Adding a Shared Drive to Windows Server 2012

Updated on July 9, 2015
Adding a Shared Drive to Windows Server 2012 header image

You can add drives (shares) to Windows Server 2012 which will allow people to be able to share files. This is very handy for businesses, schools, and other organizations. Every drive will have its own letter, such as K. Users would be able to connect to the share with \server\path. Shares may also show up in the Network section.

Before we can start, you will need the following.

  • A folder which we can share.
  • A working Active Directory installation.
  • A Group Policy.

Step 1: Open your Group Policy

Whether a drive shows up and whether it is accessible for a user depends on if it's in their Group Policy. Drives need to be added to a Group Policy, otherwise they will not be accessible. In order to do this, open your Group Policy by going to "Group Policy Management". Select the Group Policy to which you want to add the drive. Users who this Group Policy is applied to will be able to see and use the drive. Right-click on the Group Policy and click "Edit...".

Step 2: Adding the drive to Active Directory

We will need to add the drive to Active Directory, because in step 3 it is required that the drive can be found in Active Directory. Go to your Active Directory Users and Computers, and create a new OU. You can call it whatever you want: for example "Drives". Then add a "Shared Folder".

The "Name" should be something that you recognize. The "Network path" works with UNC paths. If you just want to use a folder on your server, use \yourservername\C\folder. If the folder is on another server, use \server\C\folder.

Step 3: Adding the drive to the Group Policy

The path for the correct policy is: "User Configuration -> Preferences -> Windows Settings -> Drive Maps". Right-click and click "New -> Mapped Drive". You will now need to specify the location of the folder. Click on the button in order to search in Active Directory for the shared folder (which we just added in step 2). Once it's found, select it and click "OK". The drive letter can be anything you want.

Congratulations, you have just added a drive!