I recently wrote an article about how to create a UNC alias for a local folder. This technique allows you to set up a development environment for Access applications that link to back-end files via UNC paths. Unfortunately, a recent Windows update broke this feature. Here are the details.
How it Worked Before the Security Update
My computer name is
gbm18. Here are the shared folders on my computer:
After going through the steps outlined in my UNC Alias article, I had a UNC alias of
ams2 for my computer. As you can see, I have access to the same set of shared folders via this UNC alias:
Note that both of the above screenshots were taken from the
How it Looks After the Security Update
After the security update, the
gbm18 shared folders remained the same:
However, the shared folders were no longer visible via the
Note that the UNC alias itself still worked. It simply lost its access to the shared folders.
Identifying the Culprit
The update that broke this feature is KB5009543:
I uninstalled the update via the Control Panel and then restarted my computer. After the reboot finished, the shared folders were accessible via
ams2 once more:
I will be reporting this bug to Microsoft. Hopefully, this is something that can be addressed and is not itself a vulnerability. The ability to set up development environments using this technique is an important one and I would be incredibly sad to lose access to it so soon after I learned about it. 😢
UPDATE [2022-02-06]: Official Fix Released
As Ryan W wrote in the comments below, Microsoft released several out-of-band updates to address the bug.
The specific update you need to install is closely tied to your Windows version. One of the links below should work for most of my readers. Refer to the link above for other Windows O/S versions.
- Windows 10: KB5010793 (standalone update download links)
- Windows 11: KB5010795 (standalone update download links)
Thanks, Ryan W!