If you have more than one computer on the same switch or wireless network, then you don’t have to use flash drives or email attachments to move files around. One of the best – and least understood – ways to share files on small networks of computers is to use those networks to send and receive files.
One of the simplest ways to do this is to map a network drive. If you know that you’re on a network, you can locate your computers by their share name and their workgroup. To view and change the computer name and workgroup, right-click on My Computer, and left-click Properties.
This will open the System Properties menu. Click the Computer Name tab to see your computer’s name, and the workgroup it’s assigned to on the network. Workgroups are a form of grouping that can be used to organize small networks. Most of the time, it’s easiest to keep all of your computers on the same workgroup, and the default is set to “WORKGROUP.” If you want to change this, or your computer name, left-click the Change button in the Computer Name tab.
You can change your workgroup name or your computer name here. If you want to change the workgroup name, keep in mind that workgroups are for organizing computers. Creating a separate workgroup name for each computer is not particularly useful, so most of the time, using one workgroup for all computers is fine. The network change may require a restart, so be ready to shut down and reboot your computer. Click OK when you’re done.
Once your done, or once your computer has restarted, right-click again on My Computer and then left–click on Map Network Drive.
This will take you to the Map Network Drive wizard. Select the drive letter that you’d like. If you don’t have a preference, you can leave this at the default. Next, you will want to find the computer and folder that you want to map a drive letter to. Click Browse to open the Browse Network list.
Here you can browse for the computer and folder that you want to map. Click Entire Network, find and click the appropriate workgroup, and then click on the computer that you want to share with. You may have to wait a moment for this list to locate and list items. Find the folder you want to share and click it once. Click OK to select the folder.
Leave the Reconnect at Logon box checked. You can now click Finish in the Map Network Drive wizard. You have now mapped a folder on a different computer to your My Computer folder. Open My Computer to see it.
This network drive will work whenever both computers are turned on and connected to the network. You can use this drive just like your C: drive and make shortcuts, browse files, and move files at will. You can do this to as many computers on your network as you’d like, too – and this is a great way to make a shared folder for backing up files!