Access PCs and see shared folders of other computers

Programs and ways to remotely access other PCs on the network and open shared folders from computers close to us

Shared Folders In a corporate network it is easy to come across in shared folders on PCs, used to exchange files between the various workstations without having to use USB sticks. In fact, it is possible to enter PCs and see the shared folders of other computers while remaining comfortably seated in front of our computer.

In the following guide we will show you how to share folders on the network, what it takes to avoid authentication and permission errors and what we need to do to see the shared folders of other computers. This guide is useful both if we have to set up the shared folders on a corporate network and for those who want to create a home network where all computers can access shared folders quickly and easily.

READ ALSO -> Create a LAN network of computers at home or in the office

1) Properly share folders on the network

When we share folders over the network we can run into some sharing problems able to embarrass any inexperienced user. The most common problems are:

  • We don’t have permission to access shared folders
  • We don’t see shared folders on the network
  • The shared folder is empty, even though we have shared folders

These problems are generated by some simple mistakes with i folder sharing permissionswhich are profoundly different from the permissions we use to access the PC.

All PCs that want to share folders on the network must compulsorily follow the procedure described in the following guide, so as to avoid errors from appearing.

We put the PC in a private network

The first problem concerns the location of the PC in the network to which it is connected: the network must be identified as private to be able to access folders on other PCs.

To immediately check this, press WIN+I on the keyboard, open the menu Network and the Internetwe press on the menu Property next to the network name and select Private network. To learn more, we can read our guide on how set up private home network in windows 10 and 11.

We prepare the PC to see the shared folders

After placing the computer on the private network, make sure that the PC can see the shared folders on the network by pressing WIN+I on the keyboard, taking us to the path Network & Internet -> Advanced network settings -> Advanced sharing settings and activating voices Network discovery, Automatically configure devices connected to the network e File and printer sharing.

On Windows 10 we can make these changes by opening the Start menu, looking for Manage advanced sharing settingsopening the menu of the same name, taking us to the section Private and ticking off entries Turn on network discovery, Activate the automatic configuration of devices connected to the network e Turn on file and printer sharing.

Let’s create a sharing user

Now that the PC is ready we will have to create a sharing userThis is necessary to avoid having to provide users on the same network with their personal login credentials (or Microsoft password) to access shared folders.

This user can be created on all computers that must always access shared resources: if we make this change first, everything will be much easier afterwards.

Alternatively, we can avoid creating the user on all PCs but, on first access to the shared resource, we will have to manually enter the sharing user credentials (remembering to tick Remember credentials).

To proceed with the creation of the user on a computer with Windows 11 we press WIN+I on the keyboard, let’s go to the menu Accountlet’s go to the menu other users (Family and other users on Windows 10) and finally press on Add accounts o (Add another user to this PC su Windows 10).

In the new screen we press on I don’t have this person’s login informationwe press on Add a user without a Microsoft account and choose a simple username (like SharedUser) and a password that is simple to remember but robust, taking care to also enter security questions (for password recovery).

Let’s add the user to the public folder

The new user must be added to those authorized to access the shared public folder, otherwise the folders inside will not be visible.

To proceed, let’s go to the following path from File Explorer:

C:\Users

Right click on the folder Publishclick on Propertylet’s go to the tab Sharingwe press on the key Shareenter the name of the sharing user (or use the arrowhead to find it immediately), press on addwe provide read permissions and finally confirm on Share; if other windows come out we confirm the changes to the subfolders without problems.
Add shared user To learn more, we can read our guide on how manage shared folder permissions in Windows.

2) Share folders and files over the network

To start a file sharing we advise you to create new folders in the following path:

C:\Users\Public

The folders created here will immediately have the correct access permissions and all shared files will be immediately viewable and executable. The more experienced can also share other PC foldersbut they will have to enter the shared user first among the owning users, as seen in the guide on how to change permissions on files and folders.

Assigning only read permissions to shared folders we will prevent someone from accidentally deleting shared files from a PC that is not theirsmaking everything very easy to manage at the network level.

3) View folders on the network

If we have created the sharing user on all PCs it will be enough to open File Explorertake us to the menu Netpress on the PC we want to access, press on Users and finally open the folder Publish (or open the folder directly Publish if only that is displayed).

If, on the other hand, the PC is new on the network or does not have the sharing user, it can still access the shared resources by going to the path File Explorer -> Networkby pressing on the name of the PC to be accessed and entering the access credentials of the sharing user, taking care to check the item Remember credentials to avoid having to enter the password every time.

Conclusions

Create shared folders on Windows it has always been a bogeyman for those approaching the world of networks, given that almost always a sharing error or a permission error appears that we quickly give up. In the end, all you need to do is create a shared user, set up the PCs on a private network and authorize file sharing to enter the PCs and see the shared folders of other computers.

To learn more we can read our guides on how solve connection problems between PC and file sharing in LAN come on how to remove network folder sharing on windows.

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