Why You Should Avoid Mapping SharePoint Document Libraries as a Network Drive?

SharePoint Document libraries
30 Jan 2019

It seems to be time and again business outlets purchase and see Office 365 subscription plans and pricing, create a single site in SharePoint with a single document library, constantly transfer their whole file share into a subsequent single library, mapping SharePoint to the network drive and attempt to complete the project. The outcomes are a bit stressful and portray a bad user perspective as to who migrated the files and the blame goes onto SharePoint.

I have cited some of the reasons as to why one should avoid mapping SharePoint to the network drive


  • The Threshold limit is 5,000 items and the issue isn’t essentially with storing, however rather with displaying the data. 5000 item limit threshold in SharePoint applies to the limit of items that are displayed in a given view.
  • URL length – Restrictions of the long folder hierarchy. This new limit section applies to the whole length of the URL path to a folder or a file in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business however not to the length of any parameters. Also, these limitations apply solely to un-encoded URLs and not to encoded URLs. Encoded URLs in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business do not have any limits.
  • Performance – As your library becomes larger, performance slows down.


It’s always good to create many sites and libraries as you split content by function and security, this is one of the best practices in SharePoint development. Depending on your requirement you might have one, two or three document libraries on a single site. How this will be handled with mappings?

Map Network Drive


As it’s a fact, that search options are robust in SharePoint. The modern page search in SharePoint goes against the content and within the document as well as in metadata. Searching a mapped drive is no less than a basic search facility you would afford to be provided in a Windows Explorer search.

Search Purchase Order4. METADATA

If you map a drive in SharePoint, you are missing options of exploring metadata. Windows Explorer doesn’t have Metadata. The data that describes additional information about a file or a document is Metadata. To tag, search and filter based on metadata you have to access your files via SharePoint.

Meta Data Documents

The most fascinating option you would ever fetch from SharePoint is that you can track changes, restore existing settings that provide collaborations in a new perception. If you map a drive in SharePoint that would restrain the user from availing this feature.

Version History


The older versions of the library in SharePoint prevented one from copying and moving as such. SharePoint Online grants Modern Library experience, as one would use commands in Windows Explorer between folders, sites and libraries. So, all the reasons that prompted you to figure in Windows Explorer are irrelevant.

Modern Document library


One essential reason for mapping drives, that one can easily use the Save As option from MS Office documents to your C: Drive. With the recent update to MS Office, you can readily save files from MS Office directly to SharePoint.

Save As Documents


If none of the top reasons convinced you from mapping in SharePoint, I might recommend the Sync option? You can always adjust your files to your desktop using the new OneDrive for Business Sync Client. Sync may not be my cup of tea nevertheless, it will be the task and makes the library or certain files and folders available on your desktop.

Sync your OneDrive files

Hope you found these reasons attractive enough to drop the idea of mapping SharePoint to the network drive and start using SharePoint browser experience, instead of the outdated file share approach by mapping SharePoint document libraries.

Also check the previous post: How Secure is User Content in SharePoint and Office 365

Categories: Microsoft, Office 365, SharePoint