How To Setup File Sharing Within Network on Windows 10

February 4, 2020 - (Freeware)

On Windows 10, you can be sharing file on your computer with other users over the network, and despite this might seem complicated, it’s actually a simple task when using the tools the operating system provides.

Depending on your network environment and what you’re trying to accomplish there are at least four ways to set up file sharing on Windows 10. You can use the Public folder, which is a special setup that allows sharing files over the local network without configuring permissions.

File Sharing Tool

Or you can share content using the File Sharing feature on Windows 10. And if you’re looking to share files with other people across the internet, you can use file sharing with OneDrive.

In previous versions, you’re also able to use Homegroup, which unlike Public folder, this option automatically shares your Windows 10 libraries folders (Pictures, Videos, Music, Documents), Printers, and other devices connected to your device, but it’s no longer a feature on Windows 10.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to share files over the network using File Sharing, and OneDrive on Windows 10. (Although Homegroup is no longer available in the latest version of Windows 10, but the steps to use the feature will continue, as it’s still a feature in older releases.)

  • How to share files using File Explorer
  • How to share files over the network without needing a password

How to share files using File Explorer

Using the built-in File Sharing feature on Windows 10 is the best method you can use to share files in a local network, as it’s more flexible. You can use more restrictive permissions, and you can share files with virtually any device, including Mac, Android, and Linux devices.

There are two ways to share files using File Explorer: you can use the basic settings, which allows you to quickly share files on the network with minimal configuration, or you can use the advanced settings to set custom permissions and set other advanced options.

Sharing files using basic settings

To share files on your local network using the express settings, use these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer on Windows 10. Navigate to the folder you want to share.
  2. Right-click the item, and select the Properties option.
    Folder Properties option
  3. Click on the Sharing tab.
  4. Click the Share button.
    shre button
    Folder Sharing tab
  5. Use the drop-down menu to select the user or group to share file or folder. (For the purpose of this guide, select the Everyone group.)
  6. Click the Add button.
    Choose people to share with
  7. Under the “Permission Level” section, select the type of sharing permissions you want the folder to have. For example, you can select Read (default) if you only want users to be able to view and open files. If you select Read/Write, users can view, open, modify, and delete the content on the folder you’re sharing.
  8. Click the Share button.
    Share permission level
  9. Note the network path for the folder that other users will need to access the content over the network and click the Done button.
  10. Click the Close button.
    Shared folder path

Sharing files using advanced settings

To share files on your local network using the advanced sharing settings, use these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Navigate to the folder you want to share.
  3. Right-click the item, and select the Properties option.
    Folder Properties option
  4. Click on the Sharing tab.
  5. Click the Advanced Sharing button.
    Folder Sharing tab, Advanced Sharing
  6. Check the Share this folder option.
  7. Windows 10, by default, allows other users read-only access to the content you’re sharing, which means that they can only view files, but they cannot do anything else. If you want users to be able to edit the files, delete, and create new documents in the location, you’ll need to click the Permissions button.
    Advanced Sharing options
  8. On the Permissions window, you’ll notice the Everyone group is the default option highlighted. In the section below, you can customize the permissions for a specific user or group. If you want users to be able to open, edit, delete, and create files, then make sure to check the Read and Change permissions under Allow.
  9. Click the Apply button.
  10. Click the OK button.
    Share Permissions options
  11. Click the OK button again.

Sharing files with a specific user

If you only want to share files with only one specific user, you can follow the same steps, but on step 8, use these instructions:

  1. Select the Everyone group and click the Remove button.
  2. Click the Add button.
    Add or remove users and groups
  3. Type the name of the user you want to share the files with.
  4. Click the Check Name button.
  5. Click the OK button.
    Select users and groups to share with
  6. Select the user account, and you’ll notice that the “Read” permission is checked by default. If you want the user to be able to edit, delete, and create new files, make sure to also check the Change permission option.
  7. Click the Apply button.
  8. Click the OK button.
    Share permissions for specific user

Once you complete the steps, the shared content should be available when browsing the remote computer on File Explorer > Network.

How can you sharing files over the network without needing a password

On Windows 10, any file you share is by default secured with a username and password. This means only people who have an account and password on the computer doing the sharing can access shared files.

If you’re setting up file sharing on a local network for your family members, or people you know, it’s possible to disable the requirement to sign-in with Windows credentials to allow users to access files on the sharing computer without the need of a password.

To disable password protection for file sharing on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Click on Network and Internet.
  3. Click on Network and Sharing Center.
  4. On the left pane, click the Change advanced sharing settings link.
    Change advanced sharing settings
  5. Expand the All Networks tab.
  6. Under the “Password protected sharing” section, select the Turn off password protected sharing option.
  7. Click the Save changes button.
    Password protections sharing

    After you complete the steps, users should be able to access the shared folder without the need for a password.

If you only want to share files with specific users privately, you want to select the option to share via email.

Files you share will only be available to users as long as your computer is turned on, with the exception of the OneDrive sharing method. However, using OneDrive, users must have an internet connection to access shared content.

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