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. The tool can be installed from our Software portal. You can download the MapDrives MSI file and double click to run. 



  • Windows Operating System
  • You must have Global Protect VPN Installed and connected (VPN can be installed from here)
  • Administrator rights on the PC you are installing


Please note if you are installing this on a personal device (non University issue PC). You will see the following warning when installing:



Please click on the "More Info" option where you will see the following screen:

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.


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


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.


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


Now you are ready to type in your username and hit the Authenticate button, a pop up window asking for your password will appear on screen.



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 I have mapped the Resource



If I open File Explorer from the Start Menu I can now see the "J" drive mapped to my 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. 



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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