Recently Champion came upon a request to have a mapped drive be set as a permanent My Documents library location for users on their respective Windows machines. The idea was to make the move to SharePoint as seamless as possible for the company, as they were switching to using SharePoint and SkyDrive Pro more for document storage. Since many companies struggle with user adoption, this Champion client needed a way to keep their users from getting confused and losing track of documents in various locations.

Adding a Mapped Network Drive is half the task. For instructions on how to do this, see the article here for a user and here for when using GPO.

Now you just need to include the mapped drive as a library location. Which would be easy enough if you could do it as quick and easy as it is to add a regular folder to a library location.

Attempting to add the mapped drive as a location will leave you staring at an ugly error message stating, “This Network Location can’t be included because it is not indexed.” Which is about as much good as this Error Monster saying it.

So why is Windows complaining at you?

Windows wants to be able to index locations for faster search and discovery performance – which is normally great – but right now that isn’t what we want. So to get around this, we will follow these instructions below:

  1. Create a folder on the hard drive. I’m using the “C” drive: C:SomeFolder
  2. Create a subfolder within the folder you just made: C:SomeFolderDocs
  3. Add the subfolder as a library location to the library.
  4. Delete the subfolder from the drive.
  5. Run an elevated Command Prompt (as admin). Use a cmdlet called mklink, we will make a symbolic link. Name the link the same as the folder you created above. See two examples below:
    • mklink /d c:SomeFolderDocs \serverdocuments
    • mklink /d c:SomeFolderDocs  h:
  6. Done. Now you have non-indexed path as a library location.
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