6 Methods to Fix the Local Device Name is Already in Use

To realize why the local device name is already in use error happens, and learn how to fix it in different ways.


By Lucas / Updated on May 12, 2023

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What does the local device name is already in use” mean?

First, this is not a rare error, so calm down and you can even find the official explanation of the “the local device name is already in use” error from Microsoft Support.

According to official words, this error may occur when you want to access a network drive that’s mapped to a shared network folder of a file server, then you will see “Microsoft Windows Network: The local device name is already in use.” or “This connection has not been restored.”

Why “the local device name is already in use” error happens?

Now we know what this error is, but what causes this issue? Here we list 4 possible factors that may lead you to this error.

1. Something wrong in the network drive mapping process

2. File and Printer Sharing is disabled for an unknown reason

3. Drive letters are missing or wrong.

4. Network server doesn’t have sufficient space

6 methods to guide you fix this error

How do you deal with the “the local device name is already in use” error? And if you search it in your browser, you will see that other users who use different systems also confront this problem. So, we provide 6 solutions to help you all, you can find the most suitable one in the following methods.

1. Remap the network hard drive

This method is recommended by Microsoft, so we list it first. Please follows these steps.

Step 1. Search “cmd” in the search box and hit “Enter”, right-click “Command Prompt” and click “Run as administrator”.

Step 2. Copy: net use "username" /delete

Note: Insert the ‘username’ with your username.

Step 3. In the window, you will see “x: was deleted successfully.”, then type net use Z: \\server\share /user: username password, and press “Enter”.

Note: Enter your username and password in the command.

Step 4. Check whether the error “the local device name is already in use” disappears.

2. Enable File and Printer Sharing in Setting

Sometimes, the Firewall may disable the “File and Printer Sharing”, which can cause the local file device name is already in use error. You can setup manually.

Step 1. Open the control panel, search “Windows Defender Firewall” and click it.

Defender firewall

Step 2. In the left menu, select “Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall”.

App and Features

Step 3. Click “Change settings”, and allow administrator permissions if you need them.

Step 4. Find “File and Printer Sharing” in the box, tick it, choose “Public”, and click “OK”.

File and Printer

Step 5. Restart your computer and check if the error is gone.

3. Assign drive letters

Some people present an unassigned drive that may cause a problem for its drive letter in the networking procedure. You can assign the letter through Windows Disk Management.

Step 1. Press “Win”+” R” at the same time, insert “diskmgmt. msc” and hit “Enter”.

Disk Management

Step 2. Right-click the partition you need to assign and select “Change Drive Letter and Paths”.

Change disk letter

Step 3. Click “Add” and select a letter in the list, then click “OK”.

Add drive letter

Warning: Do not select “A” or “B” because they were reserved for floppy drives on older operating systems, which can confuse older software programs.

If you don’t want to use Windows Disk Management to operate, a professional convenient software can also help you do this job, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is your reliable choice to solve various problems of hard drive and partition. You can fix the drive letter issue with 3 steps via this handy application.

Download Pro Demo Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro, select a partition to which you want to give a new drive letter, right-click it to open a pop-up menu, after that, click "Advanced" -> "Change Drive Letter". 

Change drive letter

Step 2. In the new window, click the little box behind "New Drive Letter", you will see a list of drive letters and choose a letter you like, and click “OK”.

Select new drive letter

Step 3. Click “Apply”.


4. Ensure there is enough space on the server

As there’s not only one factor that may bring about the “the local device name is already in use” error, we also have other simple solutions to help you. If the error is caused by insufficient space on the network server computer, then enlarge the drive is a nice way to resolve the problem. You can allocate free space to the partition from another partition via the help of AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro in three steps.

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Partition Assistant, right-click the partition you want to allocate free space from, select "Allocate Free Space”. 

Allocate free space

Step 2. In the pop-up window, adjust the size of the free space you want to cut from another partition, then this free space will be directly added into the destination partition.


Step 3. Click "Apply" to execute this operation.

Allocate free space

5. Reinitializing Computer Browser

Your browser may also cause this error, so we need to set the browser.

Step 1. Search “cmd” in the search box and hit “Enter”, right-click “Command Prompt” and click “Run as administrator”.

Step 2. Type: net stop "Computer Browser" and hit “Enter”. Wait for a while to execute the command.

Step 3. Then type net start "Computer Browser".

Net start the browser

6. Change registry

This method has two sections: backup registry and deletes the Key Named MountPoints2.

Section 1: Backup

Step 1. Search “regedit” in the Windows search box to open the “Registry Editor” window.

Step 2. In the registry editor window, right-click “Computer” and choose “Export”.

Regedit explorer

Step 3. You should name a file in the drive selected.

New file name

Section 2: Delete the key.

Step 1. Search “regedit” in the windows search box, then click “Registry Editor”.

Step 2. Then go to“HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer”.

Step 3. Find “MountPoints2”, right-click it and select “Delete”.

After these steps, please restart your PC. Then the error should be fixed.

With these 6 methods, the error “the local device name is already in use” won’t be a hard problem for you, we hope this article is helpful to get rid of this issue quickly.

Lucas · Staff Editor
I prefer peaceful and quiet life during vacation,but sometimes I watch football match if my favorite club performs brilliantly in that season. And I love reading, painting and calligraphy, thus I send my friends festival handwriting cards every year.