I am attempting to change directories to a file server such as:

cd \\someServer\\someStuff\

However, I get the following error:

CMD does not support UNC paths as current directories

What are my options to navigate to that directory?


If you're considering scripting it, it's always helpful to learn about the pushd and popd commands. Sometimes you can't be sure what drives letters are already used on the machine that the script will run on and you simply need to take the next available drive letter. Since net use will require you to specify the drive, you can simply use pushd \\server\folder and then popd when you're finished.

  • If you specify '*' instead of a drive letter net use will use the first available drive checking from Z-A. so 'net use * \\server\share' with no Z: drive mapped would map \\server\share to Z: – Zypher Aug 5 '09 at 3:46
  • But then you don't know what drive letter got mapped, for the purpose of the rest of the script. – tomfanning Aug 5 '09 at 8:41
  • @tomfanning You can find the drive letter by using this (wmic logicaldisk get caption,providername,drivetype,volumename) from the command prompt and then parse the output looking for your \\servername\sharename. serverfault.com/questions/62578/… – Chris Magnuson Sep 6 '09 at 23:18
  • @pk. What if the script crashed before it runs your popd? – Pacerier Jan 24 '15 at 6:41

Or you could switch your shell to PowerShell. It has complete support for UNC paths.

  • Except when explorer.exe has a handle on the file you're trying to delete. Even with explorer window closed, I think the PS FileSystem provider (assuming it's a provider) probably uses explorer.exe under the hood. or are you saying there is a way to use UNC without the provider? – JohnZaj Jun 12 '18 at 4:30

You could use net use to map a network drive to a UNC path and then browse to the mapped drive.

  • 1
    True this is the only way to do it from the command line, but be wary of using this for anything except throw-away commands (i.e. things you only do once) because otherwise you run into issues with the drive not being mapped, or being mapped but not connected, and multiple usernames :( – Mark Henderson Aug 5 '09 at 2:52
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    You can't change to this directory, but you still can use it in commands: dir \\someserver\stuff call \\someserver\stuff\whatever.bat – Benoit Aug 5 '09 at 8:21
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    Actually you might be able to use \\someserver\share...you just need the reg hack to do it :-) – Bart Silverstrim Aug 5 '09 at 14:31
  • @BartSilverstrim, How? – Pacerier Jan 24 '15 at 6:42

As well as explicitly mapping a drive so that cmd can cope, which might be needed by other utilities too, you could also try an alternative command shell like PowerShell.


Slightly longer explanation of pushd here: http://shortfastcode.blogspot.com/2010/05/how-to-deal-with-cmd-does-not-support.html


This worked for me in Win8x64:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Command Processor]

You should be able to do this in HKCU as well, just make sure you log off and back on again.


Wouldn't the junction command work here?

  • Don't think so, junction only works for local directories. – Berzemus Aug 5 '09 at 8:07
  • Does it work? From the Wikipedia article: "Junction points can only link to directories on a local volume; junction points to remote shares are unsupported." – Peter Mortensen Aug 5 '09 at 11:41
  • @#%!# you're right. I was thinking it was like a mount command, forgot I had this problem when I looked into it two years ago. sigh Sorry... – Bart Silverstrim Aug 5 '09 at 11:55

Hey, here's one to try...

Go to this page and search for "allow unc path"...will that work?

There's more background here and here

  • The search made no results. – Pacerier Jan 24 '15 at 6:44

as per @pk use pushd & popd, here is an example.

use pushd to create a temporary virtual drive and after done do a popd to delete the temporary virtual drive

REM Confirm which Folder structure
set /p location="Delete files for which QA environment: (P)retoria, (C)ape, (L)uanda or (Q)uit? (C/L/P/Q)"
REM  I option allows for upper and lower case
if /I "%location%"=="C" set folder="\\Tfwcqa\tfwcqa\EORDERS"
if /I "%location%"=="L" set folder="\\Tfluaqa\tfluaqa\EORDERS"
if /I "%location%"=="P" set folder="\\Tfptaqa\tfptaqa\EORDERS"
if /I "%location%"=="Q" goto endBatch

REM you can not cd to a network drive so we use pushd to create a temporary virtual drive
REM cd /d %folder%
pushd %folder%


REM popd deletes the temporary virtual drive

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