How To Map A Remote Server to a Drive in Windows Explorer

I manage a lot of internet properties and one of the things I hate the most is having to ftp stuff. Over the years I had used a variety of tools to transfer files between my home PC and my server (like cuteftp and filezilla) but I always wondered why I couldn’t just use Windows Explorer to accomplish this fairly routine task. When I got Windows 7 a couple years back, I revisited this issue to see if the operating system had an intuitive way to accomplish it, and low and behold it did.

I’ve been enjoying the power of this unified file management interface for over two years now, and dragging-and-dropping stuff to my remote server regularly. Because I recently had to migrate my entire work environment to a new computer, I thought it would be good for me to document this process so I can easily recreate it in the future. I also figured that if you have not discovered this trick for yourself, it might be worth noting as it is a HUGE time-saver.

What You Need

  • A PC running Windows 7
  • A web server (like Host Gator for instance) that you have ftp access to

Step 1)

  • Open Windows Explorer
  • This can be accomplished by right-clicking on the Start Button and selecting the Open Windows Explorer option.

Step 2)

  1. Select the computer icon to reveal the Map network drive option.
  2. Select Map network drive

Step 3)

On the What network folder would you like to map? screen:

  • Select Connect to a Web site that you can use to store your documents and pictures.

Step 4)

On the Welcome to the Add Network Location Wizard screen:

  • Click Next

Step 5)

On the Where do you want to create this network location? screen:

  • Select Choose a custom network location
  • Click Next

Step 6)

On the Specify the location of your website screen:

  • Enter the ftp address of your remote server
  • Click Next

Step 7)

On the Specify a Username and Password if Required screen:

  • Un-check Log on anonymously
  • Enter your username in the User name field
  • Click Next

Step 8)

On the What do you want to name this location? screen:

  • Specify the name of this remote location as you would like it to appear in Windows Explorer. Make it something descriptive so it is easy to find.
  • Click Next

Step 9)

On the Completing the Add Network Location Wizard screen:

  • Click Finish
  • Click Next

Step 10)

Log on to your remote server to test new connection

  • Enter your login credentials
  • Check the Save password box if you would like for Windows to automatically log you in everytime you click on this connection.
  • Click the Log On button

If everything was setup correctly you should see your remote files in Windows Explorer as if they were located on a hard drive in your system.

Your remote server will now appear as a drive on your computer through Windows Explorer


  1. Garry Rose says

    I’m trying to connect remotely to a Synology server at home.

    Do I need to open up ports to provide access?

    Cheers …