How to share Files and Folders over a Network in Windows 10

Share Files & Folders over a Network

Windows, like any other operating system, allows you to share files with other users on a network. If you want to share files and folders on a network in Windows 10, permanently or temporarily, we will explain exactly how to proceed in a few simple steps.

Share files and folders on a network in Windows 10

To share files and folders on a network in Windows 10, you can do any of the following:

  1. Right click and share any file or folder
  2. Use the Share tab in the File Explorer
  3. Sharing properties of files and folders
  4. Advanced sharing
  5. Manage all shared folders with the help of Compmgmt.msc (Computer Management)

Be sure to keep a tab on the files you share and share with them.

1) Right click and share a file or folder

  • Right click on any folder or file
  • Move your mouse over Give access to
  • You can instantly choose the home group, the users that are listed there or click on Specific People. I suggest choosing the last one.
  • It will open the network access window where you can select a user and assign an authorization.
  • Click on the drop-down menu and select a user. You can also click Create New User if you have such a requirement.
  • Once you have added a user, the default permission is Read. You can change it to writing
  • If you added the user by mistake, you can click the delete option.

Share files and folders on a network

Once done, ask the user to go on his network and check if the folder is listed. When they click on it, they should be able to access it.

The process we see here, where we've assigned users and added them, remains the same for the rest of the methods below.

2) Use the Share tab in the file explorer

  • Open the file explorer
  • Navigate to the folder or file you want to share and select it.
  • In the ribbon menu, switch to Share.
  • Here you have a one-click option to remove access, that is, stop sharing, as well as a list of users with whom you can share files.
  • When you click the Specific People option, the network access window that we saw in the above method opens.

When you click Remove Access, you will have two options:

Stop file sharing

  1. Stop sharing completely
  2. Edit sharing permissions. When you click on it, the network access folder opens and you can add or delete users with read or write permissions.

3) File and folder sharing properties

  • Right-click a file or folder, and then click Properties.
  • Switch to the Sharing tab. Here you have two options: Sharing and Advanced Sharing. This will be treated in the next part.
  • This tab indicates whether the folder was previously shared or not.
  • Click the Share button to open the network access window and you'll know the rest.

4) Advanced sharing

Sharing Windows Network File Folders

Advanced sharing offers many options.

  • Define a name different from the name of the current folder
  • Set the number of simultaneous access
  • add a comment
  • Permissions and caching

Let's talk about how you can customize it.

Permissions for shared folders

Click the Permissions button to display the list of users who already have access to the folder. Here you can choose Add, Delete, and assign Full Control, Modify, or Playback permissions. You can choose to allow or deny them.

Caching files and folders

Sharing the Windows 10 cache file folder

If you want to make sure that the files are available even when the computer is offline, you must configure caching. Click Caching, and you have three options

  • Only files and programs that users choose to be available offline
  • None of them is available offline
  • All are available offline as soon as they access it. You can choose to optimize performance.

Keep in mind that caching is the time when you want the files to be available offline. If you do not want it, configure it accordingly.

5) Manage all shared folders with the help of Compmgmt.msc (Computer Management)

Now that you have shared folders, how do you keep track of them? One of the most common methods is to look in the Network section and look for these folders. The other method is to use Compmgmt.msc (Computer Management). This will allow you to manage all files and folders centrally. However, you will need administrator privileges. It also allows you to search for all folders shared by other users.

Type compmgmt.msc in the prompt and open the Computer Management component. Here you have access to system tools, which also include shared folders, disk management, services, and WMI control.

Click Shared Folders. You have three options here – Shares, sessions, and open files. Click on the shares.

Sharing Windows Network File Folders

It will list all shared folders from this computer. It will only show the name of the share, not the real name if it is configured.

To change anything, double-click to open the shared folder and make the necessary changes. The other two options allow you to access the use of real-time sharing. You can view the number of users accessing the share folders, the number of open files over the network, and so on.

Search for shared files in the network file explorer

That said, this option is not available for everyone. so here's how you can manage all shared folders.

  • Open the File Explorer and navigate to Network
  • Here you can see all folders and manage them with right click> Properties> Sharing.

We hope that the tutorial has been easy to follow and that you have clearly understood how to share files and folders on a network in Windows 10.

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