On Windows Vista (and later) SyncBackPro/SE/Lite cannot see networked drives but SyncBackFree can

This issue is due to security changes introduced with Windows Vista (and continued with later versions of Windows). Microsoft made a change in Vista such that drives that were mapped without elevated privileges cannot be seen by processes run with elevated privileges:


SyncBackPro/SE/Lite runs with elevated privileges (by default) in Vista-and-later because it requires the use of certain Windows functions (e.g. open/locked file copying) that are only available (in those versions of Windows) when using elevated privileges. You can configure SyncBackPro/SE/Lite to run without elevated privileges:


Doing so may cause other issues. The solutions are:

  1.  change the registry (see foot of this article), or
  2.  run SyncBack without Privileges, or
  3.  use UNC paths (\\server\share\optional_folder) instead of mapped drive letters (the recommended solution).

UNC Paths

Normally, you can switch a mapped drive letter to a UNC path by modifying the profile, clicking the Alternatives button next to the path to present a list of alternative path formats, then selecting the UNC path (the one that starts with \\) from the list. But if SyncBackPro/SE/Lite cannot 'see' that mapped drive letter, this will likely fail, because Windows masks the mapping from SyncBack, so will not supply/evaluate the UNC path from it either. You can of course enter the UNC  path manually. If you are not sure what the actual UNC path is, then Windows File Explorer should display it for you under '(My) Computer', albeit in a different format, which varies slightly depending on your Windows version.

Windows XP and Windows 7 respectively will display something like this (for an example share-name, machine-name & mapped drive X:):

Invoices on 'PC_Name') (X:)

Invoices (\\PC_Name) (X:)

In both cases, the share-name (in this example, \Invoices) is shown first, followed by the machine-name, then the drive letter. The first two parts, when reversed & formatted appropriately equate to the UNC path:


which is what you should enter in SyncBack's Source or Destination box (plus any optional subfolder path within the share, if used).

You can likely also browse (click 'folder ' button on left of Source or Destination box) directly to the UNC path if you navigate via the Network section displayed in the browse dialog. Simply navigate ('drill into') to the machine-name, then select the share-name, and if required, any subfolder path within the latter.

Note that you cannot simply enter the machine-name and have it 'back up all shares' (Windows does not permit that: network connections must be to a specific/individual share). If you browse the Network section and try to select just the machine name, SyncBack will warn you that is not allowed. Do not try to do so manually; it is possible to type in 'machine-name only', but trying to use it will not work - it will correctly trigger a 'cannot connect' error citing 'incorrect syntax'.

Registry change

Note: these details were previously included in MS KB article 937624 linked to above, but have since been dropped for reasons best known to MS. This change is thus unsupported by MS and details are provided here 'without prejudice'. If you are not comfortable with editing the registry, either avoid this or seek local technical assistance. Incorrect registry edits can in theory stop Windows from loading correctly (booting). Use at your own risk.

  • Click Start, type 'regedit' (without the quotes) in the Start Search box, and then press Enter (or, enter 'regedit' directly into the Run box if available or via Windows-key+R).
  • On opening RegEdit, locate and right-click the following registry subkey:


  • Point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
  • Type EnableLinkedConnections, and then press Enter.
  • Right-click EnableLinkedConnections, and then click Modify.
  • In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.
  • Exit Registry Editor, and then restart the computer.