Universal Naming Convention


(UNC) The type of file system path used in Microsoft Windows networking to completely specify a directory on a file server.

The basic format is:


where "servername" is the hostname or IP address of a network file server, and "sharename" is the name of a shared directory on the server. This is related to the conventional MS-DOS "C:\windows" style of directory name. E.g.


might be set up to point to


on a server called "server1".

It is possible to execute a program using this convention without having to specifically link a drive, by running:


The undocumented DOS command, TRUENAME can be used to find out the UNC name of a file or directory on a network drive.

Even Microsoft don't know whether UNC stands for "Universal Naming Convention" or "Uniform Naming Convention", both appear on their website, sometimes withing the same document, but with a preference for "Universal".

Last updated: 2008-12-09

Nearby terms:

Universal Disk FormatUniversal Naming Conventionuniversal quantifier

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