Remember network share password on MS Windows XP Home

One of the annoying features of MS Windows XP Home Edition is its inability to remember passwords for network shares. It is not a failure in operation, as one might think. It is a feature by design. XP Home just isn’t supposed to do that. Due to some smartass marketing considerations, obviously.

A way for workaround is this:

  1. Launch  Start -> Run -> regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  3. Add new string value and give it a name, any name
  4. Double click the new entry and enter “net use \\<server_address> <user_password> /USER:<domain_name>\<user_name>”

Substitute the required parameters with the actual ones. The domain name typically is the name of the machine which you are connecting to. In the real world it would look something like this:

net use \\192.168.0.1 KnockKnocj345 /USER:HQSERVER\WilliAm

Now, when you log in to your user session, your network connection is authenticated automatically and the share is available for access.

Notes:

  • Your username and password are stored in plain text and can bee seen to anyone who peers into your registry. In theory. Still, in practice it seems to be safe enough.
  • Side effect of running this command at startup is a black command prompt windows popping up for a split second right after login. If that bothers you, you may move the connection command out into a batch file somewhere in you user directory and make it run invisibly (like this). Though doing so would expose your plain text username and password to considerably higher risk of discovery by bad guys, which is not a good thing.

P.S.

People are describing a different method, which I have not tested so far. It goes like this:

  1. Connect to the network share as you normally would.
  2. Do Start -> Turn Off Computer -> Stand By
  3. Wake the computer up
  4. Do Start -> Turn Off Computer -> Restart

After this the computer is supposed to connect to the remote network share without asking for  credentials. It is thought that going standby with the network share open forces XP Home to store the password somewhere for later reconnection.

If somebody tries this and finds it to be true, please let me know!

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2 Comments on “Remember network share password on MS Windows XP Home”

  1. dziubelis says:

    Hi, no, standby, wake-up, reboot, didn’t work. Furstrating, but my previous XP home setup remembered mapped drives without me doing anything intetntionaly. On the other had it was ~7 years old setup, with too many tweaks 😉 I’ll try disable simple file sharing via Safe Mode.

    • crcok says:

      Thanks for the information!
      The “tweaks” you are mentioning – that is interesting. Possibly some of the tweaking utilities might indeed fix this problem.


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