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Networking Guide: Creating a 'My Network Places' on Windows CE


Applies To:

  • Windows CE 2.0, SP1 + (Network Service Pack)
  • Windows CE 2.11
  • Windows CE 3.0


The Handheld PC Operating System has no native area for network navigation. This guide details how to create a Network Neighbourhood / My Network Places style access point for your Shared Network resources.


  • TCP/IP Enabled Network based on the Microsoft Network Client
  • Client IP address obtained via DHCP or Manually Assigned
  • Unique Name for Network Clients
  • Domain credentials (If applicable)
  • Network Folder share & access credentials

Note: Your network administrator will be able to provide you with this information.

How-to Guide:

Creating the Network Neighbourhood:

Note: Windows CE has no native support for allowing direct Workgroup browsing, or allowing network clients to access the Handheld PC. This guide provides a shortcut for users accessing Network resources.

  1. Open 'My Handheld PC'
  2. Create a New Folder and name it ''My Network Places'
  3. Open the My Network Places folder and return to the HPC Desktop
  4. Open a new instance of 'My Handheld PC'
  5. In the Address Bar type the UNC path to your server or to a computer you wish to access
    UNC Paths are entered as \\Server\
    If the Network name if the PC you are trying to access is Inspiron type \\inspiron\
  6. Press the Enter Key to access the network resource ±
  7. If prompted to fill in your access credentials, fill them in. Passwords are Case sensitive. If you are not connecting to a Domain, leave the Domain field blank §
  8. After a few seconds a list of all the shared network resources on the remote machine will be displayed
  9. Open the My Network Places Explorer Window
  10. On the File Menu create a new folder, name the folder the same as the Network name that you are accessing e.g. Inspiron
  11. Return to the network share. Using the stylus, highlight all of the Folder Shares on the system. Ensure that you do not highlight non folder shares such as Scheduler and Shared Printers ¤
  12. Tap the 'Edit' menu and choose 'Copy'
  13. Open the folder that you just created in My Network Places, from the 'Edit' Menu choose 'Paste Shortcut'
  14. Shortcuts will be created in the My Network Places\Server folder. You can Rename the files to more logical names, or tidy the file names up by removing the 'Shortcut To' prefix
  15. Repeat Steps 5 to 14 for any other network resources that you wish to access

Making the My Network Places folder more accessible:

  • Move the / Create a shortcut to the My Network Places folder and put it on the Desktop
  • Move the My Network Places folder into the \Windows\Programs directory. This will add the My Network Places folder to the Start Menu's Programs folder. Allowing Cascading menu access to your Network Shares
  • Move the My Network Places folder into the \Windows\Favorites directory. This will add the My Network Places folder to the Start Menu's Internet Favorites folder. Allowing Cascading menu access to your Network Shares
  • Add a shortcut to your H/PC's desktop, Storage Card, My Documents folder to allow quick access to local file stores

± - Note 1 - On CE 2.0 H/PC's and on slower devices this may take upwards of 60 seconds to complete
§ - Note 2 - If you wish the H/PC to use this user name and password on all Network access attempts place a check in the Update Default Credentials check box
¤ - Note 3 - Use CTRL + Tap to deselect individual shares, or CTRL + Tap to select shares manually


Listed below are Frequently Asked Questions related to CESD-C-0005.

A. Why place all the network shares in sub directory's, why not the same folder?
        As well as keeping the shares easy to navigate through, this also protects you from unnecessary wait time, especially on older Handheld PC's.
Windows CE by design will check the location of every shortcut to see if it is available. Where as main stream Windows operating systems do not have to check for the presence of the shortcut target, Windows CE does. One reason for this is that CE does not use a Shell Icon Cache. There for all icons must be redrawn after each access.


With thanks to Nicolas for assisting us with this tutorial.