7 Fixes For “The Local Device Name Is Already In Use” Error For Windows

You might’ve tried to access a network drive. It is one of the drives connected to your system, accessible. Yet, when you do it, you get the error. The error reads ‘The Local Device Name Is Already In Use.’ What do you do at this point? Browse through this guide to find the best fix.

Here you will find answers to various questions. For instance, what is this error, and what causes it? You will also receive apt solutions to fix this error. By the end of the article, you will be ready to tackle any problem.

What Is The Local Drive Name Is Already In Use Network Drive Error?

This error pops up when you try to access a mapped drive. A mapped drive is basically a shortcut option available on your system. It grants you access to the drive, files, or folders that are in the other system. Thus, when you try to access it, you may get the following error:

Microsoft Windows Network: The Local Drive Name Is Already In Use

This connection has not been restored

The error is relatively standard on Microsoft Windows. It is related to the network drive mapping option that the latest OS comes with. In simple words, it will prevent you from connecting with the network drive. You won’t get to access it in any way. But, there were some solutions available for you. Before that, let’s dig into the reasons.

Reasons For The Local Device Name Is Already In Use Windows 10

Understanding the reason behind the issue is pivotal to getting the best solution. So, before you start troubleshooting, check for these reasons. It can help you save a lot of time. Thus, you can choose the right solution or method available below in the list.

  • The most common reason is the Drive mapping error. During the drive mapping process, there could’ve been some errors. It could also mean corrupted system files for drive mapping.
  • If the drivers recently got a letter change, this error could arise. Similarly, if there is a different letter or a missing letter, this error can occur. After all, drive mapping was done with another letter in the data.
  • Maybe you have file and printer sharing disabled. Typically, this happens in the Firewall settings, and you might have to check it out.
  • Remember always to have some space in your root drives of the network servers. Keep the space clear on both sides. If you don’t have enough space, the error can surface.

Now that you know about the error and the reason let’s solve it. Remember, you can use these solutions in most Windows OS, including Windows 7 to Windows 10.

Solutions For The Local Device Name Is Already In Use Win 10, 7, And Others

  1. Remap The Network Drive
  2. The Files And Printer Sharing Fix
  3. Assign A Letter To The Drive
  4. Try The Registry Editor
  5. Check For The Disk Space
  6. Restart The Computer Browser
  7. Change The ProtectionMode’s Value

Solutions For The Local Device Name Is Already In Use Mapped Drive

1. Remap The Network Drive

Map Network Drive window

The very first thing that you should try is remapping the drive. Yes, it is one of the most effective solutions.

  • Open the command prompt, and make sure to do it with Admin permissions. So, right-click on the Start Menu and select Command Prompt (Admin). If you don’t have this option, use Run (Windows + R). Type ‘cmd’ and press Shift + Enter to run it as Admin.
  • Now, you will have to type: net use * /delete and hit enter. Wait until the operation is successful.
  • Once done, hit enter again. Now type: net use Z://server/share/user: your_user_name password.
  • Make sure to replace ‘your user name password’ with the actual credentials. Then press enter.
  • Once done, you can choose to restart the PC. But the best thing would be to check if you can now gain access again.

There’s another option if you don’t want to use Command Prompt. Some users are not comfortable with it or can’t understand it. In case the commands are not working, use these guidelines:

  • Open your File Explorer. You can do it by pressing the Windows + E key together on your Keyboard.
  • Now, go to the ‘This PC’ option and find the computer tab. It could also be the Network option at the bottom of the left panel.
  • Find and click the Map Network Drive.
  • Now, go ahead and choose the drive you want to map. Make sure to select it from the drop-down menu.
  • Now click on Browse to select the location you want to map precisely.
  • Once done, click on Finish, and you will be good to go.

2. The File And Printer Sharing Fix

Firewall & Network protection page and the applications allowed through the Network firewall

You might have to enable File and Printer Sharing from the Firewall settings. If you’re using Windows Defender Firewall, you will find the solutions below. But, if you’re using some other third-party firewall, you will have to find its guide. Typically, most Firewalls have a similar process. So, just try this out:

  • Open Control Panel. Use any of the methods available to you for your Windows OS. Use the search bar.
  • Now, select the view to Large icons and find Windows Defender Firewall. You can also search for it at the top-right corner. There is a search option given for Control Panel.
  • Next, select ‘Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall.’ You will find it if you scroll slightly below.
  • Now, click on ‘Change Settings.’ You will find it at the top-right corner of the new window that opens up. You might have to provide admin control. If you use a password for Admin access, you will have to provide it.
  • Now, find the File and Printer Sharing option. Check on the box next to them to allow it through the Firewall.
  • Once done, click on OK to save the changes and restart the PC. It should fix the error.

3. Assign A Letter To The Drive

Disk Management window

Was any of the drive without a letter? You can find it by accessing the Disk Management option. If there were any such drive, you would end up ruining the mapping process. Thus, it will pose the same problems that you’re facing right now.

Windows operating systems have improved significantly. It comes with Disk Management tools. This tool will help you solve this issue efficiently. Let’s have a look:

  • Launch the Run utility (Windows key + R key on keyboard). Type: diskmgmt.msc and hit Enter on your keyboard.
  • Go to the partition, which doesn’t have a Drive Letter. Right-click on it and select ‘Change Drive Letter And Paths.’
  • Now, click on the Add button and select a drive letter, or create one. Whichever suits you. Then, click OK.
  • Don’t use A or B letters. They are for other drives.
  • You will have to use this method on the system which doesn’t have a drive with a letter.

4. Try The Registry Editor

Registry Editor window

Alright, you haven’t had any luck so far. Now, this calls for desperate measures. The error of the local device name is already in use and can be fixed with the registry editor.

For this, you will first have to back up the registry. Why? Because registry data, and the keys, are integral to the Windows operating system. They may not consume so much space, but their values keep your entire PC intact.

But, this doesn’t mean that you should invest in third-party registry cleaners. There is an entire market standing on helping in cleaning the registry. This does nothing, even if the claims are that it boosts your PC speed.

If there were any benefits or use to it, Microsoft would’ve launched their registry cleaner by now. After all, it has launched several other essential tools for us.

So, if Microsoft isn’t providing it, there’s no need for you to try it. This being said, Registry Editor isn’t that challenging to edit. As long as you modify or delete the keys that are posing problems, you will be fine. For this, you first have to backup:

  • Go to the Search bar and type Registry. This should pop up in the Registry Editor. Launch it.
  • In the left panel, click on the ‘Computer’ option and then Export in the Menu. Now, this is your registry backup file. So you can name it whatever you’d like. Save it somewhere you will have an easy time finding.
  • You can also export specific (individual) key values if you want to back them up before trying.

After the backup, it is time for you to deal with the key. The key name is MountPoints2.

  • Once again, launch the Registry Editor if you don’t have it open already.
  • Go to the following address: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
  • Now, find the ‘MountPoints2’ in the list of keys. Right-click on it and select Delete. That’s all you have to do.

Now, restart the PC and see if this solves the entire device name error or not.

5. Check For The Disk Space

Highlighted free space on the This PC window

As mentioned earlier, a lack of disk space could cause this error. You might have to check the network server computer for it. So, make sure to check for the space.

If you’re running low on the Network Server Computer, use your root drive. Your root drive can provide the extra space the server might need to operate.

There’s no exact value available. So, you just have to keep a couple of GBs empty, at least. You can do it by deleting unnecessary data. Transferring and storing data somewhere else also works just fine.

6. Restart The Computer Browser

Microsoft Services window

The computer browser service is integral for the Network and Sharing Center. If you want to access other systems and vice-versa, you need to have this service. So, if you’re running into a problem accessing the network drive, it could be due to a computer browser. Thus, you can try this solution.

For many uses, this solution worked perfectly. So, give it a go:

  • Launch the Command Prompt as Admin. Make sure to press yes at the prompt once it launches. You can use any method, either running, right-clicking Windows Icon, or anything else that you know.
  • Now, all you need to do is make sure that you have a System32 command line. If so, type: net stop “Computer Browser.”
  • Hit enter after typing that and wait for a couple of seconds while the command takes place.
  • After that, type: net start “Computer Browser.”
  • Hit enter, and this will restart the Computer Browser.

Now go ahead and access your mapped drive. See if the error persists.

7. Change The ProtectionMode Value

image 285

Once again, you’re back to a solution related to Registry. This was for when none of the fixes worked to solve the Network Driver issue. It is time for you to change the value of ProtectionMode.

Typically, the protection mode activates when someone without permission (Admin permission) tries to update. The system goes into protection mode. This could hinder any connection attempts. Thus, you can give these steps a try:

  1. Once again, open the Registry Editor. You can simply use the Run option and type ‘regedit’ then press Shift + Enter to launch it as Admin.
  2. After that, go to the following directory: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\
  3. It is the path of the registry you need to work with. Now, find the ‘ProtectionMode’ key in the options you get.
  4. Double-click on it and change the value from 0 to 1, or vice-versa. Then save and exit.
  5. Don’t forget to restart the system. See if this helps you solve the issue.

Also, much like the previous point, don’t forget to back up the registry. Do it before you make any changes, or even browse the Registry Editor.

Conclusion – The Local Device Name Is Already In Use Network Share, NAS, VPN

There you have it. The guide has carefully handpicked solutions for every problem related to the device name already in use. Remember, if you use VPN and such, they shouldn’t impact the connectivity. But, to be sure, disable the VPN before using the network drives and such. 

Hopefully, you found the guide worthwhile with apt solutions that will always help you make the best choices. One or another solution is bound to help you solve your problems. So go ahead. If you ever run into the error again, fix it with these guidelines.