Setting up file sharing on Windows 10

You can share your files and folders with other people that use your computer, and other people that use the same network. It might sound complicated, but don't worry, we've written this super-helpful guide so you can get to grips with it.

There's a couple of different ways to set-up file sharing, and the one you choose depends on how much control you want to have over what's shared. 'HomeGroup' and 'File Explorer' are set up quite differently, so we've explained both of them.


Sharing files using File Explorer


File Explorer lets you share things with any other computer or laptop that's on the same network. It means that anyone who's got permission can see the files, as long as they're connected to your network.

Password protected sharing

Any files or folders you share from Windows 10 will be secured by the login details of the computer they're stored on. This means that anyone who wants to open a shared file or folder will need to know the password of the sharing computer. It's possible to let anyone access the files you share by 'editing permissions' and we'll cover that in a later chapter.

If you're the only person who uses your network, and you just want to be able to access your files and folders on different devices, you can change the settings to turn off password protected sharing. This means that anyone connected to your network can open any files or folders you've shared, so it's only recommended if you're the only person using the network.

Here's how it's done.

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Go to Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Change advanced sharing settings.


Click All Networks > Password-protected sharing.


Click the option that says Turn off password-protected sharing, then click Save changes.

Share a file or folder on your network

Here's how to share files or folders with other users on your network.

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Find the file or folder you want to share (hold the Windows button and press the letter E as a shortcut to your files).


Right-click on it, then click Properties.


A menu will pop-up. Click the Sharing tab at the top.


Click Advanced Sharing.


Click the box next to 'Share this folder' to let other people see it.


By default, they will have 'read-only access', which means they'll be able to read and copy the information, but not edit or delete it. You can change this by clicking Permissions.

Editing permissions

If you want to let anyone who can see your files edit or delete them, you can change the settings in the 'Advanced Sharing' menu.

Here's how.

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Right-click the folder you want to edit.


Go to Properties > Sharing > Advanced Sharing > Permissions.


With 'Everyone' highlighted, click the Allow box next to the 'Change' option. Then click OK.

Setting and changing access levels


Here you'll find some information on how to check the level of access a user has, and the steps you need to be able to change it.

Giving users different levels of access to files or folders

You can give some users more access than others if you want them to be able to edit or delete files, but don't want everyone to be able to do it.

In our example, we're giving a user called Adrian permission to change the folder we've shared. Start by clicking Add in the 'Permissions' menu.

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In the white box, type the name of the user you want to add, then click Check Names (the person you're adding needs to be set up as a user on the computer).


When the computer's found the user you're adding, click OK. Make sure the 'Change' box has a tick in it under 'Allow'. Then click OK.

Sharing files using Windows HomeGroup


HomeGroup lets you share files easily and securely with other PCs on your home network running on Windows 7 or later, but you won't be able to share files to a computer using an older version of windows, or a different operating system.

HomeGroups are password protected, so you're in control of what's shared and who can get to it. You can also whether users can edit your files, or just view them.

Set up or join a HomeGroup

The first thing you'll need to do is either join an existing HomeGroup, or set up a new one.

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Right-click on the Windows icon at the bottom of the screen.


Click Control Panel.


To find the HomeGroup settings, you might need to change the view - click the View by drop-down menu, and choose Large icons.


Click HomeGroup.

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If there's already a HomeGroup on your network, you'll see an option to join it. To set up a new one, click Create a homegroup.


You'll see some information about the security features that you get with HomeGroup. Click Next.

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This is where you can choose what you'd like to share. Choose either Shared or Not shared for each of the folders, then click Next.


You'll see a password and you'll need to make a note of it. Other users will need to use this password when they join your HomeGroup. Click Finish when you've made a note of it.

After you click Finish, your HomeGroup will be set up. There are a few other things you can do from here, like change what you're sharing, view or print the password, change the password, or leave the HomeGroup. If you're happy with the settings, you can close the menu by clicking the cross at the top-right corner.

Sharing to your HomeGroup

When your PC is connected to a HomeGroup, it's easy to share files and folders to it. Here's how it's done.

Open the File Explorer (you can do it using the keyboard shortcut by holding the windows button then pressing the letter E). Find the file or folder you want to share, then right-click it and move the cursor over Share with.

You'll have two options - 'view', and 'view and edit'. View lets others view your files and folders, but not change them, and view and edit lets them make changes or delete them.

That should be everything you need to know about sharing files and folders using Windows 10, but if you need any more help, you can talk to an expert from Team Knowhow here.

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