Thursday, 19 August 2010

Enabling WebDAV in SharePoint (Windows 2008 R2 Server & Windows 7 Client)

Often you need to provide your clients with access to SharePoint document libraries using a 'folder view' accessed using a UNC path.

This allows your content authors to work with SharePoint document libraries as they would a Windows folder. They can, for example, drag a file into the window to 'upload' a document to the document library.

WebDAV (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning) allows the file content hosted by a web server to be read or written using Windows' native file and folder interface. SharePoint uses its own variant of WebDav that is similar to that used by Internet Information Services (IIS).

To enable WebDAV for SharePoint you should follow these steps:
  • Install the 'Desktop Experience' feature on each of your SharePoint front end servers. This can be installed from the Windows 2008 Server Manager
  • Ensure that the 'Web Client' service is enabled on your client. By default this service is not started on a Windows 7 client so you'll have to start it via the Services console (services.msc)
To connect to a document library once SharePoint WebDAV is enabled, the notations are as follows:

Lets assume the URL to your document library is:
Your corresponding UNC path would be:

For a https connection its a bit different. Lets assume the URL to your document library is in fact
Your corresponding UNC path would be:

To persist a UNC connection on the client, simply map a network drive using the domain credentials you would use to access your web application.

Set your client's expectations - the performance of folders accessed through SharePoint WebDAV is poor compared to native Windows folders, expecially if you are using a https protocol.


  1. Hi, i've followed this steps and when i type \\myserver the only thing that appears is the printers folder. I have "web client enabled" and Desktop experience installed. Any ideas?(windows 2008 enterprise x64, Sharepoint 2010)

    1. "Windows Server 2008 provides a solid foundation for all of your server workload and application requirements while being easy to deploy and manage."
      Windows Server 2008 Support

  2. Thanks for this post, it provided the bit of info I was missing for UNC access via SSL

  3. FYI - I ran across an issue where a FQDN was treated as an internet site instead of intranet, and I had to make a registry change to get this to work properly for me when I was grabbing data from a Sharepoint file share to import with SSIS. Here's the link: