- Mapping a network drive to your computer is way to make network resources from other computer readily accessible on your computer.
- While mapping network drives on a Windows computer is rather simple, some users run into the local device name is already in use issue while doing so.
- Fortunately, there are some proven solutions you may use to fix this issue, and we will discuss them in this article.
Windows allows you to map network drives to your computer so that you can access them through File Explorer without always having to search for them or use the address bar to find them. While network drive mapping or attempting to map a network drive to your local device is easy, some Windows users encounter the error message “The local device name is already in use” when doing so.
Usually this is a problem for people trying to connect to a network, and can be caused by a number of variables. However, it’s usually due to a conflict between the connection type you selected when you created the network driver and the network you’re trying to access.
Fortunately, there are some proven solutions that we’ll discuss in this article.
Table of Contents
What Causes “The Local Device Name is Already in Use” Error in Windows?
Before diving into how to fix “The local device name is already in use” error, you should know what causes this error so that you can easily prevent it.
- You are using a different type of connection than the one you use to create the network drive: There should not be a conflict between the connection type used to create a network drive and the one you are using to access it, so if you created the network drive using a local area network (LAN) and are attempting to connect to the file server using a Remote Access Service (RAS), this error will undoubtedly occur.
- A problem with file and printer sharing settings: If file and printer sharing is disabled in Windows Firewall, connecting to network drives will often result in errors like this.
- Unassigned drive letter: This error is displayed when the drive letter used conflicts.
- Network server with full disk space: Insufficient disk space is another possible reason for this error, as some users who experienced this error were able to resolve it by freeing up disk space on their network server.
In addition to all these factors, network mapping issues created by corrupted files and other issues can also lead to this error. But based on all these cases, we’ll examine various solutions to fix the error below.
Fix The Local Device Name is Already in Use Error on Windows 11/10
When you try to access a network drive, you may receive the error “the local device name is already in use”. Keep in mind that the above reasons for this error lead to different solutions, so you may have to try a few before you find the solution that fixes the problem.
Fix 1. Disconnect the Existing Network Drive and Remap it with Command Prompt
The first thing you should do is disconnect and remap the drive using the command prompt. This will rule out the possibility that network mapping problems caused the error.
1. Press Windows + S to open the Windows search bar and type command prompt.
2. In the menus that appear, tap Run as administrator to open Command Prompt as administrator.
3. Copy and paste the command below into the Command Prompt and press Enter.
net use F /delete
Make sure you replace “F” with the drive you want to delete
4. When you see that the drive has been successfully deleted, copy the following command to the Command Prompt and press Enter.
net use F: \\server\share /user:username password
Make sure that you change “F” to the desired drive letter. Also, replace the “username” and “password” part of the command with your network username and password.
After that, you can check the mapped network drive and see if the issue has been fixed. Please note that Microsoft’s official resolution for the Restoring Network Connections error is to remap the drive.
Fix 2. Restart Computer Browser
Another method to fix this error is to restart the computer browser service, because a failure of this service can cause the error “the local device name is already in use”.
1. Press Windows + S, type cmd in the search box, and select Run as administrator.
2. Tap Yes at the prompt that appears.
3. After the command prompt opens, type the following command and press Enter.
net stop “Computer Browser”.
4. After the command is executed, type the command below and press Enter.
net start “Computer Browser”.
You should check if the problem is solved after this solution.
Fix 3. Change or Assign a New Driver Letter
A drive with no letter or a drive letter that is different from the one in the network mapping in Windows Disk Management are two other possible causes of this problem. In this case, you should assign the drive letters correctly or change the drive letter by following the steps below:
1. Press Windows + R to open the Run command box.
2. Type diskmgmt.msc in the box and press Enter to open Disk Management.
3. Right-click the disk you want to make changes to and select Change Drive Letters and Paths from the drop-down menu that appears.
4. Click Add to assign a new drive letter, or tap Change to change the drive letter for a drive that has a different letter than the one in the network mapping.
5. Now choose from the list of available drive letters, but make sure you do not choose A or B.
6. Click Apply and confirm any prompts that appear on the screen before closing the dialog.
Fix 4. Enable File and Printer Sharing in Your Firewall
You must enable the file and printer sharing setting in your firewall for your computer’s shared drives to work properly. To do this:
1. Press the Windows + R key combination, type Control Panel in the Run box, and press Enter.
2. In Control Panel make sure that the “Show by” option in the upper-right corner of the window is set to “Large icons“, then navigate to Windows Defender Firewall and open it.
3. Click Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall.
4. Then tap Change settings in the upper-right corner of the page.
5. Go to the File and Printer Sharing option and check the box under the Private section.
6. Click OK to save the changes and restart your PC afterward.
Fix 5. Delete MountPoints2 Key in Windows Registry
If the above solutions didn’t resolve the “The local device name is already in use” message, deleting the MountPoints2 key is another solution you should try.
1. Press Windows + R to open the Run Command box.
2. Type regedit in the field and press Enter.
3. Navigate to the Explorer key using the following path:
4. Under the Explorer key, right-click MountPoints2 and select Delete.
Fix 6. Change ProtectionMode Value in Windows Registry
Using the Windows registry, you can fix this problem by changing the value of ProtectionMode.
1. Press Windows + R to open the Run Command box.
2. Type regedit in the field and press Enter.
3. In the Registry Editor window, navigate to the Session Manager key by following the path below:
4. In the right window, locate the ProtectionMode option, right-click on it and select Modify.
5. Change the value to ‘1’ and tap OK to save the changes.
After this solution, restart your computer and check if the error has disappeared.
Fix 7. Update Windows
If you are using an outdated version of Microsoft Windows (be it Windows 10 or Windows 11) on your computer, there may be a problem with the version that leads to this error. Therefore, it is recommended that you update Windows on your computer by following these steps:
1. Press Windows + I to open the settings on your computer.
2. Select Windows Update from the left pane and click Check for Updates.
3. If updates are available, click Install Now.
After Windows Update, restart your computer and test your network drive if the problem is resolved.
Fix 8. Create Enough Space on the Network Server
Some Microsoft Windows users who experienced this error were able to fix it by creating enough free space on the root drive of their network server. So if you are running low on disk space, you should free it up to see if that fixes the error.
The Local Device Name is Already in Use Error: Final Words
Fixing the “the local device name is already in use’ error is quite easy with the above solutions. In most cases, this error can be fixed by disconnecting and remapping the network drive. Also, make sure that you access the network drive with the same connection type that was used to create it to fix this issue.
FAQs about Fixing Network Mapping Issues on Windows 11/10
A computer's mapped drive is a shortcut created to provide access to resources on another computer system. Although it is assigned a letter and looks like a local hard drive, this shortcut actually contains files from another computer.
Simply put, network drive mapping allows you to quickly and easily access the network resources associated with your computer. With this feature, you can access network resources at any time through File Explorer, My PC, etc.
The most recommended solution for the "local device name is already in use" error is to delete the current network mapping for the share and then create a new one.
The "local device name is already in use" error is a message that appears when there is a conflict on a network caused by two or more devices using the same device name. To resolve the issue, you will need to change the device name of one of the devices to a unique name. This will resolve the conflict and allow the devices to communicate and access resources on the network.
To remove network mapping on Windows:
Select This PC from File Explorer.
Right-click on the drive you wish to unmap. You can choose Disconnect from the dialog menu that appears.
Navigate to This PC in File Explorer.
Select the drive you wish to unmap.
Click the dropdown arrow next to Map network drive on the Computer tab.
Select Disconnect network drive from the menu.
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