Mapping WebDAV folder as a network drive letter

Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) is an extension to the HTTP protocol, which makes it possible to manage files on a remote Web-Server. WebDAV is preferred when clients has to connect through an insecure network (like the Internet) to reach the remote server, as the remote server can be protected by a firewall and only leaving the HTTP port open and allows SSL instead of using VPN.

Windows XP includes the WebClient service that allows one to mount a Web Folder as a mapped network drive:

net use x: “” /User:UserName Password

Note to make the mapping permanent add the parameter /persistent:yes

Note Windows XP can only connect to port 80 and can only map to a sub folder and not the root directly.

If wanting to make a secure SSL mapping using the https protocol at port 443:

net use x: “\\\folder” /User:UserName Password

net use x: “” /User:UserName Password

Note Windows XP only supports SSL / https connections when using My Network Places, but can be tricked into using SSL with net use by creating a forward server using stunnel. More Info Simple Groupware WebDAV.

Windows Vista can create a network drive without needing to dive into the command line:

  1. Click on the Start menu and choose Computer.
  2. Click the Map network drive button in the toolbar.
  3. Select the drive-letter and enter the WebDAV location in the Folder using the http address.
  4. Click the blue link “Connect using a different username” to specify a different user account and password, than the Windows user account.
  5. Click Finish to create the new drive letter.

Note there is an update available for Windows XP/Vista for better support of WebDAV folders (Will be part of XP SP3 and Vista SP1). More Info MS KB907306.

  • The latest version of the Web Folders update (2.0) doesn’t support Windows 98, Me or 2000. Instead one should use version 11.0.6715.15 Download Webfldrs-KB892211-ENU.exe.
  • Windows Vista SP1 (and older) has a known bug where it cannot access sub-folder unless it has read-access to the parent folders. More Info MS KB942392

Note if using Windows 2000 or earlier, then one must use a 3rd party utility to map a WebDAV folder as a network drive.

Note MS Office (2000+) includes its own WebDAV client which supports file locking and SSL, but will only work when accessing files through the office applications (Excel, Word, etc.). More Info MS KB838028

Note to setup a WebDAV server for the clients to connect to, then one can use IIS or try one of these freeware servers:

More Info Lists WebDAV clients in MS Office (and their bugs)
More Info Lists WebDAV clients in Windows (and their bugs)