The Local Device Name is already in Use

How to Fix ‘The Local Device Name Is Already In Use’ Error On Windows

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“The Local Device Name is already in Use” error is related to network drive mapping and is a very common issue. Regardless if you are a network admin or a user – this issue may be plaguing you and we are here to help!

The issue occurs when attempting to access a network drive, generally a mapped drive, with the below error occurring.

An error occurred while reconnecting <drive letter> to <file path> Microsoft Windows Network: The local device name is already in use. This connection has not been restored.

I don’t know about you but the first time I saw this message I stopped, looked at my colleague and mouthed “W.T.F.” with a short chuckle after.

Look below for a few steps on how to potentially correct this incredibly annoying error message.

If the below guide does not help – please message us at [email protected] and we will get someone to help troubleshoot the issue!

What Is The Cause Of “The Local Device Name is already in Use” Error on Windows?

By far one of the most important troubleshooting steps is accurately identifying the root cause to the issue.

Many times these issues are attributed to the following causes:

  • Drive mapping have gotten messed up – Drive mapping either by batch file, script or logon entry can sometimes produce errors with specific drive letter mappings
  • Some drive letters are unassigned or mis-configured – Missing or incorrect drive mappings
  • File and Printer Sharing is disabled – MAKE SURE THIS OPTION IS ENABLED – if disabled this can cause a world of problems
  • No space on the server – While it may not be intuitive, make sure there is a gig or two free on the root drive of the network server folder. Limited disk space can cause this error and is an easy fix
  • Registry Key – The nuclear option – removing the associated registry key to the mapped drive and reloading the configuration

1st Solution: Remap the Drive VIA Command Prompt

By far the most effective method of resolution we have found is to remap the drive through and elevated command prompt.

  1. Select Windows Icon and either search or type in ‘Command Prompt’ or ‘CMD’. Before selecting item, right click and select ‘Run as Administrator
  1. If you are running an older version of Windows – use keyboard combination Windows Key + R to open a RUN dialog box. Enter CMD in the box and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter key combination in order to run Command Prompt as an administrator.
  2. Copy and paste or enter below command

    net use * /delete

4. Once the delete operation has completed, run the following command:

net use Z: \\server\share /user:username password

5. Make sure that the username and password is updated to the correct profile being used. Open Windows Explorer and see if issue is resolved!

Solution 2: Net Stop and Net Start Computer Browser

Sometimes the first attempted solution is not the right answer to the problem we are trying to solve.

Proceed to step 2 – stopping and starting the Computer Browser via net stop and net start

  1. Press the Windows button and R to open Run Prompt

2. Type “cmd” and then push and hold SHIFT + CTRL while pressing ENTER to provide the process Administrative Privileges.
3. In the elevated command prompt, enter net stop “Computer Browser”

Wait for the command to complete
4. Enter net start “Computer Browser”

Check to see if the issue remains.

Solution 3: Nuclear Option – Remove Registry Key

Only during research on the issue have I uncovered this additional, nuclear option which seems to be best suited for those who are having issues with CD/DVD and virtual drives where the issue persisted beyond solution 1 and solution 2.

Always always always – create a backup of your Registry before you start making any changes. I don’t care if you have been working on computer 10 days or 10 years – backup your registry.

Within the registry editor, navigate to the following key

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

Locate the specific key MountPoints2, right click and select delete. Confirm any dialog boxes that open.

Solution 4: Make Additional Space on Server

Fairly self explanatory – but – ensure that there is at least a gig or two free on the network share you are wishing to gain access to. There is no set amount of space that is needed but ‘more is better’ to a certain degree.

Solution 5: Reassign The Drive Letters

When in doubt – delete and try it over again. Sometimes there could be corruption with the configuration or the configuration has adjusted in some way from the original. This can also occur when the drive mapping assigned letter is different within Disk Management vs what is in Explorer.exe

  1. Ensure that all files/folders associated with network drive are closed and disconnected. Also make sure that there are no running process or copying or moving
  2. Open Disk Management and navigate to the drive in question
  3. Right click on the drive having the issue and and select Change Drive Letter and Paths.
  4. Decide on a drive letter different from the one listed and adjust configuration.

Let Us Know

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