#305 Linking to Network Locations

Most of the time creating links to other things and places is pretty simple. The one exception is when you want to link to something on a network.

Linking to Network Locations

The biggest thing to remember when you are linking to network locations is NOT to use the drive letters. Why? Because the location of your H:\ drive is often not the same as my H:\ drive.  Mapping network locations with drive letters is helpful for getting ourselves to the right place but not for getting others there too.

If you want to link to a network location you should use the full Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path.  The UNC path will give you an exact location of a folder or file and takes the following format:


For example,


These UNC addresses are not case-sensitive and don’t forget they need to have permissions to access the place you’re linking them to or all of this is irrelevant.


Amazingly, Microsoft has never given us a good way to get the full UNC path information we need. Enter PathCopyCopy – an add-on for Windows Explorer that will.

With PathCopyCopy, right-clicking will give you a number of new choices including two that are relevant for us here today.

First, the “Copy Long UNC Path” option automatically includes all the details you need including the server name, etc. which works just fine if the person receiving it knows to manually copy and paste it into Windows Explorer…and that’s a significantly big “IF”!

The best option is to use the “Copy Internet Path” option which will allow you to provide a click-able link and looks something like this:


Notice the slashes are leaning the opposite direction and the text “file:” has been automatically added to the front. These changes are what makes this link work in a web browser, as well as most other places too.

Have you ever run into this problem? Give this a try and I’d love to hear how it goes.

Here are a few previous link-related tips you might also be interested in:


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