Network locations, whether they’re mapped drives, or a particular folder, are not like local locations on your disk. Their paths are UNC paths i.e., they have double slashes and/or backslashes in them and you can’t copy these paths like you can local folder paths. To fix this problem i.e., make it much easier to copy the full path for network locations, you need to install pathcopycopy.
pathcopycopy is a free, open-source app that will add additional path copying options to the context menu. These options aren’t just for network locations. There are also options for local folders.
Copy path to network locations
Download and install pathcopycopy. During installation, the app will ask which options you want to add to the context menu which is how this app works. You can change this later if you want to and it’s really easy but save yourself the trouble when you install it. Since we’re doing this for network locations, you should select either the second or the third option.
Once the app is installed, open File Explorer. The drive/network location must be online/connected/accessible. Right-click it and from the context menu, go to Path Copy. From the sub-menu, select the ‘Short UNC path’ or the ‘Long UNC Path’, whichever you need and the path will be copied to the clipboard.
The path will not be enclosed in double-quotes but it will be copied and ready to be pasted wherever you need it to. There’s also an option to copy the long or short UNC path to the parent folder of the folder/location that you’ve selected.
If you’re looking to edit the options pathcopycopy adds, right-click any item on your system and from the context menu, go to Path Copy and select Settings from the sub-menu. The settings let you enable/disable the options that the app adds to the context menu by selecting checkboxes and, it also allows you to change their order. In fact, you can move an item out of the sub-menu and move it to the main menu of the app if you want. You can also add/remove separators to the menu to make the options easier to navigate.
Other useful options that this app adds allow you to copy the internet path and the SAMBA path as well as the Unix, Cygwin, and WSL paths. As for the lack of quotes around the path, by default, the app won’t add them but you can go to its options and enable quotes there.