Encountering the “The local device name is already in use” error on Windows often signifies that a network-shared folder’s drive letter has already been allocated to another local disk or drive within the system. Moreover, this problem can arise due to the Firewall not permitting the “File and Printer Sharing” feature, or due to incorrect or failed domain connections (relevant for domain-joined computers). Please see Resolving Access Issues: You Might Not Have Permission to Use This Network Resource Error, and How to fix: This network connection does not exist.
Steps to Fix the Local Device Name is Already in Use Error
Before we look at other detailed solutions to fix the problem, first ensure that the server/computer with the shared folder has adequate free storage space (at least 10-15 GB) to prevent the “Local Device Name is Already in Use” error. Please see Cache in Windows 11: Easy Steps to Clear them from Your System.
Method 1: Ensure Connectivity to Local Network
Confirm your connection to the same local network as the shared folder you want to access. If you’re not on the same network, your connection might fail.
- Reconnect to Local Network: Double-check your local network connection, especially if using Wi-Fi. If you’re using a wired connection, ensure that you securely plug in the Ethernet cable.
- Reconnect VPN: If using a VPN, it might be causing the disconnection. Disconnect and reconnect your VPN to troubleshoot.
After following the steps above, refresh the mapped drive page to see if the issue is fixed.
Method 2: Enable File and Printer Sharing in Firewall
Access the Control Panel by searching for “control panel” and selecting the app.
Set the view to “Large icons” or “Small icons” and choose “Windows Defender Firewall.”
Click “Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall.”. Please see How to fix importing the project failed: Project namespace path can contain only letters, digits, etc.
To make changes to the firewall settings, click “Change settings.”
Locate “File and Printer Sharing,” mark the checkboxes for “Private” and “Public,” and confirm the change.
Restart the computer to validate if the error is resolved.
Method 3: Verify Drive Letter Availability
Press the “Windows key + R” to open Run utility, type “diskmgmt.msc” and press Enter or click OK, opening the Windows Disk Management console.
In the Disk Management window, cross-verify the drive letters assigned to local disks, drives, removable drives, and CDROMs. Ensure none of these matches the drive letter assigned to the network mapped drive.
If a local drive uses the same drive letter as the network mapped drive, proceed to change it. Otherwise, proceed to the next method.
To modify a local drive’s letter, right-click it, choose “Change Drive Letter and Paths..”
Then click “Change.”
Select an alternative drive letter from the drop-down menu, and confirm the change.
Restart the computer and assess if the issue is resolved.
Method 4: Remap Network Drive via Command Prompt
Type “command prompt” in the search box, select the Command Prompt app, and run it as an administrator.
In the command prompt, input “net use * /delete” and press Enter to remove all network mapped drives.
Afterward, input the command to remap the network drive, such as “net use Drive_Letter: \Server\Share /user:username password“. Replace placeholders with relevant information.
Verify if the “The local device name is already in use” error persists in File Explorer.
Method 5: Rectify via Registry Edits
Open the Registry Editor by searching for “regedit” and selecting the app.
Navigate to the following path:
Delete the “MountPoints2” key and confirm the action.
Restart the PC to allow Windows to recreate the deleted key.
Method 6: Verify Protection Mode Value data in Registry Edits
Navigate to the following path:
Check if “ProtectionMode” has a value of 1 in the right pane. If not double click the file and enter 1 and restart the PC.
Method 7: Re-Join Computer to Domain (Domain-Joined Computers Only)
If the computer is joined to an Active Directory Domain, disassociate it from the domain, restart, and then rejoin the domain. Please see how to join a computer to the Domain.
See this common issue’s solution for rejoining a computer back to the domain, An account with the same name exists in Active Directory: Re-using the account was blocked by a security policy.
By following these steps, you can fix the “Local Device Name is Already in Use” error on Windows, restoring the seamless operation of network-mapped drives.