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A network drive makes sharing vital documents and procedures easier at any company. Rather than sending spreadsheets and other living documents around via email, a network drive offers an encrypted way to store content on a shared drive. Once each individual computer is mapped to the drive, they should all be able to access all documents. That is, of course, unless something goes wrong. If you can’t access your network drive anymore, here are some ways you may be able to fix it.

Are you still signed in to SharePoint Online?

If you are accessing your network drive through SharePoint Online, you may simply be signed out. After your network drive is mapped to SharePoint, you must log in every few weeks to tell the system to keep you logged in. If you don’t, you will lose your connection, and you will get a message that the network drive is unavailable. To reconnect, sign out of SharePoint Online, close all browser windows, and then sign in again, checking the “Keep me signed in” box.

Are the wrong settings preventing your computer from finding the network path?

Usually, this is a result of credentials having been changed by the system administrators or your computer’s credentials have expired.  If you were humming along fine and then could not save any more or open new documents, likely what has happened is your password has expired.  This is most common in the more sophisticated network that runs a domain but this can show up when local authentication is happening too.

Try logging off and logging back in.  If you’re cued to reset your password, select a nice strong one and try again.  

If you receive “Error message 0x80070035” while trying to access your network drive, the network path can’t be found by your computer. This is often the result of having the wrong settings in the Network and Sharing Center on your computer. To resolve the issue, go to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Advanced Sharing Settings. Make sure your settings are as follows: Network Discovery: ON; Network Settings: Private; File Sharing: ON; Public Folder Sharing: ON; Password Protected Sharing: OFF.

Is an updated firewall preventing connection?

A new firewall may be hindering your connection to the network drive. According to Microsoft, you should “not use a firewall on network connections that you use to connect to your home or office network unless the firewall can be configured to open ports only for your home or office network.” When the wrong firewall is installed, it may block your connection to the network drive, perceiving it as a threat. When in doubt, install a firewall only on the ports that connect directly to the internet, not those that connect to a shared drive.