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UNC, or Universal Naming Convention, was created to allow for a unique name for each object shared on a network. Microsoft Windows and Novell NetWare use these primarily.

A UNC address is in the format \\server-name\share-name.

Many programs do not support UNC addresses, and as such workarounds have been developed to allow UNCs to be mapped as drive letters, called network drives. To map a UNC to a network drive, the command-line command is net use j: \\server-name\share-name. The mapped drive, j:, then functions as a normal drive on the computer.