Windows 10 allows for you to share files and folders over a network. This means any files and folders that are shared can be automatically viewed by other users who are connected to the same public or private network in your workgroup or domain.

You can also set permissions for files and folders that are being shared. All of the usual permissions will apply: the option to allow users or groups to read only, change (modify), or have full control access to the shared files and folders are all available.

You’ve always been able to share files and folders between users and groups in Windows 10, but starting from version 1803, the option to use a HomeGroup has been removed. The idea of HomeGroups disappearing is nothing new: we’ve been hearing about that since the codenamed Redstone 4 update. But once you’re computer is updated to Windows 10 version 1803, they will officially be gone. While HomeGroups are no longer around, you can still share printers and files with existing features with Windows 10, and there is no news of that changing anytime soon.

Here are all the different ways you can share files and folders over a network when you’re using a version of the Windows 10 operating system.

Note: Everyone must follow the first steps and set up file sharing before any of the methods below will work.

How to Set Up File Sharing on a Windows 10 PC

1. Before you can use any methods below, you’ll first need to set up the file sharing. To do that, make sure that each computer on the network has a unique computer name.

2. Open Folder Options from File Explorer and then make sure that “Use Sharing Wizard (Recommended)” is enabled. You’ll need to check the box and then click on the “OK” button if it isn’t yet turned on.

Related: How to Get Help with File Explorer in Windows 10

3. Using Windows 10’s services, make sure the Function Discovery Provider Host and the Function Discovery Resource Publication services and both running and have the Startup type set to “Automatic.”

Note: You can complete the following steps related to Advanced sharing settings by navigating to the Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Advanced Sharing settings.

4. Turn on network discovery for your private or public network.

5. Turn on File and Printer Sharing for your private or public network.

6. Turn on Public folder sharing if you want to share items in the C:\Users\Public folder.

You can choose between having the password protection turned on or off depending on what you would like to achieve. Likewise, you can choose the level of encryption you would like to use with regards to the file sharing.

How to Share File or Folder Using “Give access to” Context Menu

1. Open the File Explorer from the taskbar or press the Windows logo key + E key combination on your keyboards to get it open instead.

2. Locate the file or folder that you want to share, right-click on it > click Give access to > then choose Specific people from the secondary menu.

3. The people you’re sharing the file or folder with will now always be shown on this window. By default, it shows the owner’s user account.


4. Click on the small arrow and then choose between either “Everyone” or the name of the user account that you want to share the file or folder with.

5. Click on the “Add” button.

6. Click on the small arrow and then choose between the read and read/write permissions. (Read only means they can view the contents of the file or folder but cannot make changes to it. Read and write permissions means they can view the contents of the file or folder as well as make changes to it.)

Conversely, if you ever want to stop sharing the file or folder with the user, you can click on the same small arrow and select the “remove” option instead.

7. Once you’re happy with your selections, click on the “Share” button at the bottom of the window to begin sharing your files and folders with their new permissions.

8. You may see a notification asking if you would like to turn on the network discovery and file sharing for public networks. You can choose yes or no here.

9. As soon as you can see your file or folder is shared, click on the “Done” button at the bottom of the window.

How to Stop Sharing File or Folder Using “Give access to” Context Menu

You can also stop sharing files or folders that you have previously chosen to share with others on your network.

1. Open the File Explorer by clicking on the File Explorer icon in the taskbar or by pressing the Windows logo + E keys on your keyboard.

2. Find the file or folder that you want to stop sharing, right-click on it and then head to in the content menu Give access to > Remove access.

How to Share File or Folder Using Share Tab in File Explorer

You can also share files and folders by using the Share tab in File Explorer.

1. Open File Explorer by clicking on the File Explorer icon in the taskbar or by pressing the Windows logo key + E on your keyboard.

2. Next, click on the file or folder you wish to share, followed by the “Share” tab and then click on the “Specific people” link.

3. The people you’re sharing the file or folder with will now always be shown on this window. By default, it shows the owner’s user account.

4. Click on the small arrow and then choose between either “Everyone” or the name of the user account that you want to share the file or folder with.

5. Click on the “Add” button.

6. Click on the small arrow and then choose between the read and read/write permissions. (Read only means they can view the contents of the file or folder but cannot make changes to it. Read and write permissions means they can view the contents of the file or folder as well as make changes to it.)

Conversely, if you ever want to stop sharing the file or folder with the user, you can click on the same small arrow and select the “remove” option instead.

7. Once you’re happy with your selections, click on the “Share” button at the bottom of the window to begin sharing your files and folders with their new permissions.

8. As soon as you can see your file or folder is shared, click on the “Done” button at the bottom of the window.

How to Stop Sharing File or Folder Using Share Tab in File Explorer

You can also stop sharing the files and folders from the same Share tab in File Explorer.

1. Open the File Explorer by clicking on the File Explorer icon in the taskbar or by pressing the Windows logo key + E on your keyboard.

2. Click once on the file or folder that you want to remove sharing capabilities to and then click Share > Remove access.

How to Share Folder Using Sharing Properties

If it’s just a folder you want to share, you can do that from the folder Properties dialog box.

1. Open File Explorer by clicking on the File Explorer icon in your taskbar or by pressing the Windows logo key + E keys on your keyboard and then navigate to where your folder is, right-click on it and then select “Properties” from the folder’s context menu.

2. Select the “Sharing” tab and then click on the “Share” button.

3. The people you’re sharing the file or folder with will now always be shown on this window. By default, it shows the owner’s user account.

4. Click on the small arrow and then choose between either “Everyone” or the name of the user account that you want to share the file or folder with.

5. Click on the “Add” button.

6. Click on the small arrow and then choose between the read and read/write permissions. (Read only means they can view the contents of the file or folder but cannot make changes to it. Read and write permissions means they can view the contents of the file or folder as well as make changes to it.)

Conversely, if you ever want to stop sharing the file or folder with the user, you can click on the same small arrow and select the “remove” option instead.

7. Once you’re happy with your selections, click on the “Share” button at the bottom of the window to begin sharing your files and folders with their new permissions.

8. As soon as you can see your file or folder is shared, click on the “Done” button at the bottom of the window.

9. Click on the “Close” button at the bottom of the Properties dialog that’s open for your file or folder.

How to Share Folder or Drive Using Advanced Sharing

If it’s a folder or drive that you want to share, you can make that happen by using the Advanced sharing feature from the folder or drive’s Properties dialog box.

1. Open the File Explorer by clicking on the File Explorer taskbar icon or by pressing the Windows logo key +  keys on your keyboard and then head to the folder or dive location, right-click on it and then select the “Properties” option from the context menu.

2. Click on the “Sharing” tab at the top of the Properties dialog and then select the “Advanced sharing” button.

3. You can change the permissions levels by using the checkboxes there, or you can use the “Add” and “Remove” buttons.

4. If you click “Remove” it removes any of the permissions that were set.

5. If you click on “Add” on the other hand, you can select users or groups by clicking on the “Advanced” button.

6. Followed by the “Find Now” button.

7. Click on the “OK” button once you’ve made your desired changes.

8. And then click on the “OK” button to save your changes to the Advanced sharing dialog.

9. Now click on the “Close” button to close the Properties dialog associated with your folder or drive.

How to Stop Sharing Folder or Drive Using Advanced Sharing

You can also stop the sharing of a folder or drive from the Advanced sharing menu as well.

1. Open the File Explorer by clicking on the File Explorer icon that’s available in the taskbar by default or by pressing on the Windows logo + E keys on your keyboard.

2. Now locate the folder or drive that you want to stop the sharing of, right-click on it and then select the “properties” link from its context menu.

3. Select the “Sharing” tab from the top of the Properties dialog and then click on the “Advanced Sharing” button.

4. Deselect the checkbox where it says “Share this folder” and then click on the “OK” button.

5. Click on the “Close” button at the bottom of the file or drive’s Properties dialog.

How to Stop Sharing Folder or Drive Using Shared Folders MMC Snap-in

You can also stop sharing a folder or a drive by using the shared folders MMC snap-in. To use this method though you’ll need to be signed in as an administrator.

1. Press the Windows logo key + R to bring up the Run dialog box and then type “compmgmt.msc” and hit the “OK” button.

2. Expand the “Shared folders” in the left pane and then click on “Shares” to then reveal your folders in the middle pane. Right-click on the folder that you want to stop sharing and then click on the “Stop sharing” option from the menu.

1. You can also open the Shared folders directly in Computer Management by typing “fsmgmt.msc” into the Run dialog instead and then expand the “Shares” in the left pane and right-click on the folder you want to stop sharing and select the “Stop sharing” option from the menu. 

Either way you do it, you’ll see the Shared Folder box appear that makes you confirm you wish to stop sharing the folder. Click on the “Yes” button to continue.

You can close the Computer Management window and continue suing your computer.

That’s it.

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