Windows 7 Some library features are unavailable due to unsupported library locations using network drive

Windows 7 Some library features are unavailable due to unsupported library locations using network drive

I like Windows 7. It’s so much faster than Vista and improved functionality over Windows XP.

I even like the libraries functionality of being up to include various folders in a frequently accessed section.

One problem with libraries in is using on a domain you are required to enable off-line folders and cache all of the files to your local drive.

If you do not enable off-line folders in order to be able to index the network shares and attempt to include a network folder you will get the message below the toolbar in Windows Explorer:

Some library features unavailable due to unsupported library locations. Click here to learn more


If your server as 40 GB of music and 1TB of videos, when you initially enable off-line folders and cache them the desktop PC it can take hours doing next to nothing.

It also generally slows down the whole computer particularly on login as it checks and resynchronises changed files. Your local drive may also run out of capacity.

It would have been nice if Microsoft let you share as a library folder without having to set it up as an off-line folder.

Here is a way around it:

Create a new folder on a local drive e.g.


Go to the properties for the library where you want to include a new folder


Include the newly created a local folder


Now delete the local folder d:\videos

Run a command prompt as an administrator


mklink /d d:\videos “\\servername\videos\my videos”


If you do a dir you will see the directory listed as a symbolic link


You can change into that folder and do a dir and see all the network files as if they were in a local folder. In your included libraries you will see the local folder name displaying all the network files.



Brendan King


Default Libraries – Include a Network Folder

How to Include a Network Drive or Folder in a Library in Windows 7
By default, Windows 7 does not allow you to include network drives or folders in a library. This is because folders must be indexed first in order to be added to a library, and network drives cannot be indexed unless they are synchronized. This will show you how to do that and add them to a library. more


Synchronize the Network Folder or Drive
The disadvantage of this method is that it actually copies (syncs) all network files locally so that they are available offline. It actually makes networking useless since you have to bring everything on your PC. For those not interested for this approach, please use method 2 warn

1. Right click on the network folder or network drive you wish to include to a library (or create a new one for it) and select “Always Available Offline”. A synching process will start, synchronizing your network folder.

2. Now you can add it to a library.

Using mklink Command

1. Create a temp folder on your hard drive i.e. c:\shares

2. Create another folder in the above folder. i.e. c:\shares\pictures

3. Link the Library to this folder.

4. Delete the folder (c:\shares\pictures).

5. Use the mklink in an elevated command prompt to make a symbolic link. Name the link the same as the folder you created above. i.e –
mklink /d c:\shares\pictures \\server\pictures

6. Done. Now you have a non-indexed network path as a library.