How to Delete Orphaned Network Connections from the System


Windows Explorer remembers all network shortcuts that have ever been typed in, diligently hoarding the paths under "My Network Places”. It retains the entries even when the target no longer exists. A large number of path specifications are no longer required and are not arranged clearly. Here is the procedure to delete orphaned network connections easily.

Since the orphaned shortcuts cannot be deleted through “Tools > Disconnect Network Drive”, you need another way to get rid of them. It is possible using the command prompt, more specifically the “net share” command.

  • Open “Run”, enter "cmd" in the text field and click "OK".
  • Type "net share" at the prompt and press [Enter]. The command displays all network links and the respective path of the target folders.
  • Under this, you will also find paths which you have accessed earlier but are currently not available at all. Since Explorer accesses this system information, it too displays the shortcuts to targets that are no longer available.

In order to delete a network release, type the command "net share <network name> /d" and then press [Enter]. Windows acknowledges the deletion of the release with the message “The command was successfully executed".

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August 21, 2009 by: Prasanth Chandra

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