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How to share folder in windows XP

Updated on March 1, 2012

In this tutorial we will learn how to share a folder or file so that other user on network can share file with your PC. This is very easy process which will allow you to a file or folder or drive of your computer on the LAN. But this should be done very carefully and I would recommend you not to share system drive (C :\) as you never know people on LAN could delete or alter your system file, which will render your system useless.

So, all you need to do is simply follow below steps one by one. That’s it.

Double click on My Computer and then right click on Shared Documents and select “Sharing & Security” option.

Now click the red rectangle as mentioned in the below image. On clicking this will pop up a small window. This would appear only if you are sharing the folder on your computer for first time. If it so then skip to step 3.

Click on “Just enable file sharing” radio button & click OK button.

Check the option “Share this folder on network”, this option allows us to share the selected folder on network. Next, in the textbox specify the name of the shared folder; this name would appear on the Network. Third option “Allow network user to change my files” makes your folder read-only if it is unchecked, means user from LAN can use files of this folder in read-only mode and they cannot paste anything in this folder. And if this is option is checked then network user will have full privilege of read & write. This permission depends on you. After this click OK button.

Now you can notice that the shared document’s icon has changed and a hand like image is appeared. Congratulation! You have successfully completed the LAN connection and shared the folder. Repeat the same steps on the other PC or Laptop.

Now I m sure that you want to see the other shared PC form your PC. For that just do the following: double click on “My Network Places”. Here you should see some shared folder of your own as well as other’s PC (shared folders are only visible if you have configured properly min. two PCs). These shared folders which you can see here only display the shared resources of the same workgroup. To see the shared resources PC wise to this, click on “View Workgroup Computers” on the left pane as shown on image. 

In “PC wise view of shared computers” image there is red numeric marking, where 1 tries to shows the name of the workgroup, and 2 shows the UP arrow button, on clicking which; it will show the different workgroups.

"Access is denied" error message when you try to access a folder on LAN

To resolve this problem, you must turn off Simple File Sharing, and then take ownership of the folder:

1. Turn off Simple File Sharing.

  • Click Start, and then click My Computer.
  • On the Tools menu, click Folder Options, and then click the View tab.
  • Under Advanced Settings, click to clear the Use simple file sharing (Recommended) check box, and then click OK.

2. Right-click the folder that you want to take ownership of, and then click Properties.
3. Click the Security tab, and then click OK on the Security message, if one appears.
4. Click Advanced, and then click the Owner tab.
5. In the Name list, click your user name, Administrator if you are logged in as Administrator, or click the Administrators group.

If you want to take ownership of the contents of that folder, click to select the Replace owner on sub containers and objects check box.

6. Click OK.

You may receive the following error message, where Folder is the name of the folder that you want to take ownership of:
You do not have permission to read the contents of directory Folder. Do you want to replace the directory permissions with permissions granting you Full Control? All permissions will be replaced if you press “Yes”.

7. Click Yes.
8. Click OK, and then reapply the permissions and security settings that you want for the folder and the folder contents.

Source: Microsoft Support

Hope this will help to solve your problem. Thank you for reading me.

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    • profile image

      rajiv 3 years ago

      how much maximum length of cross cable between two pc

    • profile image

      Tara 6 years ago

      Thanks A lot its really wonderful

    • profile image

      sunil verma 6 years ago

      i hope shared folder do not copy and paste any folder bt only paste pdf file copy and paste in this folder

    • profile image

      pR@diP 6 years ago


    • profile image

      Elton Vishal D'souza 6 years ago

      Thank you.....

    • profile image

      lesy 6 years ago

      Thanks a lot... this help me a lot. Thanks once again.

    • profile image

      Praveen 6 years ago

      Hey, Let me know how to establish LAN among three computers for a retail outlet in which I want one PC as a server which can manage all the functions i.e to update prices or any change in the software and which automatically update the other two system.Please mail me the remedy on

    • profile image

      For surjagain 6 years ago

      @surjagain you need a router

      find the ip adresses on Start menu-run-cmd-ipconfig and had the ip address Example:192.168.*.*

    • profile image

      sineesh 7 years ago

      adi poli

    • save my system profile image

      save my system 7 years ago from United Kingdom - London

      It is nice and very well written hub. however, it is necessary to take into consideration what are the most possible risk factors involve in sharing files directly through LAN and with deactivation of firewall.

    • profile image

      ram 7 years ago

      i can see the folders that i have have shared between 2 pcs. but i cant open the folders. i have tried all that u have told to do. what next. pls help

    • profile image

      Gopi MCA 7 years ago

      thanks. it helped me.

    • profile image

      adeniyi 8 years ago

      i want a mtn computer pc freedom

    • profile image

      ARUN KUMAR 8 years ago

      u have really helped me. i am trying to connect my desktop to laptop for two days but without having knowledge it's seem's impossible, but now after seeing ur tutorials it's only took 5 min to complete it, really good job. again thank u men, heads off to u.

      keep it going

    • rajkishor09 profile image

      RAJKISHOR SAHU 8 years ago from Bangalore, Karnataka, INDIA

      surjagain: as you said you installed firewall on both computer, i would recommend you to disable it for few minutes, then repair lan connection of lan card on both. then give a try. if still not working then unshare folder then share again. if have problem then ask me with details what you have done.

    • profile image

      surjagain 8 years ago

      I've been trying to setup a network between my desktop and my laptop to shared folders. Windows XP SP3 is installed in both machines and I use ZoneAlarm Basic in both of them. I am connecting them over a crossover cable. Following your guide, I gave the desktop an IP of and the laptop the IP . Both of them are in the same workgroup. I also set up some folders in both the machines to be shared folders. I found there was a problem when I tried to access the folders. When I click "View workgroup computers" in both the machines, I can see both the desktop and laptop being listed. The laptop can access the shared folder on the desktop but when I try to open the shared folder on the laptop from the desktop, an error message is displayed saying "you might not have permission to use this network resouce etc..." I can ping the laptop from the desktop but I cannot ping the desktop from the laptop yet I can browse the desktop shared folder from the laptop but I cannot browse the laptop shared folder from the desktop.

      Any help with this will be appreciated.

    • linjingjing profile image

      linjingjing 9 years ago

      This is a good idea