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How To Disconnect Non-Mapped UNC Path “Drives” in Windows

Have you ever browsed over to another PC on your network using “network neighborhood”, and then connected to one of the file shares? Without a drive letter, how do you disconnect yourself once you’ve done so?

Really confused as to what I’m talking about? Let’s walk through the process. First, imagine that you browse through and connect to a share, entering your username and password to gain access.

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The problem is that you stay connected, and there’s no visible way to disconnect yourself. If you try and shut down the other PC, you’ll receive a message that users are still connected. So let’s disconnect!

Open up a command prompt, and then type in the following:

net use

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This will give you a list of the connected drives, including the ones that aren’t actually mapped to a drive letter. To disconnect one of the connections, you can use the following command:

net use /delete \\server\sharename

For example, in this instance we’d disconnect like so:

net use /delete \\192.168.1.205\root$

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Now when you run the “net use” command again, you’ll see that you’ve been properly disconnected.

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If you wanted to actually connect to a share without mapping a drive letter, you can do the following:

net use /user:Username \\server\sharename Password

You could then just pop \\server\sharename into a Windows Explorer window and browse the files that way. Note that this technique should work exactly the same in any version of windows.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/3/10

Comments (7)

  1. sundaraz

    I’m not sure about Win 7, but in XP, I can just go to “My Network Places” and delete it from there.

  2. rbailin

    Isn’t there a visual version of net somewhere so we don’t have to deal with the command line?

    Wouldn’t logging off your own system (not necessarily rebooting) accomplish the same thing? After all, if you were willing to shutdown the other system, your system is fair game, too.

  3. theregkid

    Very Cool This helped me lol

  4. chess

    yes you can just Right clikc and “Discount drive from the nework” but we are geeks and do it with the command prompt. NO but really sometimes you can’t just Rightclick and disconnect. Sometimes it will lose the share or some how it won’t know’ so you have to do it with the command prompt.

  5. chess

    OOPs also you might have to run this as an Admin?

  6. Jack Johnson

    Awesome, thanks for this method. I was so frustrated by Windows Explorer not showing these connections and having to reboot to disconnect. Quick, easy and much appreciated!

  7. riley

    1 go to grr then try systems

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