How to map a network drive in OSX

Macs aren’t known for their ability to play well with other (non-Apple) computers on a network, but with a little persuasion, you can map a network drive in OSX and even keep its location somewhat persistent!

From Finder, type Command+K to bring up the “Connect to Server” dialog. You can also reach this from the menu bar under the “Go” heading.

In the “Server Address” dialog, type in the network address of the share you wish to map (smb://location/share) and click the “Connect” button. Enter your credentials if prompted and make sure to save them to your keychain.

To make the mapping semi-persistent, you’ll need to add the share as a login item. Do this by going to the “Users & Groups” pane within the System Preferences dialog. Click the “Login Items” tab and the + button at the bottom of the list to add a new item. Navigate to the share you wish to have mount automatically and click “Add”. Exit from System Preferences and you’re finished.

Now, there’s a couple of things to note here: Firstly, if you leave the network with the attached drive, you MUST eject the drive from Finder before disconnecting or you may run into an instance of having a persistent copy of the drive (and that’s just not good for business, especially if you have your iTunes library or other files stored to the location). Second, if you reconnect to the network, you may want to reboot the computer to have a fresh connection to the drive. If you don’t reboot, you can still reconnect to the drive manually using the method above.


3 thoughts on “How to map a network drive in OSX”

  1. Mozy has an excellent platform for it. My company provides IT support for other companies and it’s what we use for our backup solution. The consumer version is obviously not as robust, but you’ll see that no matter which product you use. There’s also Backblaze, which is cheap but not as user friendly.

  2. Own-cloud is self-hosted and is as extensible as you want it to be, but does require you to be a bit savvy in all this hosting nonsense. It’s also not great unless you have access to an off-site location for true “fireproofing”.
    Trust the J-Wall on this one, methinks. He’s the professional opinion here, and those solutions are usually “turn-key” simple for the end user. I always advocate for DIY/free/open-source when practical because I like for people to get their hands dirty and understand how their tech works 🙂
    In the end, it boils down to what features you want and what you’re willing to pay. Mozy is a great platform for enterprise, CrashPlan has a cloud-based and swarm-based solution that’s great for consumer hard drive mirroring (like Apple’s Time Machine), and services like Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox are simple, but can get expensive quickly if you need more space.

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