Make Network Mapped Drives Available in Elevated Command Prompt

How to Make Network Mapped Drives Available in Elevated Command Prompt and PowerShell in Windows 10

Starting with Windows Vista, Microsoft implemented the User Account Control feature, or just UAC. This feature is designed to improve the OS security. The side effect of this feature is that mapped network drives are inaccessible to programs running as administrator.

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What is UAC

User Account Control (UAC) tries to prevent apps from making unwanted changes on your PC. When some software tries to change system-related parts of the Registry or the file system, Windows 10 shows an UAC confirmation dialog, where the user should confirm if he really wants to make those changes. Usually, the apps that require elevation are related to the management of Windows or your computer in general. A good example would be the Registry Editor app.

Power Option Context Menu Confirm UAC Prompt

The UAC comes with different security levels. When its options are set to Always notify or Default, your Desktop will be dimmed. The session will be temporary switched to the secure Desktop without open windows and icons, containing only an elevation prompt by the User Account Control (UAC).

UAC and Mapped Drives

Members of the Administrators user group have to confirm or reject the UAC prompt without providing extra credentials (UAC consent prompt). Users without administrative privileges have to additionally enter valid credentials for a local administrator account (UAC credential prompt).

By default, mapped network drives are not available from an elevated command prompt, elevated PowerShell, or from any other app running as Administrator in Windows 10.

Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista come with a special Group Policy option which unlocks network drives for admin accounts.

To Make Network Mapped Drives Available in Elevated Command Prompt,

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Go to the following Registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\SystemTip: You can access any desired Registry key with one click.
  3. If you do not have this key, then just create it.
  4. Create a new DWORD value called EnableLinkedConnections, and set it to 1. Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows you must still create a 32-bit DWORD value.
    Windows 10 Enable Network Drives From Elevated Apps
  5. Restart Windows 10 and you are done.

Now you can access your mapped network drives even though your program is running as administrator.

To undo the change, delete the EnableLinkedConnections value and restart the OS.

To save your time, you can download the following ready-to-use Registry files (the undo tweak is included):

Download Registry Files

The same can be done using Winaero Tweaker. Navigate to Network > Network drives over UAC:
Winaero Tweaker network drivers over UAC
Use this option to avoid Registry editing.

This method works in Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

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