Where’s My Network Places in Vista!

Perhaps you like the adventure of following the mysterious Waldo or Carmen Santiago or whatever but Vista has introduced it’s own sleuthy puzzle I’ve yet to crack.

What happened to the concept of having a nifty UI that displays frequently needed top level network resources?  In Windows XP this was formerly known as “My Network Places” and leveraged the NetHood aka Network Neighborhood feature.  In Vista there is a thing called “Network Shortcuts” but it isn’t handy, isn’t auto-populated, and there is no provision to add any network shortcuts if you want to (other than a cut-n-paste or whatever from some other origination point).

Remember when you wanted to save a document to some network share or to a SharePoint document library how nice it was to just choose My Network Places and then the ultimate deposit destination was but a click or two away?  Oh those were the good days.

The new location isn’t easy to find unless you know to look for it and then it still isn’t easy.  This is nested underneath each user’s (& Default User) hidden AppData folder location.  Here’s the default path for reference and use in a Run  or Quick Search prompt.  You will see this only from within an Office application if you choose to Publish:

%systemdrive%\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Network Shortcuts

I’m trying to search for answers from the guru’s of Microsoft in the Office SharePoint forum but if you know the answer – please please please – share a comment.

 Here’s the next post on this subject which provides the quasi solution:



7 responses to “Where’s My Network Places in Vista!

  1. Gilbert Byamugisha

    I dont know if the Gurus at Microsoft think they are doing anybody a favour by refusing to provide us with the amenities we had and loved in XP but I’m fast getting tired of this lack of functionality in windows versions.

    For example, how would one access the telnet feature in vista, without using the third party access tool Putty?

  2. It is a challenge as Microsoft turns loose the hounds of creativity to not only improve the OS code but be restrained from changing it at the same time. I do get that. Competing interests battle and there is collateral damage. Nevertheless, the Mothership needs to listen and add back or (the C word) “Correct” now apparent lapses of judgement.

  3. Gilbert – Telnet is an option you must install if you want it. It’s under Windows Components… But it does come with Vista! No 3rd party software required!

  4. Chris – thanks for that clarification.

    Another more fun component that doesn’t get default installed into Vista Biz is the Games feature. Can’t say enough about the much nicer game look and feel. 🙂

  5. Ummm actually … this seems to be a matter of the Vista method being so darn simple that people just have not found it.

    In Windows Explorer, left click on Computer to see your drives.

    In the right pane, under your drives, right click and “Add New Network Location”

    Put in the URL for your sharepoint site

    .. and watch it work, all nice and easy, as if someone at Apple had designed the system.

    • Hi Ken and thanks for offering that; however, you might re-read the post and see the solution has already been blogged and linked to (bottom of post). From my perspective for a feature to be ‘SIMPLE’ it needs to be what I call ‘intuitive’; this one isn’t as evidenced by the high traffic this post continues to get. Even with that solution though this is a feature loss and a degraded experience from the simplicity of what occurred in XP.

      Vista was a huge leap forward even with all of its shortfalls and I’m excited about the refinements I’m currently enjoying with the Win7 beta 1 code. Within a couple of weeks the Win7 RC1 will be out and we will largely get to see what will be coming for the RTM product. Very exciting times for the desktop OS marketplace.

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