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Sharing folders in Windows 7

This process will make your network slightly less secure but it works well because a password is not needed to share files and folders.

1. Find the Computer Name and Workgroup on your computer.

The Workgroup name needs to be the same on all PC’s that are being networked.

Verify what the Windows 7 computer and workgroup names are by going to Control Panel > System and Security > System > and read information under “Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings.”

If the names need to be changed go to Change settings in that category or Advanced System Settings in left pane. Then, Computer Name Tab > Change, type the Computer Name and Workgroup Name. > OK.
Make the computer name meaningful to aid recognition.
Restart your computer.

2. Second, adjust Windows 7 settings to allow for sharing with older OS on other networked systems.
Go to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Change Advanced Sharing Settings (side panel). Make sure Network Discovery, File and Printer Sharing, and Public Folder Sharing are all set to “on” and Password Protected Sharing is set to “off”.

3. Third, choose which folders to share on the network and adjust properties to do so.
Method 1:
Drag any folders to be shared to the Public folder.

Method 2:
To share a specific Windows 7 folder or additional drives on the system, right-click it > Properties > Sharing Tab > Advanced Sharing > tick box for Share this folder > Apply > OK > Close. Two little people should appear on the icons of the folders that are shared.

4. Don’t Skip this Step!!

Because Password Protected Sharing turned off, the security permissions have to be changed on the folder(s) to allow Everyone access. Right-click the shared folder > Properties > Security Tab > Edit > Add and type “Everyone” (not the quotes) into the box and select OK. Tick the boxes next to the permissions you want to allow (e.g. Read or Write, etc.) then Apply > OK. Some messages may appear: “An error occurred while applying…” This is not unusual and can be ignored by clicking Continue.

5. Windows firewall is normally set to allow file and printer sharing but if you have a third-party firewall make sure file and printer sharing are enabled so that each machine can talk to the other(s). Do not disable the Windows firewall if it’s the only one running.

6. To see or copy files, click the Windows Start button > Network and the computers/folders/files should appear. Use two windows to drag files from one PC to another.

  1. Sukhesh's Gravatar Sukhesh 05/15/2012 @ 2:17 pm

    Hi Thanks for this post. I am using windows 7 and shared a folder in my computer. Currently this folder is shared to everyone but i want only few people to have access to my folder rather than everyone. I am sure not too sure if it asks for a password whenever others try to access my folder. Please let me know if this type of sharing has any security threat.

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