VIU Aerial View

How Do I Map to a Shared Network Drive?

What is a network share?

Network shares are spaces set up on the server whose intent is to provide an easy method for sharing files. In this way files can be shared by a department, by a small group of users, between an instructor and their students, or between students. When you map a drive, you associate a drive letter with a path. It enables you to instantly jump to this shared location without having to go through a series of time-consuming steps.

How do I map to a network share?

Note: When connecting to a shared drive when off campus, you will first need to connect to the VIU network via VPN. Please see our instructions for connecting via VPN.

Please see the instructions below

  1. If you are off campus you will first need to connect to the VPN: How Do I Create a VPN Connection to the VIU Network?
  2. If you are on a VIU computer and have recently been given access to the share, please log-off and re-login to your computer
  3. Right-click on Start, then click File Explorer
  4. Click This PC in the left margin.
  5. Click on Computer tab (top left), click Map Network Drive
  6. Enter shared drive details:
    • Drive Letter selection: It is better to select a drive letter from a letter further on in the alphabet (for example H:).
    • In the Folder field, enter the path to the network share:
      • For departmental shares, use the format \\viu.int.viu.ca\shares\firstletterofdrivename\drivename (e.g. \\viu.int.viu.ca\shares\e\example)
        Please do not use the older capitan path
      • For personal U drives, use the format \\viu.int.viu.ca\users\firstletterofusername\username (e.g. If your name is J. Doe, you would enter \\viu.int.viu.ca\users\d\doej)
      • For your Desktop and My Documents folder, use the format \\viu.int.viu.ca\redirects\firstletterofusername\username (e.g. If your name is J. Doe, you would enter \\viu.int.viu.ca\redirects\d\doej)
  7. Make sure "Reconnect at sign-in" is checkmarked
  8. Personal (non-VIU) devices only: If you are on a personal device, checkmark "Connect using different credentials", click Finish, then click More choices
  9. Personal (non-VIU) devices only: Type in your username starting with viu\ (e.g. viu\doej) in the username field and your VIU password, then click OK
  10. Click Finish

  1. If you are off campus you will first need to connect to the VPN: How Do I Create a VPN Connection to the VIU Network?
  2. If you are on a VIU computer and have recently been given access to the share, please log-off and re-login to your computer
  3. Click on Start -> Computer
  4. Click on Map Network Drive along the top of the window. If you don't see this you can right-click on Computer on the left hand side of the Window and choose Map Network Drive.
  5. Enter shared drive details:
    • Drive Letter selection: It is better to select a drive letter from a letter further on in the alphabet (for example H:).
    • In the Folder field, enter the path to the network share:
      • For departmental shares, use the format \\viu.int.viu.ca\shares\firstletterofdrivename\drivename (e.g. \\viu.int.viu.ca\shares\e\example)
        Please do not use the older capitan path
      • For personal U drives, use the format \\viu.int.viu.ca\users\firstletterofusername\username (e.g. If your name is J. Doe, you would enter \\viu.int.viu.ca\users\d\doej)
      • For your Desktop and My Documents folder, use the format \\viu.int.viu.ca\redirects\firstletterofusername\username (e.g. If your name is J. Doe, you would enter \\viu.int.viu.ca\redirects\d\doej)
  6. From off campus, please make sure to use viu\username in the username field
  7. Checkmark the "Reconnect at logon" box
  8. Click Finish

  1. If you are off campus you will first need to connect to the VPN: How Do I Create a VPN Connection to the VIU Network?
  2. Open the Finder.
  3. Click Finder -> Preferences...
  4. Make sure "Connected Servers" is checkmarked
  5. Click Go -> Connect to Server
  6. Enter the complete path of the shared drive:
    • For departmental shares, use the format smb://viu.int.viu.ca/shares/firstletterofsharename/sharename (e.g. smb://viu.int.viu.ca/shares/e/example)
      Please do not use the older capitan path
    • For personal U drives, use the format smb://viu.int.viu.ca/users/firstletterofusername/username (e.g. If your name is J. Doe, you would enter smb://viu.int.viu.ca/users/d/doej)
    • For your Desktop and My Documents folder, use the format smb://viu.int.viu.ca/redirects/firstletterofusername/username (e.g. If your name is J. Doe, you would enter smb://viu.int.viu.ca/redirects/d/doej)
  7. Click on Connect
  8. When prompted for your username use viu\username (e.g. viu\doej)
  9. You should now be connected to the shared drive

Not supported

Frequently Asked Questions

You will need to have been granted permission to access a shared drive. This is done by a supervisor, manager, or area administrator submitting a request to the IT Service Desk.

You cannot request access for yourself. If you have recently been given access to a shared drive, you will need to log off and back on again before you try to map to this share in order for the security changes to take effect.

Contact ithelp@viu.ca with the following information:

  • Desired name of share drive
  • Who will be the administrators? (Administrators manage people's access to the share)
  • Who will have access?

Who can use this service?

Employee