3 Easy Ways to Access a Shared Folder With Different Credentials

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
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  • You can’t access a shared folder with different credentials when its mapped drive isn’t configured for connecting with alternative user credentials.
  • To access a shared folder with different credentials, you’ll need to set up a mapped drive for which connecting with different credentials is enabled.
  • Some users might also need to erase saved credentials to access a shared folder with different credentials.

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Windows includes networking features that enable users to share folders between their PCs via local networks. As a result, sharing a folder on one Windows PC with another can be very convenient.

You can set up shared folders, which can be accessed with different credentials, with Map Network Drive.

What is a mapped network drive?

A mapped network drive points to a shared folder on a user’s local network. Those are drives you can assign letters to that include shared network resources.

You can share a folder between two PCs on a mapped network drive with File Explorer’s Map Network Drive wizard.

Why can’t I access a shared folder with different credentials?

The default Map Network Drive wizard settings configure Windows to connect with shared folders using the PC’s local user account and password.

You can’t access a shared folder with different credentials unless you select the Map Network Drive’s Connect using different settings option.

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Even with that setting enabled; however, Windows saves entered credentials for users who select the Remember my credentials option.

Credential Manager saves the shared folder’s login credentials in a vault. Users need to erase saved credentials to access shared folders with different credentials.

How can I access a shared folder with different credentials?

1. Use the Map Network Drive option

  1. Right-click Windows 10’s Start menu button to select File Explorer.
  2. Click This PC on the left side of File Explorer.
    Map network drive button access shared folder with different credentials
  3. Press the Map Network Drive button on the Computer tab to open the window in the snapshot directly below.
    Map Network Drive window access shared folder with different credentials
  4. Click the Browse button.
  5. Choose a folder you want to share on the Browse for Folder window, and press the OK button.
  6. Then select the Connect using different credentials checkbox.
  7. Press the Finish button. After that, the Windows Security window directly below will open.
    The Remember my credentials option access shared folder with different credentials
  8. Enter the required credentials in the login text boxes. Don’t select the Remember my credentials checkbox if you’ll need to access the shared folder with different credentials at other times.
  9. Press the OK button.

2. Remove saved credentials for the shared folder

  1. To remove saved credentials for a shared folder, bring up the search tool by pressing the Windows and S keys simultaneously.
  2. Type Control Panel within the search box.
  3. Click Control Panel to open that window.
  4. Select the Small icons option on the Control Panel’s View by menu.
  5. Click Credential Manager to open the applet shown directly below.
    Credential Manager access shared folder with different credentials
  6. Then select Windows Credentials to view the saved, shared folder credentials.
  7. Click the Remove from vault option for the saved credentials you need to delete.
  8. You can now enter different shared folder credentials in the Windows Security window.

3. Clear temporarily cached credentials

  1. Click the search button or box on Windows 10’s taskbar.
  2. Type cmd within the search tool to locate the Command Prompt.
  3. Select Command Prompt to open its window.
  4. Input this command within the Prompt’s window: net use * /delete /yes
    net use command access shared folder with different credentials
  5. Press the Enter key to clear the credential’s cache, and wait a few minutes.
  6. Note: This method is for clearing temporarily cached credentials for shared folders. It will save you from restarting Windows to access a shared folder with alternative credentials.

Why can’t I set up a shared folder with Map Network Drive?

If you can’t select a folder to share with Map Network Drive, network discovery is probably disabled. So first, make sure network discovery is enabled in Windows 10. You can enable that feature as follows.

  1. Press the Windows key + I key combination.
  2. Click Network & Internet to open the Status tab.
  3. Then select the Network and Sharing Center shortcut to open the Control Panel applet shown directly below.
    Network and Sharing Center access shared folder with different credentials
  4. Click Change advanced sharing settings on the left side of the applet.
    The Turn on network discovery option access shared folder with different credentials
  5. Select both the private and guest Turn on network discovery options.
  6. Press the Save changes button.

So, just make sure you select the Connect using different credentials option when mapping a drive if you need to access a shared drive with different user credentials.

Then you can access the shared folder with different credentials so long as you don’t select the Remember my credentials option.

Users can access a shared folder with different credentials without restarting by clearing temporarily cached user credentials via the Command Prompt.

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