University of Southampton


MapDrives GUI tool

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The MapDrives GUI is a tool that will assist you in mapping common University network drives onto your personal PC or field build laptop.




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Downloading MapDrives

Using a computer managed by iSolution

Staff and Postgraduate Research students (PGRs) using a computer managed by iSolutions can download MapDrives from the Additional Software icon on their computer's desktop.

Additional software icon 

Using your own computer

Staff and students using their own computers can download the software from the Software Centre. Once downloaded, double-click MapDrives MSI to run. 

1. You will see the a warning message when installing:

Warning message "Windows protected your PC"


2. Please select the "More Info" option. It will appear a new message asking you whether you want to run the app anyway or not.



3. Please click on the "Run anyway" button to continue with the installation. This warning is there because this tool was written in house  iSolutions and we are not Microsoft "Verified" software publishers.


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Launch the application and map your network drives

1. Once the application is installed you will see a new desktop icon on your desktop.

MapDrives icon


2. When you launch the application, if you are not connected to the VPN you will see the following screen with VPN status "Disconnected" highlighted in Orange


If you see this screen, please close the application, connect to the VPN by searching for "GlobalProtect" on your start menu, authenticating and then selecting connect and once more launch the MapDrives app from shortcut on your desktop.


3. You should now see the following screen with "Connected" highlighted in Green for a successful VPN connection



4. Select the Authenticate button. A pop up window asking for your password will appear on screen



5. Enter your credentials and hit OK.

You will now be presented with an option of three of the most common mappings on your University PC.

These are "MyDocuments", "MyDesktop" and "Resource" network drives. You can click on the Map button to assign these network drives. In the example below we have mapped the Resource.



6. You can now open File Explorer from the Start Menu and see the "J:" drive mapped to your PC.

You can also access your MyDocuments folder and your MyDesktop in the same way. Once you have mapped your drives, you can close the MapDrives application. If you wish to unmap the drives launch the application again and hit the Unmap button. 


Important notes

Please be aware that these mappings are lost whenever you restart your PC so you need to map them again every time, this is because the mappings rely on the Global Protect VPN connection.

The application requires you to be connected to have a good quality internet connection. If the network mappings suddenly become unavailable or browsing folders takes a long time, it's very likely that your VPN or home broadband connection is not stable. In these instances it is probably best to disconnect the VPN and reconnect once again.

If you copy large files across this can take a significant amount of time due to the limited VPN speeds because of increased demand. If you did need to access large files from your MyDocuments or MyDesktop, you can download them through the Filestore Web App website. This does not require you to have a VPN connection so it is ideal for large file sizes. 

You must already have access to the J:Drive folders you need to work in, if you already work in the J drive that while on campus you already have the access level required. If you browse a folder and receive a permissions error you must raise a request with ServiceLine so that we can contact your line manager for folder access and authorisation.


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How to disconnect your computer from the  J:Drive

If you need to disconnect the J:Drive, please

  1.  From the Windows Start Menu type "This PC". It will appear a new window

    Image of the command This PC on Windows

  2. Select "Open"

  3. It will appear a new window.  Right click on the J drive (under network drives) and select disconnect



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Related content

How to set up the Virtual Private Network (VPN) via GlobalProtect

How to access the Shared Resource Filestore

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