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Sharing Files

Networking Windows 10 | Networking Resources | Troubleshooting

Sharing files between computers.

If you have more than one computer or want to share files such as videos, photos, documents, etc. with other computers or other people, you will need to set up your network to allow this.

Networking Windows 10

The methods of networking Windows 10 computers together has changed since Windows 10 was launched.

HomeGroup Gone

HomeGroup was initially supported by Windows 10. Support was discontinued with Update 1803 (October 2018).

Simple Sharing

The easiest method to share specific files, folders or drives is Simple Sharing. Be careful sharing entire drives.

Allow Private Sharing

Ensure that you have allowed Private Sharing (only on networks you control). Public Sharing can create issues when sharing files.

  1. go to Network & Internet in Settings;
  2. select Sharing Options;
  3. make sure Network Discovery and File & Printer Sharing are turned on in Private Network;
  4. then choose the Media Streaming Options under All Networks.

Choose What to Share

Now you can right-click on a file or folder you wish to share

  1. select Give Access To;
  2. choose Specific People (ignoring HomeGroup);
  3. click the arrow to add Everyone (recommended for most users on private networks);
  4. choose either Read or Read/Write for the Permission Level; then
  5. click on Share to complete the process.

You have the option to make files available as read-only or to enable changes:

  • Read provides the ability for everyone on your network to read documents or play videos or music in the shared folder.
  • Read/Write provides the ability to edit or delete the contents of the shared folder.

You'll want to be careful with Read/Write. Another user on your network might delete an important document.

Restart to Finish

You may need to restart all your computers before the settings are visible.

Add Windows Credentials

I also had to go into the Control Panel and add the credentials for the other computer(s) on the network.

In the following I assume that the networked computer is Main-PC and the user is Joe:

  1. open Control Panel;
  2. search for “Manage Windows Credentials”
  3. under Windows Credentials, click on Add a Windows credential.

The following dialogue box appears:

Screen capture showing the Windows 10 Add Credentials dialogue box

Enter the Credentials

Enter the following information (based upon our example system and user noted above):

  1. Enter the network address in the first box (e.g., Main-PC)
  2. Enter the user name in the second box (e.g., Joe)
  3. Enter the user's computer password in the third box (i.e., Joe's password).

Network addresses and user names are case sensitive.

Restart to Finish

When you've completed this for each computer that you want to access over your network, you should be able to see whatever files are being shared on that computer by that user. Unshared files will not be visible.

Try rebooting all the affected computers if you still cannot see the shared files and folders.

Viewing Networked Files

You can open File Explorer then replace the text in the address bar with \\localhost to see a list of shared items on your computer.

Networking Resources



My ASUS laptop has no LAN connection and sharing files across my network worked fine until early 2021.

Sharing Suddenly Stops

Suddenly I encountered Error Code 0x80070035 while trying to share files.

I could see the desktop computer's files on the from the laptop, but not the reverse.

Given that I do the majority of my work on my desktop, but want to maintain copies of my working files on my laptop, that was a significant hit to productivity.

USB-LAN Adapter Restores Sharing

After trying various recommended solutions (including reinstalling Windows 10 and applications) I added a USB-LAN adapter which restored the ability to manage and share my laptop's files from my desktop.

Related Resources

Related resources on this site:

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Updated: November 22, 2021