Group Policy Preferences not mapping network drives in Windows 8

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One of the first problems I noticed with Windows 8 is my drive mappings were missing.  I joined a freshly installed Windows 8 workstation to the domain, and with that membership the workstation should be provided some drive mappings based on who I am when I log on to the computer.  I am using Group Policy Preferences and security groups to map drives in this environment.  It works exceptionally well on Windows 7 and Windows XP, but here I am looking at an empty explorer window that should have about 4 mapped drives sitting in it.

After some research, I discovered that this is actually a known issue, and not only is it a known issue, but according to message boards it has been known for quite some time now and nothing has been done to correct it.  From the reading that I did, I determined that if you are a standard user (no administrative rights on the domain or on the local workstation) you will be provided your network drives.  However, if you are an administrator (domain or local), the group policy applies successfully and no errors result, but no drives are displayed in the explorer window.  That seems really backwards to me as a network administrator, but that is what is occurring.

According to posts that I have read on the subject, it would seem that because group policy preferences are applied using the users security context, and the explorer window by default is launched without any administrative privileges, it doesn’t have the rights to display the drives.  I don’t know if I believe that, but the users who were stating that, also provided the workarounds that gave me my drives back.

So, because no one seems to be able to pin-point the exact issue and several changes have provided a workaround, I am just going to list all the possibilities here and they can be attempted at will.

  • “uncheck” the reconnect option in the drive mapping settings.


  • run in logged-on user’s security context (user policy option)


  • It was also suggested that removing Item-level targeting would map the drives, but I don’t think that is something that most people will want to do since Item-level targeting is one of the key features with Group Policy Preferences.
  • Disable Fast Logon: Fast Logon Optimization
  • Check “Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon” policy is enabled under Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/System/Logon in the Group Policy.


  • and of course there is removal of the user from any administrative groups (not likely to be the first choice)

The first option to “uncheck” the reconnect option worked for me.  I really hope that Microsoft releases a patch shortly to correct this.  I would prefer to have the drives reconnect.

Last Updated On October 24, 2017