12 August 2014

SharePoint Links To Network Share

SharePoint logoSometimes you want SharePoint user to be able to reach files and folders in a network share or in a local file system without uploading them to SharePoint. In those cases it is convenient with a link to the folder or file directly in SharePoint. Such a link can be added, but you need to use some tricks to get it to work.

In the second video demonstration in my series on SharePoint links, I am showing how to link from SharePoint to a folder or file in a file system.
SharePoint Insert link button

UNC path
When linking from SharePoint to a folder or file in a file system, you cannot use the path you find in the Documents address field, for example D:\Tips\SharePointLinks. The file system needs to be shared with the SharePoint site, and for folders you can find the network path under Properties. This is the path to use.

File + slash
Another trick comes when you insert the network path in SharePoint, because it cannot be used as it is. You have to add "file://" in front of the actual path. This is to indicate to the web browser that it is a link to the file system, and it is used for both folders and files.
Insert Hyperlink dialog
Create shortcut
When you link to a file you cannot find the whole UNC path in the file properties. You may of course add the file name to the location path, but it is quicker to create a shortcut and then copy the full path from the shortcut properties.

I show how to do in the demo below, and in the Tips article about linking to a file system you can find step by step descriptions for inserting SharePoint links to folders as well as to files.

By Peter Kalmstrom
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions