The error "The local device name is already in use" on Windows, usually occurs when the drive letter assigned to a network shared folder is already being used by another disk or drive on the system.
Beyond that, the "local device name is already in use" problem can also appear if the "File and Printer Sharing" feature is not allowed in the Firewall, or if the computer's connection to the domain is incorrect or unsuccessful (for domain-joined computers) .
This guide contains several methods to fix the following problem in Windows when attempting to access a network mapped drive using File Explorer:
"An error occurred while reconnecting <drive letter:> to <Path to Network Shared Folder>. Microsoft Windows Network: The local device name is already in use. This connection has not been restored."
How to FIX: Local Device Name is Already in Use on Windows 10/11.
Method 1. Ensure that the Driver Letter is not Used to another Disk/Drive.
As I mentioned above, the "Local device name is already in use" error is caused if Windows has already assigned the drive letter of the mapped network drive to another local drive or disk. So the first step is to ensure that this does not happen.
2. In run command box, type: diskmgmt.msc and hit Enter or click OK to open Windows Disk Management console.
3. In Disk Management, check the drive letters already assigned to your local disks/drives/removable drives/CDROMs, etc., and make sure that no one of them is the same as the drive letter you have assigned to the network mapped drive.
If one of your local drives has the same drive letter as the network mapped drive, proceed to next step to change it, otherwise skip to next method.
* e.g.: If you mapped a network shared folder with the letter "E:", and the letter "E:" is used from a local drive, (like in the screenshot bellow), change it to another drive letter.
4a. To change the drive letter of the local drive, right-click on it and select Change Drive Letter and Paths…
4b. Then click Change.
4c. Use the drop-down menu to choose a different drive letter and click OK and then Yes to confirm the change.
5. Restart the PC and check if the problem is solved.
Method 2. Remap the Network Drive using Command Prompt.
The next method to fix the "local device name already is use" issue, is to re-map the network shared drive from command prompt:
1. Type command prompt in the search box. Then select the Command Prompt app and click Run as administrator.
2. In the command prompt type the following command and hit Enter to remove all the network mapped drives and click Y when prompted.
- net use * /delete
3. When the operation is complete, type the following command to re-map the network drive/shared folder and press Enter:*
- net use Drive_Letter: \\Server\Share /user:username password
* Note: In the above command replace the "Drive_Letter:" with the letter that you want to map the network shared folder, the "\\Server\Share" with the path of the network shared folder and the "username password" with the correct username and password. e.g.
- net use Z: \\192.168.1.70\Downloads /user:admin 123456
4. Now open explorer and see if the error "The local device name is already in use" has been resolved.
Method 3. Enable File and Printer Sharing in Windows Defender Firewall.
If the File and Printer Sharing feature is disabled in Windows Firewall, this can cause the error "The local device name is already in use".
1. Type control panel in the search box and click on Control Panel app shown under Best match results.
2. Set the View by: to "Large icons" or to "Small icons", then click on the Windows Defender Firewall.
3. Then click Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall, from the left side list of options.
4. Click the Change settings button in the upper right corner of the window.
5. Locate and check the box next to the File and Printer Sharing option and also check the boxes Private and Public. When done, click OK to apply the change.
6. Finally, restart your computer to see if the error persists.
Method 4. FIX "Local Device Name is Already in Use" in Registry (1)
All the assigned drive letters for the local and network drives, are stored under the "MountPoints2" key in the registry. So, the next method to fix the mentioned problem is to delete the "MountPoints2" registry key in order to force Windows to recreate it and the information that contains, at next reboot.
1. Type regedit in the Search box and click on Registry Editor app shown under Best match results.
2. In registry navigate from the left pane at this location.
3. Then, right-click at the MountPoints2 key and click Delete.
4. When prompted, click Yes to confirm your decision.
5. Close the Registry Editor and restart your PC.
7. After restart, open File Explorer and check if you can access the mapped network drive without error.
Method 5. FIX "The Local Device Name is Already in Use" in Registry (2)
The next method to fix the mentioned error is to ensure that the policy object "System objects: Strengthen default permissions of internal system objects" is set to Enabled. To do that, via registry:*
1. Open the Registry Editor and navigate to the following location:
- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager
2. In the right pane locate the ProtectionMode REG_DWORD and see if it has the value 1. If not, open it, type "1" in Value Data box and then restart your PC.
* Note: To modify this setting via the Group Policy Editor:
1. Navigate to:
- Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Security Options
2. Open the policy System objects: Strengthen default permissions of internal system objects (e.g., Symbolic Links) and set it to Enabled.
Method 6. Re-Join Computer to Domain.*
* Note: This method applies only to computers joined to an Active Directory Domain.
If the computer is joined to a Domain then proceed and remove it from the domain. Then restart the computer and then re-add it in the domain to resolve the "Local Device Name is Already in Use on Windows " problem.
Method 7. Check if the Server has Enough Free Storage Space.
The mentioned issue can sometimes occur if there is insufficient storage space on the server/computer with the shared folder. Therefore, make sure that the free space of the server/computer is not exhausted has at least 3-5 GB of free storage space.
That's it! Which method worked for you?
Let me know if this guide has helped you by leaving your comment about your experience. Please like and share this guide to help others.
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