Cloud Storage Drive Letter Assignment

If you’re freaking out—as I am—because Microsoft is removing the placeholder functionality from its OneDrive sync client in Windows 10, I may have a solution for you. It’s not perfect, and can result in some performance issues. But if your goal is to be able to access all of the files in your OneDrive cloud storage from File Explorer in Windows, this may be your best option.

And to be clear, this tip works on any modern version of Windows, which is important because those using Windows 7 and 8.0 also don’t have the placeholder functionality that is unique to Windows 8.1. It’s nice being able to access all your files from the shell.

The trouble is, while mapping OneDrive as a drive in Windows does work, it can be slow, and the PC has to be online for it to work. I’m hoping that Microsoft’s promised alternative to placeholders—called offline files—will obviate the need for this tip. But that solution could be many, many months away, according to the recently-revealed schedule. So here’s what you can do now.

(Unless you’re on Windows 8.1. If you’re using Windows 8.1, don’t bother with this. The OneDrive sync client in that version of the OS lets you seamlessly access all of the files in your OneDrive storage already.)

First, visit OneDrive on the web, sign-in and click the Files link in the top left. When you do, the address bar will display a URL that includes a “cid” number, like so. (I’ve altered this number so that it is not my real cid number.)

Make a note of the cid part of that URL, or just keep the browser open so you can copy and paste it later.

Now, open File Explorer (or, in Windows 7, Windows Explorer), navigate to the This PC view (Computer, in older OS versions) and click Map Network Drive in the ribbon/toolbar. (If the ribbon is hidden by default, you will need to open it first.)

When you do, the Map Network Drive wizard appears.

Select a drive letter (perhaps O: for OneDrive, your call) and then add this to the Folder field:

https://d.docs.live.net/YOUR-CID

(Where YOUR-CID is of course replaced with your actual cid number.) Make sure “Reconnect at sign-in” remains selected and then click Finish.

You’ll be prompted to enter your OneDrive credentials—that is, your Microsoft account name (like [email protected] or whatever) and password—but if you’ve added the correct protections (two-step verification) to your account, you’ll need to create an app password at the Microsoft Account web site first: navigate to the Security settings page to do so.

When you do sign-in, a new drive will appear in File Explorer, in the This PC view, with a name that matches that cid number. You might want to rename it to something that makes a bit more sense.

Now, you can access the contents of your OneDrive normally, if slowly. It’s all there. You can copy/move back and forth to this location, access OneDrive directly from apps like Word, and do any other file operation you normally use.

Beside performance, the other caveat is that this is an online view only: if the PC is offline, you can’t access your OneDrive files and folders.

I know there are various third party solutions for accessing OneDrive in File Explorer, but I’ve found them to be slow as well. If you know of something more elegant than this, please do let me know. As I test Windows 10, I find that the lack of placeholders is a serious issue. And like many others, it really inhibits my desire to use this new OS version.

Tagged with Windows 10, Windows 7

Windows 10: How to mount cloud storage as drive letters / mapped network drives


  1.    New12 Nov 2017#1

    How to mount cloud storage as drive letters / mapped network drives


    I'd like to mount Google Drive as a mapped network drive. (Then use the drive letter for programs so I can get the size of files/folders in my cloud storage, search for specific file/folders as well as able to search for file dups).

    I've searched online and found a handful of products offerings including
    • NetDrive
    • TNT Drive
    • Cloudberry Drive
    • ExpanDrive
    • CloudMounter
    • SME


    Does anyone have some real-life, hands-on experience with any of these (or other products) they might recommend? Of course, something free would be ideal but I don't mind paying something (reasonable) for s/w that meets my needs
    I'll also be adding OneDrive down the road so would like support for that as well

    Thanks for any feedack/information!!
    Computer Type: PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number: Dell Optiplex 7040 @3.40GB
    OS: Windows 10 x64 v1703
    CPU: 6th Generation Intel i7-6700
    Memory: 1 x 8GB DDR4 2133MHz
    Graphics Card: Onboard Intel HD Graphics 530
    Sound Card: Onboard Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays: Samsung 32UNJ6300
    Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080
    Keyboard: Logitech MK710
    Mouse: Logitech M705
    Hard Drives: 500GB SSD > 450MB Recovery > 100MB EFI > 128GB Windows C: > 160GB Personal Data F: > 188GB Media GB G:
    Internet Speed: 50Mbps
    Browser: Chrome - typically
    Antivirus: Norton Security

  2. Posts : 27,658 64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17618
       New12 Nov 2017#2

    Hey mate,

    If you haven't already, you might see if this below may meet your needs any.

    Add or Remove Google Drive from Navigation Pane in Windows 10 General Tips Tutorials

    Computer Type: PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number: Custom self built
    OS: 64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17618
    CPU: Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard: ASUS Maximus X Code Z370
    Memory: 16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card: ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card: Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays: 3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution: 1920x1080
    Keyboard: Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse: Logitech MX Master
    PSU: Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case: Corsair Air 740
    Cooling: Corsair Hydro H115i
    Hard Drives: 250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2, 256GB OCZ Vector, 6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    Internet Speed: 300 Mb/s Download and 30 Mb/s Upload
    Browser: Google Chrome
    Antivirus: Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info: Logitech Z625 speaker system, Creative F200 webcam, HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn, Linksys EA9500 router, Arris SB6190 cable modem, APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL, Lumia 1520 phone
    Computer Type: Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number: HP Envy Y0F94AV
    OS: 64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17115
    CPU: i7-7500U 2.70 GHz
    Memory: 16 GB DDR4-2133
    Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
    Sound Card: Conexant ISST Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays: 17.3" UHD IPS touch
    Screen Resolution: 3480 x 2160
    Hard Drives: 512 GB M.2 SSD
    Browser: Google Chrome
    Antivirus: Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium

  3.    New12 Nov 2017#3

    Hi Brink

    Thanks for the very quick response! I only skimmed the article you mentioned but don't think it meets my need. I can easily access / search the Google Drive folder on my PC. BUT my issue is that I store many GB's of data in the cloud ONLY (nowhere on my PC). So it's not in myGoogle drive folder or elsewhere on my PC).

    So I'd really like to be able to map a drive letter to the Googe Drive cloud storage (not the Google Drive folder) so i can search files on stored in the cloud.
    Computer Type: PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number: Dell Optiplex 7040 @3.40GB
    OS: Windows 10 x64 v1703
    CPU: 6th Generation Intel i7-6700
    Memory: 1 x 8GB DDR4 2133MHz
    Graphics Card: Onboard Intel HD Graphics 530
    Sound Card: Onboard Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays: Samsung 32UNJ6300
    Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080
    Keyboard: Logitech MK710
    Mouse: Logitech M705
    Hard Drives: 500GB SSD > 450MB Recovery > 100MB EFI > 128GB Windows C: > 160GB Personal Data F: > 188GB Media GB G:
    Internet Speed: 50Mbps
    Browser: Chrome - typically
    Antivirus: Norton Security

  4.    New12 Nov 2017#4

    Onedrive has exactly that feature now with Files On Demand. I am not aware of anyway of doing it with any other Cloud service.

    For only £6 a month, you can get 1TB of Onedrive space, and as a bonus, you get the full MS Office chucked in free (actually it is other way round - you lease MS Office and get 1TB free).

    Nothing else comes close to it in terms of value, and you get Files on Demand.

    No contest really.

    You get 5GB free anyway. Suggest you play with that and then decide if you want to go for MS Office deal.
    ComputerGeek said:
    Hi Brink

    Thanks for the very quick response! I only skimmed the article you mentioned but don't think it meets my need. I can easily access / search the Google Drive folder on my PC. BUT my issue is that I store many GB's of data in the cloud ONLY (nowhere on my PC). So it's not in myGoogle drive folder or elsewhere on my PC).

    So I'd really like to be able to map a drive letter to the Googe Drive cloud storage (not the Google Drive folder) so i can search files on stored in the cloud.

  5.    New12 Nov 2017#5

  6.    New12 Nov 2017#6

    Interesting - this sounds like Google's version of Files On Demand. I wonder if it will have an android version?

    Edit: the more basic app is not like files on demand. You need a G suite account for the FOD equivalent. Not impressed!
    cereberus said:
    Onedrive has exactly that feature now with Files On Demand. I am not aware of anyway of doing it with any other Cloud service.

    For only £6 a month, you can get 1TB of Onedrive space, and as a bonus, you get the full MS Office chucked in free (actually it is other way round - you lease MS Office and get 1TB free).

    Nothing else comes close to it in terms of value, and you get Files on Demand.

    No contest really.

    You get 5GB free anyway. Suggest you play with that and then decide if you want to go for MS Office deal.

  7.    New12 Nov 2017#7

    @cereberus and @Samuria
    Thanks for the info! I had been looking at products like NetDrive and ExpanDrive that (fyi) allow you to selectively mount any or all your cloud services (Amazon, Google, Dropbox, OneDrive, SFTP and more) so each gets a drive letter and each looks to Windows like a network mapped drive. That would then allow a plethora of standard file/folder tools to access cloud storage which otherwise couldn't.

    However, as I'm only concerned with Google Drive and OneDrive, I'll take a closer look at what you mention to see if it's sufficient for my needs. It will certainly be free! Thanks!
    Computer Type: PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number: Dell Optiplex 7040 @3.40GB
    OS: Windows 10 x64 v1703
    CPU: 6th Generation Intel i7-6700
    Memory: 1 x 8GB DDR4 2133MHz
    Graphics Card: Onboard Intel HD Graphics 530
    Sound Card: Onboard Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays: Samsung 32UNJ6300
    Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080
    Keyboard: Logitech MK710
    Mouse: Logitech M705
    Hard Drives: 500GB SSD > 450MB Recovery > 100MB EFI > 128GB Windows C: > 160GB Personal Data F: > 188GB Media GB G:
    Internet Speed: 50Mbps
    Browser: Chrome - typically
    Antivirus: Norton Security

  8.    New13 Nov 2017#8

    In the end, free usage is fairly limited in capacity and really only suitable for critical data eg photos, word docs.

    For big stuff eg videos, images you will need to lease capacity. Then onedrive comes into its own with MS Office lease.
    ComputerGeek said:
    @cereberus and @Samuria
    Thanks for the info! I had been looking at products like NetDrive and ExpanDrive that (fyi) allow you to selectively mount any or all your cloud services (Amazon, Google, Dropbox, OneDrive, SFTP and more) so each gets a drive letter and each looks to Windows like a network mapped drive. That would then allow a plethora of standard file/folder tools to access cloud storage which otherwise couldn't.

    However, as I'm only concerned with Google Drive and OneDrive, I'll take a closer look at what you mention to see if it's sufficient for my needs. It will certainly be free! Thanks!

 

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