Windows Command Line – NET USE


The NET utilities are NetBIOS applications, this means that they rely on WINS (or the local LMHOSTS file) to resolve computer names to IP addresses.

The NET Command is used to connect to a File/Printer Share as follows:

Join a file share (Drive MAP)
NET USE [driveletter:] \\ComputerName\ShareName /PERSISTENT:YES

NET USE [driveletter:] \\ComputerName\ShareName\folder1\folder2 /PERSISTENT:No

Make all future connections persistent (auto-reconnect at login)
NET USE /Persistent:Yes

Make all future connections non-persistent (reconnect with login script)
NET USE /Persistent:No

Join a file share (Drive MAP) – with a long share name
NET USE [driveletter:] “\\ComputerName\ShareName

Connect a user to their HOME directory
NET USE [devicename | *] [password | *]] [/HOME]
This requires the users Home server/folder to be defined in ADUC

Join a password protected file share (Drive MAP)
NET USE [driveletter:] \\ComputerName\ShareName[\volume] [password | *] [/USER:[domainname\]username] [/PERSISTENT:No]

In the above command /USER can also be specified as:
[/USER:[dotted domain name\]username]
[/USER:[username@dotted domain name]

In a script, to map a drive and wait until the mapping has completed before continuing:
START /wait NET USE [driveletter:] \\ComputerName\ShareName
This will be a little slower, but ensures that files can be read from the mapped drive.

Join a Printer Share
NET USE [LPTx:] \\ComputerName\printer_share /PERSISTENT:YES

Join a Printer Share – with a “long” share name
NET USE [LPTx:] “\\ComputerName\printer_share

Disconnect from a share
NET USE [driveletter:] /DELETE

Disconnect from a share and close all resources (undocumented)
NET USE [driveletter:] /DELETE /Y


NET USE H: /Home
NET USE J: \\MainServer\Users\%Username%
NET USE W: \\MainServer\GroupShare /Persistent:No
NET USE \\MainServer\SharedPrinter

NET USE command can map a network printer to an LPT port (for DOS type applications that print to a port.) but this does not add the printer to the Control Panel GUI.

By default all mapped drives have a 15 minute idle session timeout, you can modify this with the NET CONFIG command. In windows XP the explorer icon will change to show this change in status, this behaviour is designed to improve overall performance.

Drive Descriptions

Recent versions of Windows display a drive description for each share, this can be edited in the Explorer GUI. The text is stored in the registry.

_LabelFromReg=<description of drive mapping>
   (string REG_SZ)

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