What is “The local device name is already in use” error

An error occurred while reconnecting to Microsoft Windows Network: The local device name is already in use. This connection has not been restored.

This is the kind of error users may face when trying to use a network-shared folder. It may also occur when users try mapping the operation of certain drives on a commonly shared network. Based on information collected from various technical forums, there are a number of reasons that may lead to this error. It can be due to unassigned drive letters, disabled File and Printer Sharing feature in firewall settings, insufficient space on the network’s host server, and even wrong values of some Windows Registry entries. It may be quite hard to pinpoint the issue immediately and resolve it eventually. We recommend you try each solution from our guide until the one that sorts out the issue is found. Note that some steps that you will perform require attention, so make sure you do everything carefully with no rush.

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1. Remap your drive

This solution is recommended by the official technical department of Microsoft. By mapping your drive, you make it available to other users that operate within the same network. However, if there is a problem like the one we discuss here in the tutorial, you can try remapping the drive once again – to be sure it is no bug or something causing the error. Here is how you can do it using Command Prompt:

  1. Open Command Prompt by typing cmd into the searching loop next to the Start Menu button.
  2. Right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator.
  3. Once the console is opened, type the net use * /delete command and press Enter.
  4. When the process ends up successful, copy-paste this net use Z: \\server\share /user:username password. Replace username and password with yours and click Enter to start the process.
  5. When the fixing process is done, restart your computer.

After this, check if the issue got resolved. If not, move on to further solutions we have prepared below.

2. Restart Computer Browser

Browser service (or Computer Browser Service) is a Windows feature allowing users to easily browse and locate shared resources on neighboring computers. It may sometimes become bugged and therefore cause the error to occur. In order to fix it, you can simply reboot it with Command Prompt, the same thing we used just above.

  1. Open Command Prompt the same way we did above.
  2. Copy-paste this command net stop "Computer Browser" and press Enter.
  3. Once the process is complete, use this command net start "Computer Browser" as well.

This way, you have restarted the Computer Browser Service. Now try using the same network-shared folder/drive again.

3. Assign the Drive Letter manually

Another possible reason why you may encounter the error is an improperly assigned drive letter. It may either differ from the one you have on the mapped network or be absent completely. Of course, in such a case Windows will not be able to identify your drive and present the message with an error on your screen. You can assign or change the drive letter in Disk Management, easily via the steps down below:

  1. Right-click on Start Menu and choose Disk Management.
  2. Once opened, find and right-click on the drive that is supposed to be mapped and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths.
  3. Then click on Change… and select a new letter from the list. Click OK to save changes.

After doing these steps, check if the same issue persists. We hope it no longer does.

4. Enable File and Printer Sharing in Firewall settings

File and Printer Sharing is an essential feature that ensures the proper operation of shared drives in the network. Having it disabled may thereby lead to synchronization problems and prevent the usage of network mapping. The fix is to simply turn on this feature in your firewall settings. Below, we will show you how to do this with the default firewall in Windows Defender. If you are a user of some third-party anti-malware software, you should find it out yourself where to enable this feature in it.

  1. Type Control Panel into the search box next to Start Menu and open it up.
  2. Make sure View by: in the top right corner is set to Large icons or Small icons.
  3. Choose Windows Defender Firewall and then click on Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall on the left pane.
  4. Then, click on Change settings to unlock the list and make sure the File and Printer Sharing option is selected.
  5. Finish by clicking OK to save the changes and then reboot your computer.

5. Ensure enough space on your root drive

It is important there is enough space available on the root drive of the server computer that shares access with others within the network. If you are running low on space, clean it up a bit and then see if this resolves the issue. There is no ideal amount of memory that has to be available for use, however, it is good to have at least a couple of gigabytes there.

6. Alter Windows Registry

One more solution reported effective by other victims of the same problem is to delete a registry key called MountPoints2. This registry key contains cached information about every removable device that has been plugged into your system. While it is completely safe to delete this entry without being afraid of any negative implications, it is still recommended to make a backup of the registry – in case you change or delete something unnecessary by accident. You can also avoid making a backup, but simply be careful and attentive when applying the steps from down below.

  1. Press Windows Key + R buttons together and copy-paste regedit to open Registry Editor.
  2. On the left pane of Registry Editor, navigate through this path HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer and click on Explorer.
  3. On the right pane, find and right-click on a key named MountPoints2. Choose Delete and confirm the action if necessary.
  4. After this, restart your computer and check if the same error makes its presence known again.

7. Edit ProtectionMode in Windows Registry

The last method on our list is also about running manual changes in Windows Registry. If the previous solution did not work out, you can try and change the value of ProtectionMode – some users reported it was sufficient to get rid of the problem. Here is how you can do this:

  1. Open Registry Editor as we did above.
  2. This time, go through this path HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\. After this, find and double-click on a key called ProtectionMode.
  3. Make sure its value is set to 1 and save the changes if that was necessary.

Now restart your system and check whether this made the issue disappear eventually.


We hope you no longer belong to the people who encounter “The local device name is already in use” error. If there is or will be anything else that depletes your system performance to a certain extent (an error or malware infection), feel free to use our website for finding relevant articles about it. We upload lots of new guidelines dedicated to various problems and threats that pop on the web.

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