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Fix Windows 10 File Sharing Not Working

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With the help of the Windows 10 network sharing feature, the files in your system can be shared with other users connected under the same LAN connection. You can do this by simply clicking a button or two, as Microsoft has simplified this process over the years. The end-user can view the shared files on their Android mobile phones too! However, many users reported Windows 10 network sharing not working issue on their system. If you are also dealing with the same problem, this guide will help you fix Windows 10 file sharing not working issue.

Read till the end to learn various tricks that will help you navigate such situations.

Fix Windows 10 File Sharing Not Working

Fix Windows 10 File Sharing Not Working

Method 1: Restart your PC

The performance of your system depends on how you maintain it. If you keep your system active for a prolonged period of time, it will have an impact on its performance. It is often recommended to power off your PC when not in use.

All minor technical glitches will be fixed when you perform a restart/ reboot process. A proper restart process is required to avoid erratic behavior of the system.

Before trying any of the below-mentioned troubleshooting methods, try restarting your system. This just might fix the Windows 10 file sharing not working over a network issue without any complex technical procedures. Here are some ways to reboot your Windows 10 PC.

Click on Restart and wait for the process to be completed.

Method 2: Use correct login details

1. Always remember to enter the correct username and password to log into your Microsoft account.

2. You also need to enter your local username and password if such password protection is enabled on your network.

3. If you want to confirm the correct local username, then navigate to C Drive and then to Users.

4. All the users will be displayed in folders. You can determine yours from here.

Also Read: How To Setup Network Files Sharing On Windows 10

Method 3: Ensure all Computers are using the same sharing protocol

To avoid compatibility issues, the first step to resolve windows that cannot access the shared folder error is to ensure that all the computers on the network are using the same network sharing protocol.

1. Press Windows Key +S to bring up the search then type feature and click on Turn Windows feature on or off from the search result. 

Type feature as your search input | Windows 10 Network Sharing Not Working- Fixed

2. Now, navigate to SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support and expand it.

3. Here, check the following boxes to make sure that all the computers use the same network sharing protocols:

  • SMB 1.0/CIFS Automatic Removal
  • SMB 1.0/CIFS Client
  • SMB 1.0/CIFS Server  

Here, check all the boxes below to ensure all the computers use the same protocols.

4. Finally, click on OK to save the changes and reboot your system.

Method 4: Enable Public Sharing feature on Windows PC

If the public sharing feature is not enabled on your system, then you will face the file sharing isn’t working on Windows 10 issue. Follow the below-mentioned steps to allow a public sharing feature on your computer:

1. Again open the Windows search then type Control Panel in the search bar.

2. Open the Control Panel app from the search results as depicted below.

Open the Control Panel app from your search results.

3. Now, click on Network and Internet from the given list as seen here.

Now, click on the Network and Internet from the panel on the left.

4. Here, click on Network and Sharing Center as shown.

Here, click on Network and Sharing Center.

 5. Click on Change advanced sharing settings in the left menu as depicted in the pic.

Now, click on Change advanced sharing settings in the left menu | Windows 10 Network Sharing Not Working- Fixed

6. Here, click on the downward arrow corresponding to All Networks to expand it.

Here, click on the down arrow corresponding to All Networks to expand it.

7. Expand the Public folder sharing option and check the box marked Turn on sharing so anyone with network access can read and write files in the Public folders. Refer to the below picture.

Here, expand to the Public folder sharing tab and check the box as shown in the below picture.

8. Finally, click on Save changes and restart your system.

Also Read: Fix Enter Network Credentials Error on Windows 10

Method 5: Share File & Folder Permissions from Properties window

To tackle Windows 10 network sharing not working problem, you need to ensure that the sharing settings of the folder are enabled. You can check the same as:

1. Navigate to the folder you want to share in the network and right-click on it.

2. Now, click on Properties and switch to the Sharing tab as shown.

Now, click on Properties and switch to the Sharing tab.

3. Next, click on the Share… button as depicted in the picture below.

Next, click on the Share… button

4. Now, choose people on your network to share with from the drop-down menu. Click on the arrow symbol and select Everyone as shown here.

Now, choose people on your network to share with from the drop-down menu. Click on the arrow symbol and select Everyone.

5. Again, switch to the Properties window and click on Advanced Sharing.

6. In the next window, check the box marked Share this folder as depicted below.

In the next window, check the Share this folder box | Windows 10 Network Sharing Not Working- Fixed

7. Now, click on the Permissions button. Verify that Share Permissions is set to Everyone.

Note: To set the permissions to Guests, click Permissions and set Share Permissions to Guests.

8. Finally, click on OK to save the changes made.

Note: If you cannot find the Permissions button in the Advanced Sharing window, click on the Add option. Now, click on Advanced >> Find Now. Here, all the users will be listed in the menu as explained. Choose Everyone to resolve network sharing issues.

If Windows 10 file sharing not working issue still persists, try the other succeeding methods.

Method 6: Disable Windows Defender Firewall

Some users reported that Windows 10 network sharing not working error disappeared when Windows Defender Firewall was turned OFF. Follow these steps to disable Windows Defender Firewall:

1. Launch Control Panel as instructed in the previous methods and click on System and Security.

2. Now, click on Windows Defender Firewall, as shown in the below picture.

Now, click on Windows Defender Firewall.

3. Select the Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off option from the left menu. Refer to pic below.

Now, select the Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off option at the left menu

4. Now, check the boxes next to the Turn off Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended) option wherever available on this screen. Refer given picture.

Now, check the boxes; turn off Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended)

5. Reboot your system. Check if you’re able to fix Windows 10  file sharing not working over a network.

Method 7: Disable Antivirus

Some file-sharing properties might not function properly on your system due to the third-party antivirus software.

1. Disable antivirus on your system temporarily and check you’re able to fix Windows 10 network sharing not working issue. If you’re able to fix the issue after disabling the antivirus, then your antivirus is incompatible.

In the task bar, right click on your antivirus and click on disable auto protect

2. Check whether antivirus is updated to its latest version; if not, check for an update.

3. If the antivirus program runs in its latest version and still triggers the error, it would be best to install a different antivirus program.

Also Read: Fix Unable to Activate Windows Defender Firewall

Method 8: Enable LanMan Workstation using Registry

1. Open the Run dialog box by pressing Windows + R keys together. 

2. Now, type regedit and click OK to open Registry Editor.

Open the Run dialog box (Click Windows key & R key together) and type regedit | Windows 10 Network Sharing Not Working- Fixed

3. Navigate the following path:

HKEY_LOCATE_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanWorkstation\Parameters

Click OK and navigate the following path | Fix Windows 10 Network Sharing Not Working

4. Double-click on the AllowInsecureGuestAuth key.

5. If the AllowInsecureGuestAuth key does not appear on the screen, you will have to create one, as explained below.

6. Right-click on an empty space on the screen and select New > DWORD (32-Bit) Value.

If the AllowInsecureGuestAuth key does not appear on the screen, you have to create one. Then, right-click on the screen and click on New followed by DWORD (32-Bit) Value.

7. To enable the LanMan workstation, double-click on the AllowInsecureGuestAuth key.

8. Set the value of AllowInsecureGuestAuth to 1.

9. Restart the system and check if Windows cannot access the shared folder error is resolved.

Method 9: Enable Network Discovery and File & Printer Sharing

1. Open Control Panel as explained earlier. Refer to the picture below.

Type Control Panel in the search bar and open it. | Fix Windows 10 Network Sharing Not Working

2. Navigate to Network and InternetNetwork and Sharing Center as explained in Method 2.

3. Click on the Change advanced sharing settings as depicted below.

. Now, click on Change advanced sharing settings | Windows 10 Network Sharing Not Working- Fixed

4. Here, expand the Guest or Public option and check Turn on network discovery and Turn on file and printer sharing options.

Here, expand the Guest or Public option and check Turn on network discovery and Turn on file and printer sharing | Fix Windows 10 Network Sharing Not Working

5. Click on Save changes.

Note: When the network discovery feature is on, your computer will be able to interact with other computers and devices on the network. When file and printer sharing is turned on, files and printers that you have shared from your computer can be accessed by people on the network.

6. Right-click on the folder you want to share in the network.

7. Navigate to Properties > Sharing > Advanced Sharing.

8. In the next window, check the Share this folder box as depicted below.

In the next window, check the Share this folder box | Windows 10 Network Sharing Not Working- Fixed

9. Click on Apply followed by OK.

10. To set the permissions to Guest, click Permissions and set Share Permissions to Guests.

11. Finally, click on OK to save the changes.

Method 10: Turn OFF Password Protected Sharing

1. Launch the Control Panel and navigate to Network and Sharing Center as you did in the previous method.

2. Now, click on the Change advanced sharing settings and expand All Networks.

3. Here, check to Turn off password-protected sharing as depicted in the picture below.

check to Turn off password-protected sharing

4. Finally, click on Save changes and restart your system.

Method 11: Allow Apps to communicate through Windows Defender Firewall

1. Launch Control Panel and select System and Security.

2. Now, click on Windows Defender Firewall followed by Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall.

Allow an app or feature through the Windows Defender Firewall

3. Here, click on Change settings button as shown below.

Here, click on Change settings. | Fix Windows 10 Network Sharing Not Working

4. Now, check File and Printer Sharing in the Allowed apps and features list. Click on OK to save changes.

Now, check File and Printer Sharing in Allowed apps and features and click on OK.

Also Read: Fix Can’t Turn ON Windows Defender

Method 12: Change Sharing options for different Network profiles

Even though the recommended sharing option is 128-bit encryption, some systems may support 40 or 56-bit encryption. Try switching file-sharing connection, and you will be able to fix Windows 10 network sharing not working issue. Follow these steps to do so:

1. Open Control Panel and go to Network and Internet.

2. Navigate to Network and Sharing Center > Change advanced sharing settings.

3. Expand All Networks by clicking on the downward arrow corresponding to it.

4. Here, go to the File sharing connections tab and check the box titled Enable file sharing for devices that use 40 or 56-bit encryption, as illustrated below.

Here, go to the File sharing connections tab and check the box | Fix Windows 10 Network Sharing Not Working

Note: By default, Windows uses 128-bit encryption to help protect file-sharing connections. Some devices do not support 128-bit encryption, and hence, you must use 40 or 56-bit encryption for file sharing on a network.

5. Finally, click on Save changes and restart your system.

Where to find Shared Folders in your System?

You can identify and locate shared files and folders on your computer using:

Method 1: Typing \\localhost in File Explorer

1. Press the Windows key and type File Explorer in the search bar.

2. Open File Explorer from your search results.

3. Type \\localhost in the address bar and hit Enter.

Now, all the shared files and folders will be displayed on the screen.

Method 2: Using Network Folder in File Explorer

1. On the far left of the Windows 10 taskbar, click on the search icon.

2. Type File Explorer as your search input to open it.

3. Click Network in the left pane.

4. Now, click on your computer name from the list of all connected devices displayed.

All the shared folders and the files will be displayed under the name of your computer.

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We hope that this guide was helpful and you were able to fix Windows 10 file sharing not working issue. Let us know which method worked for you best. Also, if you have any queries/comments regarding this article, then feel free to drop them in the comments section.

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Elon Decker

Elon is a tech writer at TechCult. He's been writing how-to guides for about 6 years now and has covered many topics. He loves to cover topics related to Windows, Android, and the latest tricks and tips.

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