Connecting to Files on the Network

Replaced by
How to access files on other computers (network files).


To access files stored on other computers use a UNC path in the File Path prompt of ETL+ source drivers.
Avoid mapped drives.

Applies to File Path fields in Source Drivers


UNC Path Naming Convention

The Universal Naming Convention (UNC) is a standard for naming resources such as files and devices that are shared by computers on a network. It is used by Microsoft operating systems and to share network resources with Microsoft platforms on a network.

UNC Syntax: \\<servername>\<shareddirectory>\<filename>


"servername" is the name of the server where the shared resource is located
"shareddirectory" is the name of the directory that contains the shared resource
"filename" is the name of the file

UNC Path Examples and Issues

In Windows, network mapped files are typically accessed using UNC paths that includes the server name and the shared folder. The general format for a network file path is \\ServerName\SharedFolder\FileName.

Examples of UNC paths for network files:

  1. \\NAS\Share\document.txt

  2. \\\SharedFolder\image.jpg

  3. \\ServerName\SharedFolder\data.csv

Note: If you can't connect to a network drive or folder, the computer you're trying to connect to might be turned off, or you might not have the correct permissions. Try contacting your network administrator.

“Mapped Drives”

A mapped drive is a shortcut to a drive that's physically located on a different computer.

Drive mapping is how MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows associate a local drive letter (A through Z) with a shared storage area to another computer (often referred as a File Server) over a network. After a drive has been mapped, a software application on a client's computer should be able to read and write files from the shared storage area by accessing that drive, just as if that drive represented a local physical hard disk drive.

The shortcut on your computer looks just like one for a local hard drive (like the C drive) with its own letter assigned to it, and opens as if it were, but all the files in the mapped drive are actually physically stored on another computer.

explains how to map a drive letter on your computer to a network drive or folder.