7 best ways to fix Windows 10 file sharing not working

7 best ways to fix Windows 10 file sharing not working

In the past few years, Microsoft has made file sharing a lot easier on Windows. Now all you have to do is click a button or two to make your files visible to other users on the same network. Interestingly, file sharing isn’t limited to just Windows computers, you can even view your files on an Android phone.

Sometimes file sharing suddenly stops working or you cannot view your files properly on other devices. This can get pretty frustrating. But you don’t have to worry as we will help you fix it. Here are 7 solutions to get Windows 10 file sharing back on track.

Let’s begin!


7 best ways to fix Windows 10 file sharing not working

You are experiencing difficulties with the Windows 10 file sharing not working, but you know that this can be fixed. There are 7 best ways to fix this problem, all of which are explained below.


1. Restart your computer

Do not be surprised. If you haven’t restarted your computer yet, doing so right away is a good choice.


2. Use file sharing properly

It is important to properly follow all of the steps to make sure that file sharing is working as it is supposed to be. First, you need to enable file and network sharing. Second, you need to share the files. Here are the steps for both.

Enable file sharing

Even if file sharing is enabled by default in Windows 10 for private networks, you should first confirm this. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Find Control Panel in Windows Search and open it.
  • Click on Network and Sharing Center.
  • Click on Change advanced settings on the left sidebar.
  • Under Private (current profile), make sure that Enable network discovery and Enable file and printer sharing are checked.


Share files

Just turning on network discovery and file sharing doesn’t mean the computers on your network can automatically access all of your files. You have to manually share the item, which can be a folder or a drive.

To do this, follow these steps:

  • Right click the item that you want to split. Click Properties.
  • Go to the Sharing tab and click on Advanced Sharing.
  • Check Share this folder and click Apply followed by Ok. By default, the permissions are set to read-only. That is, others can only view the folder and not change it. To change the permissions, click Permissions and modify them as needed.

The above step makes your folder visible to all users on your local network. To only share it with a select few people, click Share in step 2. From the drop-down box, select the user you want to share the file with.

You can now access the folder on other computers. Similarly, repeat the steps for other files and folders. Check if the folder is shared or not

Right click on any folder and go to ‘Grant Access To’ and you will see the Remove Access option. That doesn’t mean the folder will be shared. By default, the option is available for all folders.

To check if the folder is shared, right click on it and go to Properties. Then click the Sharing tab. Under Network File and Folder Sharing you will see the Shared label along with its path.


3. Switch the password protection off and on

When password-protected sharing is enabled, other users must either have a user account on your PC or know your username and password.

You can try disabling this feature and see if the sharing works. To turn it off, go to Control Panel> Network and Sharing Center> Change advanced sharing settings (in the left pane).

Then, under All Networks, check the box next to Disable password protected sharing.


4. Use the correct login information

If you want to use the password, make sure you are entering the correct password on other computers. Try your local username and password and your Microsoft account details. To confirm the username, go to drive C followed by users. Here the folder names represent the different users on your PC.


5. Switch between file sharing connections

While 128-bit encryption is the recommended route, some devices support 40 or 56-bit encryption. So try switching to the other one and see if that solves the problem.

To do this, open Control Panel> Network and Sharing Center> Change advanced sharing settings (in the left sidebar). Try both under All Networks> File Sharing Connections as an alternative.


6. Allow file and printer sharing in the firewall settings

To do this, proceed as follows:

  • Go to Control Panel followed by Windows Defender Firewall.
  • Click on Allow the app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall.
  • Make sure that file and printer sharing is enabled in the list.


7. Disable antivirus on your PC

Sometimes antivirus is also responsible for erratic file sharing behavior. So try to temporarily disable it and see if that solves the problem. If file sharing is working properly after turning off the antivirus, see if there is an update available for the antivirus or if you might need to use a different one.

Tip: Identify shared folders

To find out which folders are currently being shared, type localhost in the address bar of your file explorer and press Enter.

Alternatively, you can go to the network in the file explorer in the left pane. Click on your computer name.


We hope the above solutions helped you fix the file sharing issue. If you are trying to share files between PC and Android, you can also get help from third party apps. Third-party apps also come to the rescue for file sharing between PC and iOS.

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