Map OneDrive for Business & SharePoint to Network Drives
Are you replacing your file server with Office 365 and OneDrive for Business but don't want to lose the familiarity and ease of working with your files through mapped drives and file shares? Then take a look at Zee Drive to find out how it makes Office 365 work as your new file server.
Zee Drive maps OneDrive for Business, team sites, SharePoint Online document libraries, shared with me files and Office 365 group files to network drives giving you access to your files through the familiar interface of Windows File Explorer in a similar way as if you were accessing them from a local file server.
Mapped drives are persistent and available when users sign in to their PCs. The mapped drive configuration is managed centrally by Zee Drive so you can easily deploy changes to drive mappings to all users in your organisation.
Zee Drive can minimise disruption to end users and greatly reduce the need for training when transitioning to Office 365 because users work with their files in a familiar way.
If you are considering deploying Zee Drive to your customers then find out about our Zee Drive partner subscriptions. With a partner subscription you can white label parts of Zee Drive and administer all your customer subscriptions from a single interface. With a partner subscription you can provide a "managed cloud file server" solution for your customers.
- Open, move, delete and manage your folders and files with Windows File Explorer
- Drag & drop emails straight from Outlook to your OneDrive for Business and team sites
- Works with OneDrive for Business and team site libraries over the 20,000 item sync limit
- Uses less hard disk storage than synchronisation, only accessed files are retrieved
- Caches frequently accessed files and directory structures to deliver fast response times
- Network drives are persistent between reboots
- Signs you in automatically on startup and keeps you signed in
- Works with Office 365 managed identity and federated identity
- Manage drive mappings centrally and roll out easily to all users on your subscription
- Target mapped drives to specific groups of users
- Ease transition to Office 365 by using the same drive letters used on-premises
- Map to a specific user's OneDrive for Business to access their shared documents
- Use Zee Drive virtual folders to connect multiple libraries under one network drive
- Locks documents opened in Office to help prevent two people editing same document
- Map to Office 365 group files
- Provides a summary of file activity across all users on your subscription
- View report of all computers and users that are running Zee Drive on your subscription
- Recovers failed file uploads, central reporting to view computers with unsaved files
- Supports shared computers such as hot desk computers and school library computers
- View file and folder changes made by other users on-demand
- Map to SharePoint Online team sites and entire team site hierarchies
- View the version history of a file from the File Explorer context menu
- Map a network drive to shared with me files
Download Zee Drive and Start Your Free Trial
Try out Zee Drive with a free 7 day trial subscription for 5 users (also includes licences for trialling Zee Drive on shared computers). Click the button below to download Zee Drive. Once downloaded, run Zee Drive and follow the steps to setup your trial and activate Zee Drive on your computer.
The Zee Drive trial subscription limits the amount of data you can upload or download through your mapped drives in any given 24 hour period to 5,000 file uploads or 3GB of data and 10,000 file downloads or 5GB of data.
Zee Drive requires Microsoft .Net 4.x and Windows. Zee Drive is supported on Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10. Trouble running Zee Drive? Click here to contact us.
Download Zee Drive and Start Your Trial Now
Here is a walkthrough of your Zee Drive trial, from installation and activation, to creating a network drive, and then setting up other users on your subscription. View the Zee Drive subscription agreement here.
- Download and run Zee Drive, click Next and you should see the screen below. As this is the first time you are running Zee Drive, click the blue link "then click here to set up your trial".
On clicking the blue link Zee Drive will guide you through the trial sign up process. First step is to sign in to the Office 365 tenant you want to associate with your subscription. The user you sign in with will become your Zee Drive subscription administrator.
- Sign in to the Office 365 tenant you want to associate your Zee Drive subscription with.
On the next screen enter a contact email address. An email will be sent to you with your subscription details so be sure to enter the correct contact email address. Zee Drive will then set up your subscription, it shouldn't take long. Once your subscription has been set up click the Continue button to continue installing and activating Zee Drive on your computer.
- When you click the Activate button Zee Drive will install and activate your subscription on your computer. Zee Drive will now start up each time you sign in to Windows.
Let's publish your first mapped network drive. We will connect it to your OneDrive for Business.
- Click on the blue Z icon in the system notification area to open up Zee Drive.
As the Zee Drive subscription administrator you have the rights to add network drives and publish them for all users on your subscription.
- Click the button to open up the action menu and choose "Add or manage your network drives".
On the next screen, choose the "Create a network drive" option from the action menu. Enter a name for your network drive. The name is a combination of server name and share name and will appear in Windows Explorer as a network drive.
- Optionally choose a drive letter, here the letter Z has been chosen.
You may want to restrict your network drive to only appear for certain users. For example, you can ensure that only users from the finance department will see the finance mapped network drive.
- Optionally use Zee Drive's group targeting feature to target your network drive at specific groups of users.
On the next screen choose where to map your network drive to in Office 365. You can connect your drive to OneDrive for Business or to a library or even a subfolder within a library.
- There are several connection options supported by Zee Drive.
- Let's connect our drive to OneDrive for Business of the signed in user. This means that the network drive will dynamically resolve to the OneDrive for Business of whomever is signed in.
Click the Create button to create your network drive. You can add more network drives if you like.
- Here is the network drive that we just created.
The next step is to publish our drive to the Zee Drive service. This will make the network drives available to anyone that is on your Zee Drive subscription. It means you can manage the drives centrally and push them out to all users's computers easily.
From the manage network drives page, click the Publish button and then click Publish Now. After a short time your network drive configuration will be committed to the Zee Drive service and also applied to your local computer.
- Open up Windows File Explorer to see your network drive. Your drive is ready to work with; drag and drop a file in, double click to open etc.
Now its time to set up other users on your Zee Drive subscription. From Zee Drive, click the Cancel button on the manage network drives page to take you back to the subscription status page.
- Click the menu button then choose the "Setup or manage users on your subscription" option.
- Enter an Office 365 username and click the Add button.
The user will be added to your subscription and an activation code generated for them. Provide the activation code to the user and the link to download Zee Drive.
When they install and activate Zee Drive (following the same steps above), the drive that you published will automatically be created on their computer ready for them to use.
How Office Document Locking Works in Zee Drive
When opening an Office document on a local file server through a mapped network drive, Office will report that the document is already locked for editing if another user has already opened the same document. The user has the option to open the file readonly or wait for the file to be available for editing.
This familiar user experience for locked Office documents is supported with Zee Drive mapped network drives. On opening a document in Office, a server side lock is taken out on the document preventing other users from opening the document for editing in Office.
- When opening an Office document from a Zee Drive mapped network drive, if the document is already locked, Office informs the user and offers some options.
Zee Drive attempts to maintain the lock on the document for the duration the document is opened from Zee Drive. On closing the document, the lock is released, allowing another user to open the document for editing.
The specific Office applications supported are Excel, Word, and PowerPoint and the document types .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .xlsm, .ppt, and .pptx.
Reporting And Recovery Of Failed File Uploads
Zee Drive provides capabilities for end users to recover file uploads that have failed, for administrators to identify computers with recovered files, and a special recovery mode to save recovered files from computers where Zee Drive has been deactivated.
When a file fails to upload through a Zee Drive mapped drive Zee Drive recovers the file and notifies the user. The user can then save the recovered file to a location on their computer. Zee Drive limits how many files can be held in recovery; if the limits are breached Zee Drive will write-protect the drives temporarily until the user has saved the recovered files. Users have up to 4 weeks to save the recovered files before Zee Drive purges them.
- Zee Drive notifies the user when files have failed to upload.
- Users can select the recovered files and save them from Zee Drive to their computer.
Zee Drive subscription administrators can view reports tracking which computers have unsaved files. Even if a computer has since been deactivated administrators can still discover which computers had unsaved files at the time of deactivation.
- Administrators can track computers with unsaved files.
If Zee Drive has been deactivated on a computer the recovered files can still be saved by running Zee Drive in recovery mode. To do this enter the following command from a command prompt in the same folder where the Zee Drive executable resides:
Zee Drive will startup in recovery mode and list any unsaved files from subscriptions that have been deactivated by the user that is signed in to Windows.
Files that failed to save directly from Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) will not be recovered as Office prompts the user directly to save the file to another location.
Zee Drive in Shared Computer Environments
Zee Drive supports shared computers; a shared computer is where many people may use the same computer but only one person will be on the computer at a time. Examples include hot desk computers at the office, lab computers or school library computers.
When activating as a shared computer, a shared computer licence will be assigned to the computer. Zee Drive will then startup for all users signing on to the computer. If the user signing on to the shared computer has a Zee Drive user licence assigned to them (either a personal computer user licence or shared computer user licence) then Zee Drive will map their drives.
If the shared computer is joined to an Active Directory domain then Zee Drive will automatically resolve the user's Office 365 username when they sign in to the computer. If the shared computer is not domain joined then users will be prompted to enter their Office 365 username the first time they sign in.
A computer can be activated as a shared computer manually using the Zee Drive wizard, or automatically through the Zee Drive command line. The command line is useful when you have many computers to install and activate Zee Drive on. Zee Drive provides a log you can access centrally to track the status of command line activation attempts.
- To activate a shared computer manually, run Zee Drive on the shared computer and enter your administrator username and activation code. Click the blue "shared computer" link to start.
- Enter a unique name to identify the shared computer on your subscription.
Follow the remaining steps to activate the computer as a shared computer. You may need to restart the computer after activation
Zee Drive provides an alternative method of activation using the command line. This is useful when you have many computers to activate and want to do that automatically.
- To activate shared computers using the Zee Drive command line choose the 'Activate Zee Drive on shared computers' option from the menu.
Zee Drive will then walk you through the process of enabling activation with the command line. Command line activation first needs to be enabled. Once enabled you can click the how to use the command line link to view the command line and copy it to the clipboard.
- Manage shared computer activation using the command line.
A log of all attempted activations by the command line can be accessed directly from Zee Drive by clicking the View Activation Log button from the above screen. This will help you to track the results of command line activation and troubleshoot those attempts that failed.
- The activation log showing attempted activations from the command line.
- To manage the shared computers you have activated choose the "Manage your shared computers" option from the menu on the Zee Drive status screen.
- From the management screen you can deactivate your shared computers or set the Active Directory username lookup attribute.
When a user next signs in to the shared computer Zee Drive will automatically start up for the user. The Office 365 username of the user signing in to the shared computer is looked up from Active Directory. The Active Directory property from which the Office 365 username is looked up defaults to UserPrincipalName. This can be changed to another property such as Mail.
If the shared computer is not domain joined then the user will be prompted to enter their Office 365 username the first time they sign in to the computer. Zee Drive will save their username so the next time they sign in Zee Drive will start up without prompting the user again.
- Zee Drive will prompt the user for their Office 365 username if the shared computer is not domain joined.
If federated identity (ADFS) is used with Office 365 then the user will be signed in to Office 365 automatically by Zee Drive. If federation is not used then the user will be prompted for their Office 365 credentials. The credentials are persisted to the Windows Credential Manager as enterprise credentials. When the user signs out of the computer the credentials will then roam with them when they sign in to another domain joined computer.
Zee Drive can be upgraded to a newer version by using the following command line on the shared computer (running as local administrator):
To upgrade a shared computer manually run Zee Drive on the shared computer and enter your administration username and activation code then click the blue "shared computer" link. You can now choose to deactivate or upgrade Zee Drive.
- If a shared computer is already activated you can manually upgrade it or deactivate it.
View File And Folder Changes On-Demand
If a file or folder change is not yet showing in a user's mapped drive the user can download the latest changes on-demand. Click the F5 button (refresh button) on your keyboard whilst Windows File Explorer has the focus and Zee Drive will update the folder in real-time to show the latest changes.
- In the example below a recently added document, "Myles Team Presentation.pptx", is not yet showing in Windows File Explorer so just click the F5 button on your keyboard.
- After clicking F5 the new document will appear.
View Version History From File Explorer Context Menu
The version history of files in your Zee Drive mapped drives can be viewed from the Windows File Explorer context menu. Zee Drive will show a list of the latest versions including the version number, modification date, file size and whom made the change.
- Select a file in File Explorer, right click the mouse button to show the context menu then choose the version history command.
- Zee Drive will then display the recent version history of the selected file.
Zee Drive subscription administrators can choose whether or not to show the version history command on the File Explorer context menu.
- Choose "Manage the File Explorer context menu" command from the menu button.
- Then choose whether to enable or disable the version history command.
Note that the version history context menu command will show only on 64 bit versions of Windows.
Map A Network Drive To Shared With Me Files
When a user shares a file or folder with you from their OneDrive for Business the shared item will appear in your Shared With Me area in Office 365. Zee Drive can show these files and folders directly in a mapped network drive.
Zee Drive groups the shared items in folders named after the user that shared them. For example, if user "Myles Jeffery" shares a file with you then the shared file will appear in the folder "Myles Jeffery" in the mapped network drive.
- Files and folders shared with you are grouped under folders bearing the name of the person that shared the item.
Zee Drive for Partners
If you are considering deploying Zee Drive to your customers or integrating Zee Drive in to your broader service offering, then contact us to request a Zee Drive partner subscription. A Zee Drive partner subscription has specific support to help you setup and manage multiple customer subscriptions from a single interface.
A Zee Drive partner subscription can help you to provide a "managed cloud file server" solution to your customers. Here are some of the key benefits of a Zee Drive partner subscription.
- View and manage multiple customer subscriptions from a single interface
- Setup new customer trials directly from your partner subscription
- White labelling options to put your name and contact details in front of your customers
- Retain exclusive administration capability over the subscriptions from your customers
- Does not consume a user licence from your customer subscriptions
- Setup team members on your partner subscription to help you manage your customers
- Your partner subscription runs from your Windows taskbar to access when you need it
A partner subscription starts with 3 partner user licences and can manage up to 20 customer subscriptions. Limits can be increased as your customer deployments and partner team grows. View the Zee Drive partner subscription agreement here.
Here is a walkthrough of the key features of the partner subscription.
- View your full list of managed customer subscriptions from a single interface.
New customer trial subscriptions are easy to setup. Just choose the "Start a new Zee Drive trial" option from the action button.
- Setup a customer trial directly from your partner subscription.
Setting up a new trial is straightforward, only the Office 365 tenant name is required. Once setup has completed its available to manage immediately.
- Trial setup requires just the tenant name.
You can put your organisation name and a custom information page directly in front of your customer using the white labelling options.
- Follow the wizard to setup white labelling and publish your settings.
Customers will see your information from the Zee Drive interface. This can give them reassurance and a means to lookup your support contact details
- Your organisation name shows on the status screen to your customers.
Clicking your organisation name or selecting the support contact option from the action button shows your custom information page.
- Your custom information page shows web addresses as clickable links.
Your Cloud File Server
- Persistent network drives
- Central drive management
- Map user home drives
- File locking for Office
- Apply policies with groups
- File recovery and reporting
- Map shared with me files
How Does It Work?
Access your files and folders in OneDrive for Business and Office 365 document libraries with mapped drives in Windows File Explorer.
Drag & drop files and folders straight from your desktop, or even from Outlook, to your mapped drives.
Create new Office documents directly from Windows File Explorer and then double click to open and edit them in Office.
Rename and reorganise folders and files in your OneDrive for Business and team sites from Windows File Explorer through simple drag & drop or copy & paste operations.
What Do Customers Say?
Buy Zee Drive Now
Ready to upgrade your trial? Use the form below to purchase your Zee Drive subscription. One Zee Drive subscription is valid for one Office 365 tenant.
*To purchase licence quantities of 1,000 and more, or for alternative payment options, or if you want to add more licences to an existing subscription please contact Thinkscape Limited.
Download Latest Zee Drive
The latest version of Zee Drive is available from the download link below.
If you are upgrading from a previous version Zee Drive will prompt you to upgrade. Follow the wizard steps to upgrade.
Download Zee Drive Now
The latest version of Zee Drive is v18.3 released on the 21st February 2017.
v18.3 - Resolves an issue where app passwords with federated identity MFA enabled user accounts would fail authentication with Zee Drive.
v18.1 - Resolves an issue where changes made by other users would not show in a drive connected to shared with me files.
v18 - New connection type added; map a network drive or virtual folder to shared with me files. Users will need to be running this latest version of Zee Drive otherwise the network drives connected to shared with me will show as empty.
v17.7 - Resolves an issue where libraries and subsites might not show when mapping to a site hierarchy.
v17.5 - Resolves an issue with Windows 7 where the version history command would not show on the context menu.
v17.4 - File version history can now be viewed directly from the File Explorer context menu. Right click a file then select the show version history command. Zee Drive will show the file version history of the selected file. For existing Zee Drive subscriptions, administrators will need to enable the context menu item first as it is disabled by default. .Net 3.5 support has been discontinued. Zee Drive is supported with .Net 4.x.
v16.1 - Resolves an issue where TMP files would appear after creating a new Excel worksheet from the Windows File Explorer new file context menu.
v16 - New connection type added; map a network drive or virtual folder to a SharePoint Online team site or an entire team site hierarchy. Users will need to be running this latest version of Zee Drive otherwise the network drives connected to a team site will show as empty.
v15 - Zee Drive shows changes from other users on-demand - if a file or folder change is not yet showing in a mapped drive click F5 in Windows File Explorer to show the latest file and folder changes.
v14.2 - Fixed a minor display issue on manage shared computers screen.
v14.1 - Shared computers are now supported in non-domain joined environments - users will be prompted for their Office 365 username the first time they sign in to a shared computer that is not domain joined. The AD username lookup attribute for domain joined shared computers can now be configured from the administration screens.
v13.3 - Improved compatibility with Citrix XenApp applications and older Windows applications specifically AutoCAD 2010, Photoshop 7 where a file would fail to save.
v13.2 - Command line support for installing and activating Zee Drive as a shared computer using a shared activation code and without need for user interaction.
v12.11 - Resolved authentication issue with 3rd party authentication provider OneLogin.
v12.10 - Minor change to file handling behaviour that may improve compatibility between Zee Drive mapped drives and some applications.
v12.9 - Resolves an issue where file changes appear in a mapped document library subfolder when they should not.
v12.8 - Zee Drive supports activation of shared computers. A shared computer is where many people may be using the same computer but only one person will be on the computer at a time. Resolves an issue where Zee Drive may fail to startup with error "credentials not found in credential store".
v11.1 - Recovered files can now be discarded instead of saved if users do not want to keep them. Resolves an issue that could cause Zee Drive to fail startup on a retry.
v11 - Resolves issue where printing to PDF from Office would fail using Adobe PDF writer. Resolves issue where AutoCAD would fail to save a DWG file to Zee Drive.
v10.2 - Resolved an issue where mapped drives would not show changes made by other users which was caused by the connected document library exceeding the SharePoint lookup column threshold.
v10.1 - Fixed issue where folder contents might not show if user does not have permissons to root folder of document library. Fixed issue where a very large file upload could fail. Zee Drive supports new file recovery feature; files that fail to upload are recovered by Zee Drive and can be saved by end users, Zee Drive subscription administrators can track which computers have unsaved files, Zee Drive supports a file recovery mode to recover unsaved files from computers where Zee Drive has been deactivated.
v9.19 - Zee Drive is more resilient at startup to internet connections that are slow to be established. Resolved issue that could cause a second activated Zee Drive subscription to not startup on the same computer.
v9.8 - Zee Drive now shows the contents of folders that contain thousands of items, previously these folders may have shown as empty.
v9.6 - Resolves an issue where an invalid session error would prevent Zee Drive from starting up even though the computer had not been deactivated.
v9.5 - Office documents with read permissions now open as read only from Zee Drive.
v9.4 - Resolves issue where saving files with paths too long for Office 365 would silently fail. Support for file locking of Excel .xlsm files. Updated driver to resolve some rare issues.
v9.3 - Resolves an issue on partner subscriptions when setting up groups from the target mapped drive screen.
v9.2 - Administrators can check which computers and users are running Zee Drive and export a report to a CSV file. Administrators can check for new releases of Zee Drive. Only administrators need install this update.
v8.8 - Introduces a new partner subscription to help partners white label and manage customer subscriptions. Zee Drive now shows a summary of all file upload and download activity in the past 24 hours.
v7.1 - Resolves an issue where drives could be temporarily or permanently disabled after computer wakes from a sleep.
v7 - Zee Drive now supports connecting drives and virtual folders to Office 365 group files. Administrators only need install this update.
v6 - Summary screen available off the action menu showing details about your subscription. Non-administrators can view information about their activated comptuer.
v5.9 - Fixed issue that could cause cache to become stale and not reflect actual state of files and folders in document library.
v5.8 - Fix for crash when copying activation code to clipboard after setting up new user or setting up new trial.
v5.7 - Resolved issue where Office documents with + character in would not release lock. Resolved issue handling paths containing Hebrew or Kanji characters.
v5.6 - Added support for .Net 4.x and resolved issues with Windows 10.
v4.5 - Resolved issue where adding new user with uppercase characters would prevent group membership from working. Resolved crash when copying activation code to clipboard. Resolved issue using third party identity provider where Zee Drive would not prompt for new password.
v4.4 - Added support for assigning other users Zee Drive administrator privileges. Administrators only need this update.
v4.3 - Resolves a performance issue browsing folders with Windows File Explorer.
v4.2 - Added facility to bulk setup users on subscription by importing from CSV file.
v4.1 - Resolves issue where wrong file modified date is shown. Resolves issue where saving a file does not refresh the modified date in Zee Drive.
v4 - Zee Drive will now prompt users which computer to deactivate if all their activations are used up. Improved error handling of invalid file names. Resolved issue renaming file to the same name but with different case.
v3.4 - Resolves issue in administration screens where Zee Drive would map to subfolder in library when root of library selected.
v3.2 - Support added for locking Office documents, and resolves an issue where an Office document might not open.