Can I create favorites on network drives?

Yes. Quick Access Popup menu can include favorites from network drives using UNC locations (like \\MyPortablePC\c\SomeFolder\…), a network drive letter (like N:\SomeFolder) and WebDAV locations (like https://sharepoint.server.com/SomeFolder). However, you have to pay attention to some situations that can occur when using network drives with QAP.

Network drives online or offline

In IT environments, corporate servers are normally always online. But in other environments, it can happen that network drives are temporarily offline. For example, if you attach your portable PC drive to your desktop PC, this network resource can be offline if the portable is on the road or just turned off.

When you use folders or files on a network drive, Windows remembers them in its Recent Items system folder. QAP reads this folder to add these resources to its Frequent and Recent menus. When QAP refreshes these menus, it normally accesses the resource’s drive (to check if a file exists or to read a menu icon, for example). If QAP was not protected against offline drives, accessing a network resources when a QAP background task refreshes its menus could cause a long delay before the menu is displayed (see: Why does QAP sometimes look frozen or takes time to show its popup menu?).

Starting with v11.0.7, QAP adds more robust protection against offline drives and add new options in Options, Menus Advanced Options.

If network drives can sometimes be OFFLINE

Keep the checkbox Network drives (“\\” or with drive letters) can sometimes be offline selected. QAP will avoid actions that could cause unexpected delays when refreshing its menus.

If you use drive letters to attach your network drives, enter the letters of these drives in the Drive letters for network drives text box. For example, enter “NSW” for if drives N:, S: and W: are sometimes offline (in fact, you could also enter “N: S: W:” if you prefer since non-letters characters in this field are ignored). Resources on these drives will be treated as network resources.

Of course, if you try to launch a favorite from a network drive when it is offline, expect a delay (that could be as long as 20-60 seconds) during which QAP will be not responding as it waits for a response from Windows.

Also, avoid using Shared menus and Live folders on network drives that could be offline.

Note about USB drives and USB keys

USB drives and USB keys assigned to drive letters do *not* cause a delay when QAP refreshes its menu. This is because Windows “knows” rapidly when these resources are unplugged and does not cause a delay when accessed by QAP. For this reason, these drives letters for these USB resources do not need a special treatment and do not have to be considered in this option.

If network drives are always ONLINE

If your network servers are normally always online, uncheck the checkbox Network drives (“\\” or with drive letters) can sometimes be offline (you do not need to specify network drive letters). In this case, QAP will check if files or folders exist before including them in its Recent and Frequent menus, retrieve custom icon folder and display the network drive’s label and free space in the Drives QAP feature (under My QAP Essentials).

Various notes

Password protection

If a network location is password protected, you may need to be logged in manually *before* navigating to it using Quick Access Popup.

HTTP locations

HTTP locations (URL format) will be automatically transformed to network path (UNC format) for compatibility with Windows Explorer. For example, http://abc.server.com/folder/subfolder/My Name.doc will be replaced by \\abc.server.com\folder\subfolder\My%20Name.doc.

Please use the new QAP Support Forum to ask questions or post comments.