Setting up Simple File Sharing in Windows 7

File sharing in Windows 7 is relatively simple to configure. By following this guide, you will have your file sharing setup in just a few minutes...

This guide is going to cover the aspects of simple file sharing. If you wish to share files using methods outside of this guide, you will need to do additional research in terms of setting up your network, your firewall and other components in place.

Create a Share

Creating a share is very easy in Windows 7. You can share an entire drive, or a specific folder. Our images are going to focus on folder sharing, but the concept is the same. Before you can begin sharing, following requirements should be met:

-          All computers should be part of the same Work group

-          All computers should be on the same network

-          All computers should have a common user and password (optional)

To create a share, right click on the folder you want to share and choose properties (in our case, it’s the folder called Data)

Next, click on the advanced sharing button. On this screen, you will check the box to share the folder, and then you can give it a specific name. You can also add comments that explain what kind of share that is. Maximum number of concurrent connections can be set. Default is 20, unless you have more than 20 computers in your environment, leave this setting on default.

And that’s it! You’ve created a share, but you’re not quite done just yet. First, you have to ask yourself what kind of share this will be. For example, should other users be able to read the files only, or will you allow them to change them, delete them and copy their own files into the shared location. The next step is setting appropriate permissions.

Setting Permissions

In order to set the permissions for your shared folder, you will need to click on the Permissions button. This permissions button is located in the 2nd picture above.

When you click on the permissions, you will get the following window:

This is where you can setup each users/groups permission for that folder. Your window may look a little bit different and contain more users. You can choose to give Full Control or partial control using the checkboxes. You can either deny or allow certain actions.

You have to decide how secure you want your sharing to be. By default, Windows 7 sharing will use password protection. What this means is that if your username is Bob and password is mypass then this account should be created on every single system that will be sharing files. This way when you access the folder, you will need to type in your credentials and log in to the share folder.

So if you choose to this route, you can then allocate permissions to username Bob as you see fit. If you don’t want to create these usernames, you can disable password protected sharing.

If you do this, users will be classified under group Everyone. Therefore you can give that group permissions as you see fit.

Disabling Windows Password Sharing

If you do not wish to use multiple user system, you can disable Windows Password sharing by doing the following:

1)      Click on start, in search type “advanced sharing” without quotes

2)      Click on “Manage Advanced sharing settings”

3)      Scroll down to Password Protected sharing and click the radio button to turn off this feature

Also, while you’re on this window, you should make sure that the rest of the settings are as follows:

1)      Network Discovery – on

2)      File and printer sharing – on

3)      Public folder sharing – off

4)      Media streaming – off (unless you’re using it already)

5)      File sharing connections – 128-bit encryption

6)      Password protected sharing – off

7)      HomeGroup connections – Allow Windows (or Use User accounts if you prefer that)

Click on Save Changes when you’re done. Computers may need to be restarted for changes to take effect.



The file sharing setup is now completed. You should be able to see your share from other computers on the network.

Some things to keep in mind:

-          Do not use simple file sharing on a network you do not recognize (public, work)

-          It’s recommended to use the Multiple User method due to added security.

-          Limit the permissions to read only unless the other users REALLY need to write/erase

-          If you use file encryption, make sure it’s disabled for the folders you’re sharing

If you’re having trouble seeing your share, it could be down to a custom firewall. Make sure that you allow sharing through your firewall if you have one.

Also, if you cannot see the computer at all, you have to make sure they belong to the same network and workgroup. For example, if the IP Address of shared computer is with subnet of, then the other computers have to have the IP structure of 192.168.1.x . Number at the end does not matter, but the first three do, in this case.

At this point, file sharing should be working correctly and you should be able to connect to all your shares. Happy sharing!

 *Disclaimer: AVADirect and its Staff are not responsible for any damage to software/hardware, loss of data or personal injury by following our How-To guides. These guides are provided only as an aid to help you troubleshoot system problems. If you do not feel comfortable performing these steps its always best to send in your system to a local repair shop or contact an appropriate technical support line for additional assistance.