Mapping network drives and other locations is a good way of keeping remote data at hand in your local area network. However, at some point, you might also want to delete some of these drive mappings and keep only those that you regularly use. In this article, we show you exactly how to do that. Here are four methods for deleting mapped drives and network locations from Windows 10:
NOTE: If you arrived here while searching for ways to create mapped network drives in Windows 10, and not ways to delete them, read: How to map FTP locations, network drives, and web shares, in Windows 10 and Windows 8.1. This guide was made for Windows 10, but the methods we show also work in older versions of Windows.
1. Use File Explorer to delete a mapped network drive from Windows 10
If you need to delete a previously created drive mapping, the first thing you must do is open File Explorer. Then, on the left side of the window, select This PC. All of the mapped drives are available in the Network Locations group, beneath your solid-state drive, hard-disk drives and other similar devices such as CD/DVD units or USB memory sticks.
To delete a drive mapping toward a network location, right-click (or press-and-hold) on it and select Disconnect.
To remove a drive mapping towards a network folder or FTP site, right-click (or press-and-hold) on it and select Delete.
The deleted mapped drives then stop showing. If you want to restore them, you have to recreate them.
2. Run “net use /delete” in Command Prompt or PowerShell to delete a mapped network drive
If you prefer command-line environments, you can use the net use command to delete mapped network drives from Command Prompt or PowerShell. Open the one you like best and run this command: net use [Mapped Drive Letter] /delete. Then, press Enter. For example, we have a drive mapping to which we assigned the letter Z, so we have to type: net use Z: /delete.
You are informed that the mapped drive was deleted successfully, and the network drive disappears immediately from File Explorer.
NOTE: The net use /delete command only works for drive mappings that have a letter assigned. It doesn’t work for network location mappings such as FTP servers or web servers.
3. Run “net use * /delete” in Command Prompt or PowerShell to delete all the mapped network drives
If you have more than one mapped network drive configured and you want to delete them all at once, you can use the same net use command to disconnect them all at once. Open Powershell or start Command Prompt and run the following command: net use * /delete.
PowerShell or Command Prompt then shows you all the active network connections that are going to be canceled. It might also ask whether you are sure that you want to continue. Type in Y if you do, or N if you don’t.
TIP: If you want to use the net use command to delete all the mapped network drives and you want to force the process to go on without asking for any confirmations, add the /y parameter to the command: net use * /delete /y.
4. Use File Explorer to remove a network location mapping from your PC by erasing its shortcut
A network location mapping is a shortcut stored as a file on your Windows computer. If you can’t delete it using the first method we’ve shown, you can try others. One of them is to use File Explorer to delete its shortcut. Open File Explorer and navigate to “C:\Users\Your_User_Name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Network Shortcuts”. Your_User_Name is the name of your Windows 10 user account. In the Network Shortcuts folder, you can find all network location mappings. Select the ones you no longer want to use. Then, right-click (or press-and-hold) on them and select Delete or press the Delete key on your keyboard.
The selected network mappings are deleted immediately, without additional confirmation.
Troubleshoot network drives and locations that won’t go away
There are times when none of the methods we described above work as they should. When such a situation occurs, there are a few things you should try:
- If you disconnect a mapped network drive or delete a network location, but it doesn’t disappear from File Explorer, the reason might be that the File Explorer didn’t get to refresh its contents. Try pressing the F5 key on your keyboard or click/tap on Refresh in the right-click menu inside File Explorer.
- If you tried to remove a network mapping from your Windows 10 PC, but you get an error about that location as no longer being available, your Windows operating system is likely outdated. We’ve tested to see what happens when the PC with the mapped network drives and locations is disconnected from the network or when the network resources are no longer available (target devices are shut down or are no longer part of the network), and all the methods illustrated in this article worked correctly.
- Sometimes, even though you disconnected or deleted a network drive or location from your Windows PC, the operating system gets hung up and can’t remove these links on the fly. A good idea in such a situation would be for you to restart Windows 10. You can also restart the explorer.exe process by using Powershell or Command Prompt to run these two commands: taskkill /f /IM explorer.exe and explorer.exe.
Did you manage to remove all the mapped network drives you wanted?
As you can see from this article, there are quite a few alternatives to deleting drive mappings. The instructions above work on any Windows 10 computer or device. Did you manage to delete every mapped network drive or location you wanted? If you have something to add to our guide, don’t hesitate to use the comments below.