Mapping Network Drive for Office 365 and SharePoint Online

If you are trying to map the network drive to SharePoint Online document library or any other libraries like Master Page Gallery for design manager from your windows explorer and if you come across this error –  “The Mapped Network Drive could not be created because the following error has occurred: Access Denied. Before opening files in this location, you must first add the web site to your trusted sites list, browse to the web site and select the option to login Automatically.”, here are some options and reference blog articles I have tried to make it work.

Situation: I needed to map the network drive to update design templates for content search web parts and encounter an error while trying to map network drive with traditional on-premises method on 64-bit Windows 8 Enterprise desktop machine with Internet Explorer 10 and 32-bit Office 2013 professional plus edition installed.






Prerequisites: To configure WebDEV for SharePoint online sites, I needed to ensure I have following options configured on my desktop, IE, and SharePoint Online sites in addition to 32-bit Office 2013 professional plus edition. Although I haven’t tested, my understanding is WebDEV doesn’t work for 64-bit Office 2013 edition.

  • Add SharePoint Online Site URL to the trusted site on the IE. You can optionally trust all the SharePoint Online sites by adding https://*


  • Make Sure WebClient windows service is running under Local Service account. This is the WebDEV service running on the windows desktop making SharePoint online libraries available through windows explorer or any other windows client utilities. E.g. if you are planning to sync OneDrive for Business to your OneDrive client and sync doesn’t work, you may want to ensure this service has started.


  • Uncheck “Enable Protected Mode” for internet zone in the IE.


  • Check “Keep me signed in” while logging into the SharePoint Online site


  • Make sure user has atleast contribute permission to the SharePoint Online site, document library, or galleries. In my case – user has site collection administration permission.


Verification: Once you have all the options configured properly, plan to login to the SharePoint Online site using internet explorer. At this moment, you can follow similar steps as above (in situation section) to map the network drive from windows explorer and you should be able to map the SharePoint online libraries.



You can also optionally visit any document libraries or predefined galleries like master pages and open the library using “Open with Windows Explorer” option.




This is one of those personal reminder/reference articles for me. This seems like fairly common configuration required for SharePoint Online designers. Although each configuration may require different solution depending on desktop operating system, browser version, and office version, hopefully some of the pointers mentioned in this article would be helpful. If you come across different solution for different scenario, please don’t forget to drop the note and your resolution in comments section!!!!

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6 Responses to Mapping Network Drive for Office 365 and SharePoint Online

  1. mjthinkscape says:

    Hi Nik. This process of mapping the drives and authenticating with Internet Explorer to SharePoint Online/OneDrive for Business can be scripted to improve reliability of the drives being mapped at Windows startup. Take a look at the Powershell scripts available at and

    Automating Internet Explorer to authenticate can still be unreliable as the cookie needs to flow through from Internet Explorer to the webclient service that does the mapping to SharePoint Online. Zee Drive, a dedicated drive mapping tool for OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online, authenticates directly to Office 365, bypassing Internet Explorer, cookies, and the web client service. Zee Drive will ensure you are always authenticated and your drive mappings available on sign in to Windows. Find out more here:


  2. Nik Patel says:

    Thanks for your valuable feedback… Agreed on automating for reliable and repeatable approach..

  3. Worked a treat, Thank you

  4. Tiago Duarte says:

    great article. managed to get my site into trusted sites using a small hack ( and had to login once for it to work.

  5. Hey. Honest disclosure – I work for the company I’m going to recommend – so feel free to take this with a pinch of salt. But in terms of solutions for drive mapping cloud storage like OneDrive for Business & SharePoint Online, our tool Cloud Drive Mapper is pretty great. Specific benefits above the competitor solutions/DIY approaches: it’s very stable, has resolved many of the niche issues that exist within the PowerShell approach and other solutions, has a full tech team supporting it 7×365 to help implementation and resolve any issues, has a simple but powerful deployment mechanism for organisational environments. Plus it has a nice single sign-on integration with ADFS. Consequently, you get pretty much the same administrative control and user experience as you do with network storage + group policy. Works nicely in Citrix VDI environments too as a bonus.

  6. Sharon Pavey says:

    What is the correct syntax for mapping a drive? Is it file://\X:/folder/file?

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