How to Configure Network Shares (File Sharing over Local Area Network) in Windows 10

How to Configure Network Shares (File Sharing over Local Area Network) in Windows 10

In a network (LAN or intranet), at times one needs to access files in one PC from another (or others). It is not necessary to use sneaker nets (like flash drives and external hard drives used to transfer files) for data transfer each time you want to access files in a different PC on the same network. Instead,you can just configure your PCs to communicate and share files over the Network. This is called Network Sharing, and can come in handy especially when there is frequent transfer of data between two or more PCs in the same network.


Configuring Network Shares (File Sharing over LAN) involves a set of steps explained below:

[ Step 1 ]

Open Network Sharing Center. Through either of the following 3 ways;

– Right click on the network icon in the system tray , then click on Network Sharing Center.
– Open Control Panel and open Network Sharing Center.
– Open the Run utility via “Windows key + R“, and run;

 'control /name Microsoft.NetworkandSharingCenter'




[ Step 2 ]

All the above three options will open the Network Sharing Center on Windows 10. In the window, click on Change advanced sharing settings to open an interface where you can configure Public/Private/All Networks.



[ Step 3 ]

– In the current window, before proceeding, you need to figure out if you are using a Private or Public network. (NOTE:// It is not advised to share anything in public networks). Connect to a private network, either physical or wireless and when prompted select ‘Yes‘ to register it as a Private network.

– In the Private tab under the Change advanced sharing settings window, under Network discovery, check the ‘Turn on network discovery‘ radio button and check the ‘Turn on automatic setup of network connected devices‘ checkbox to allow network discovery. If network discovery is not enabled, the network sharing process cannot proceed. Note that this has to be done on all PCs involved.

– Next, you need to click on the radio button next to the text ‘Turn on file and printer sharing‘ under the File and printer sharing tab to allow for file sharing. Again, if this is not selected, the process will never be successful. Also note that this is only mandatory only for PCs whose files are to be shared.



[ Step 4 ]

After allowing private network file sharing and network discovery, to further secure the network share, you need to enable password protected sharing. This can be done in the All Networks tab under the Change advanced sharing settings window. Under Password protected sharing click on the Turn on password protected sharing radio button.



[ Step 5 ]

Open File Explorer via “Windows button + E” or by running `explorer` in the Run utility. Navigate to the folder you wish to share, Right click on it and click on ‘Properties‘. Navigate to the Sharing tab in the Properties window and click on the ‘Share…‘ button. Here you can select the users you want to share with. (NOTE:// that the users you select here will dictate the username and password you will be prompted to enter when you try to access the shared network location).


NOTE:// It is possible set a custom name of the network share under the ‘Advanced Sharing…‘ button but note that you will need to re-enable the ‘Share this folder‘ check box.




NOTE:// You can also control permissions on the shared file/folder to limit read/write operations which is really important.




[ Step 6 ]

On the PC you wish to share the network share with, as you had already enabled network discovery in Step 3 above, you only need to navigate to ‘Network‘ in File Explorer to access the Network share. If for whatever reason you do not have Network Discovery turned on, you are provided with an option to do so in the Network window. Else, you can refer to Steps 1 – 4 above.



[ Step 7 ]

After you are done sharing, it is recommended that you remove access via network share to prevent unintended file/folder sharing. To do this, right click on the folder you had shared earlier and click on ‘Give access to‘, and then click on ‘Remove access‘. Next, you need to open Network Sharing Center and navigate to Turn off file and printer sharing to ‘Turn off file and printer sharing‘ and also ‘Turn off network discovery‘.


How to Configure Network Shares (File Sharing over Local Area Network) in Windows 10
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