Some users utilize drive mapping in Windows 10 to access remotely hosted disk drives.
However, users who utilize network drive mapping can occasionally encounter a Restoring Network Connections error when trying to access mapped network drives.
The Restoring Network Connections error message states:
An error occurred while reconnecting <drive letter> to <file path> Microsoft Windows Network: The local device name is already in use.
How do I fix the device name already in use error?
1. Remap the drive
Microsoft’s official resolution for the Restoring Network Connections error is to remap the drive.
- To do so, open File Explorer by pressing the Windows key + E hotkey.
- Select This PC on the left of File Explorer.
- Click the Computer tab.
- Click the Map network drive button to open the window shown directly below.
- Then choose a drive for the connection on the Drive drop-down menu.
- Click Browse to select a location to map.
- Press the Finish button when done.
2. Enable File and Printer Sharing
The Restoring Network Connections error can be due to firewalls blocking File and Printer Sharing.
- To check if File and Printer Sharing is enabled for Windows Defender Firewall, click the Type here to search button.
- Enter the search keyword firewall in the text box.
- Click Windows Defender Firewall to open the Control Panel as shown directly below.
- Click the Allow an app or feature through the Windows Defender Firewall option on the left of that applet.
- Press the Change settings button.
- Select all the check boxes for File and Printer Sharing if that isn’t enabled.
- Click OK to confirm the new settings.
- Restart Windows after enabling File and Printer Sharing.
3. Delete the MountPoints2 registry key
Some users have reputedly fixed the Restoring Network Connections error by deleting the MountPoints2 registry key.
- Press the Windows key + R at the same time to launch Run.
- Type regedit in the Open box and click OK to open the Registry Editor.
- Next, browse to this registry path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Explorer.
- Select the Explorer key.
- Right-click MountPoint2 to select the Delete option.
4. Restart the Computer Browser service
- The Restoring Network Connections error can be due to a conflicting Computer Browser service. Open Run’s window.
- Input cmd in Run’s Open text box, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter at the same time.
- Then input net stop “Computer Browser” in the Prompt, and press the Return key.
- Thereafter, type net start “Computer Browser” and press Enter to restart the service.
5. Check for missing drive letters
Some users might need to assign missing drive letters to fix the Restoring Network Connections error.
- Right-click the Start menu’s button to select Run.
- Input diskmgmt.msc and press Enter to open the window shown directly below.
- If there’s a drive without a letter assigned, right-click it and select Change Drive Letter and Paths.
- Press the Add button.
- Select the Change option.
- Select the Assign the following drive letter option.
- Choose a drive letter on the drop-down menu.
- Click OK to exit the window.
Those resolutions will probably fix the Restoring Network Connections error for the majority of users. Note that the issue can also arise when there’s insufficient drive storage space on the server for your network.
So, some users might need to free up root drive storage space on their network servers.
If you know of another method of fixing this issue, let us and everyone else know by leaving us a message in the comments section below.
FAQ: Learn more about drive mapping
- How can I fix drive mapping issues?
There are plenty of issues that you may encounter when drive mapping, the most common being a situation when you are facing a drive unmapping.
- I have issues with using Synology for drive mapping. What to do?
If you have issues using Synology for drive mapping, follow the detailed steps from this guide.
- How do I fix the local device name is already in use error?
One quick way to fix this issue is to simply change the drive name.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published in March 2020 and was revamped and updated in July 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.