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Published on 04.10.07 by Brent Trahan

Share a Folder in Windows Vista

Learn how to share a folder in Windows Vista.


Before you can share files in any folder you need to know a few basics. This guide gives you all the information you need to share any folder in Windows Vista.


Before you can share a folder you need to make sure a few things are set up.

  • Make sure all computers on the network are on the same workgroup. If you need help checking your workgroup see my Change the Workgroup Name guide.
  • Make sure all the computers on your network have their network locations set to Private. For help with this see my Change the Network Location Type guide.
  • Make sure Network Discovery is turned on. Changing your network location type to private does this by default but it’s always a good idea to double-check. If you need help with this see my Turn Network Discovery On guide.
  • I’m assuming you’re using the Windows Vista firewall. If you’re using a 3rd party firewall you might have to change its settings to allow file sharing.
  • You need to decide if you want the shared folder(s) password protected or not. This guide shows you how to change this setting below.

Enable File Sharing

  1. Open the Control Panel and then open Network and Sharing Center.
  2. Click the down arrow to the right of File Sharing to expand it.
  3. Click Turn on file sharing and then click Apply.


Password Protect or Not

Now is a good time to decide if you want the folder being shared to be protected with a password or not. Regardless if you want if you want password protection turned on or off you need to do the following:

  1. Open the Network and Sharing Center just like you did above and expand Password protected sharing.
  2. Select whether you want it on or off.

Note: Password protected sharing applies to all shared folder on your computer.

Share a Folder

  1. Right-click any folder and click Share.
  2. If you’re not password protecting your shares click Share in the File sharing window.
  3. If you are password protecting your shares select the individual users you want to have access to this share from the drop down list next to the Add button. When someone browses to your computer they will need to know the user name and password of any of the accounts you add here to access this share.


    Hint: The user you’re logged in with when you create the share is automatically added to the list. Add All users to give access to the share using any user account on the computer.

  4. Click Share.

Still need help? Ask your computer question now.

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8 Responses to “Share a Folder in Windows Vista”

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  1. kostas says:

    very good guide m8, solved my problems

  2. rajkumar says:

    this answer by step by step is good guide lesson so i am happy to visit the this site

  3. Keyur says:

    Excellent description…

  4. dmitri photo says:

    Thank you, yhat helped.
    Was trying hard to share disks in network, now succeeded.

  5. yogesh says:

    how to share a folder which need to be accessible for other user in the network. The folder which is shared need to be displayed when i type IP of the system in other system.
    That shared folder should not be inside public or any folders like public,users .

    expecting a favorable reply

  6. Ancu says:

    thank you, I’ll try this guide.

  7. pmur says:

    Thanks. Very good/simple directions to resolve my problem.

  8. AMIT says:

    If Turn On Password protected sharing The What Is The Password ?

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