How to share a folder in Windows

20:51:00 | 23-03-2010

While using computers, users might need to share documents, images, pieces of music, or data folders, etc. with other computers in a local area network (LAN), which might be done by employing Windows file sharing feature.

Some notes to be taken when sharing folders in LAN:

  • File sharing feature could not be used if you log on to the computer with Guest account (an account available for any users to log on to and use the computer)
  • Folders such as Desktop, Favorites and My Documents (in folder C:\Documentsand Settings\{Account name}) cannot be shared.
  • Shared data can be accessed, copied or modified by other users on the LAN.
  • Sharing data on a LAN raises the risk of virus' spreading among the computers within the network.

To share a folder in Windows OS, please follow the instructions corresponding to your current operating system (in case you are not clear which operating system you are using, follow the guide here):

Folder sharing in Windows XP

Folder sharing in Windows 7

Folder sharing in Windows Vista

Folder sharing in Windows XP

To share a folder in Windows XP, please do as follows:

Step 1: Open My Computer. On Menu bar, select Tools/Folder Options…

Step 2: In Folder Options window, select View tab, pull the scrollbar down to bottom, select the Use simple file sharing (Recommended) check box as shown in the figure below, then click OK.

Step 3: In My Computer window, select the folder you wish to share, right click on the folder and choose Sharing and Security…

Step 4: In case this is the first time you use file sharing feature, the window that appears will have Network sharing and security part as in the image below. Then, click on If you understand the security risks but want to share files without running the wizard, click here. If the feature is already in use, skip to Step 5.

Enable File Sharing window appears, select the radio button Just enable file sharing and click OK.

Step 5: In the new window, select Share this folder on the network, then click OK to complete.

Folder sharing in Windows 7

To share a folder in Windows 7, please do as follows:

Step 1: Click Start, in Search programs and files box 



type "Folder options" (without the quotation marks) and click Enter.



Step 2: In Folder Options window, select View tab, pull the scrollbar down to bottom, select Use Sharing Wizard (Recommended) check box then click OK.



Step 3In My Computer window, go to the folder you wish to share. Right click on the folder, point to Share with, then select Specific people…



Step 4: File Sharing window appears. In the drop-down menu, select Everyone, click Add, then select Share to complete.

Folder sharing in Windows Vista

To share a folder in Windows Vista, please do as follows:

Step 1: Click Start, in Start Search box


type "Folder options" (without the quotation marks) and click Enter.


Step 2: In Folder Options window, select View tab, pull the scrollbar down to bottom, select Use Sharing Wizard (Recommended) check box, then click OK.


Step 3: In My Computer window, go to the folder you wish to share. Right click on the folder, then select Share…


Step 4: File Sharing window appears. In the drop-down menu, select Everyone (All users in this list), click Add, then select Share.


Click Done to complete.


To stop sharing a folder in Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows Vista, please refer to the following instructions here

Bkav 

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