People using the network drive have certain options for the way they want to store and share their media. For a home network, the network drive can usually be located on the server, a device using the network or a hard disk. Furthermore, for office networks, one can find the network drive in the main server or a device using the network. A hard disk is too small in storage to facilitate an entire office media.

Now, to connect your device to a network is another area entirely. Different operating systems have different routes for mapping the network drive to their devices. One can even map Windows network drive Mac for their Mac OS X. This is generally helpful when there are both Windows and Mac OS X devices connected to the network drive and one has to access the files stored in a windows device from a Mac OS X device. There are mainly two methods to map network drive Mac. A person can either do it for a one time use or map it for a permanent usage. Both the methods have their own advantages and disadvantages.


If one needs to map the network drive for a single use then they should keep in mind that the connection will end after the device is rebooted. The following steps are needed to be followed in order to use this method:

  • Go to the Mac OS X finder, bring up the ‘connect to server’ window by hitting COMMAND + K.
  • Enter the path of the network drive which you want to map in the text box and then click on the option ‘connect’.
  • Enter your login credentials and password and then click on the ‘OK’ option to mount the network drive.
  • The drive is now visible on your desktop and in the sidebar of the Finder Windows.
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If one needs to map network drive Mac for permanent usage, then the procedure is as follows:

  •  Go to the Mac OS X finder, bring up the ‘connect to server’ window by hitting COMMAND + K.
  • Enter the path of the network drive which you want to map in the text box and then click on the option ‘connect’.
  • Enter your login credentials and password and then click on the ‘OK’ option to mount the network drive.
  • After completing the previous steps, go to the System Preferences on the Apple menu, click on the ‘Accounts’ option and then click on the ‘Login Items’ option.
  • There will be a plus sign there which lets you add new items to the list. Click on that option, find the network drive you mounted in the previous steps and click on ‘Add’.
  • Exit from all of the preferences.


Through this method, your network drive will be mapped to your Mac OS X and will be remounted when you reboot your device. One should always remember that the network drive will automatically connect to the device when it is rebooted every time. However, that won’t be the case if they use some other Wi-Fi network that is not their own.


You can access the network drive from your desktop as well. For that, the procedure is something like this:

  • Go to the finder, find the ‘Finder Preferences’ option by hitting the Command+.
  • Click on the general tab.
  • Select the checkbox situated next to the ‘Connected Servers’ option.
  • Exit the finder preferences.
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This way one can map a network drive desktop shortcut for their Mac OS X as well.


One can even mount a network drive Mac terminal method too. You have to make a folder (ex. folder name) and then save it in some directory (ex. home directory). Open the terminal of your Mac and type the command

mount -t smbfs //[email protected]/sharename folder name

This way one can use the terminal to map a network drive to their Mac device.


Moreover, you can connect your network drive through an Android as well. There are apps which can help you do that. Some of the apps are ES File Explorer (File manager), AndSMB, Network Browser, NAS Wake up Lane, etc. These apps are easy to use and you can find many articles and videos which explain the procedure to map the network drive using your Android phones.

In conclusion, mapping your network drive to the Mac OS X is very simplified. You can either map for a one time use or for a permanent usage. The initial steps for the mounting is the same as that one for the single use method, but there are additional steps which are needed to be followed to make sure that your device is connected to the network storage after rebooting it. Besides this, the article explained the method to show the device folder on the desktop as well. One can also learn to map network drive cmd and map network drive Android in this article. The procedures for mapping the network drive to different operating systems may be varied, but they are certainly not too difficult to understand.

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