You added a network Location to This PC in Windows 10 from your NAS or other computer. You move stuff over and when you go to your network drive, the folders that you just moved aren't there. Where did they go? Did something go wrong in the move?

Luckily, no. What actually happened is you moved your files to the shortcut folder in %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Network Shortcuts, which is where the shortcut to your network location is stored.

Why did it move here instead of the shortcut destination? I'm not sure yet. Let me know in the comments below if you know.

To fix it, you can move those files by moving them directly to the full path of the shared folder – \\NAS\Share.

Two Ways to Create Network Shortcuts

There are two main ways to create a network shortcut in your This PC or Windows Explorer:

  1. Click Map Network Drive to open a dialog box to enter the full path of the share. Be sure you are using backslashes and not regular slashes (\\NAS\Share).
    • If you are already in a network folder, right-click on a shared folder, and click Map Network Drive from the shortcut menu.
    • Mapped drives must have an assigned drive letters to them.
  2. If you right-click any empty space while in This PC, you can click Add A Network Location. Similarly to before, you can enter the full path to the share here – \\NAS\Share.
    • You can ignore URLs here, the UNC path is fine.
    • Network shortcuts are stored in %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Network Shortcuts.
    • Network locations do not require drive letters.

Both options will show the shortcut in the Network Locations area of This PC. Both options also allow you to connect with different credentials.

Tying in Synology DiskStation Manager

So how does this relate to Synology? I accidentally stumbled on the difference between mapped drives and network locations when trying to move files around.

After you move the files to where they were originally supposed to go, you can delete the network location shortcut if that's what you want. If it asks if you want to send any files to the Recycling Bin, make sure the files are already on your NAS, and then you can safely delete the files in your shortcut folder. Personally, I made sure the %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Network Shortcuts was empty when I removed all shortcuts.

You can read more on shared folders at Shared Folder Help Article from the Knowledgebase in Synology DiskStation Manager.

How to Connect File Explorer to Synology

The video below goes over how map a shared folder on Synology NAS in order to connect to it through Windows Explorer. This uses SMB to allow you to easily connect to all of the files on your NAS as if they were locally saved on your computer.

Additionally, if you can't see your NAS in your Network location, and you want to, follow this video:

This video walks you through how to turn on Network Discovery in Windows 10. If you want to see other computers and devices on your network, then this is how to do it and how to fix it if it won't turn on.

Conclusion

Browsing for shared network resources every time you need them or want to move additional files and folders over can be a tedious, time consuming process. It can also be frustrating if you can see the locations in your file explorer properly.

You fix this by either adding a mapped drive or network location. Additionally, time saving tasks also include enabling SMB in your Synology and turning on Network Discovery in Windows 10. Now your shared drives will always be visible when you view the File Explorer navigation pane and you won't find your files in your %AppData% folder.

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