Problem In Sharing Files On LAN or WiFi Network In Windows 8

by Rohit Khurana on March 17, 2012

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I have several Windows PCs in my office, some of these are Desktops connected to the Network via a LAN cable, other are laptops connected to the same network using WiFi router. Out these, most are Windows 7 PCs while one laptop is a Windows 8 PC which is also on the same network over Wifi. On all Windows 7 other computers, I can share folders on the network and other PCs get read access to these folders easily in Windows Explorer> Network section in Computer. But when I first installed Windows 8, the Windows 8 PC could not open the shared folders on Windows 7 Desktops and Laptops. A few quick settings solved the problem however, in this article, I will share how I solved the network file and folder sharing problem on Windows 8 PC. This tutorial is applicable to file sharing problems  between Windows 8 and Windows 7 PCs, Windows 8 and Windows 8 PCs.

Windows 8 File sharing with Windows 7 and Windows 8 PC over same network

image – Windows 8 File sharing with Windows 7 and Windows 8 PC over same network

Before you start with this, beware that using this method may expose your shared files and folders to anyone on the same Wired or WiFi network. So please practice caution if there is any confidential or private data, please do not share such files or folders on this network. I have a small office with limited number of PCs and I don’t share any private data files or folders, so this kind of sharing does not hurt me, the same may not be applicable for all.

To enable Public File and Folder sharing, open Control Pane in Windows 8(Tutorial to open control panel here if you are not aware of it). After the control panel is opened, click on the option called “View by” on the top right side of the windows and select Large icons.

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image – Show large icons on Windows 8 Control Panel

Out of these options, click “Network and Sharing Center”.

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image – Open Network and Sharing Center in Windows 8 Control Panel

On the Network and Sharing Center Screen, click “Change advanced sharing settings” on the left side pane.

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image – Change advanced sharing settings in Windows 8

On the advanced sharing settings, click on the small rounded arrow in front of “All Networks” setting on this page as highlighted in the snapshot.

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image – Open all network’ setting in Windows 8

On the all networks screen, the two settings which you need to change are :

Public Folder Sharing : Enable this setting to share folders publicly on the same network. Beware – enable this option if you trust all users on the network.

Password Protected Sharing: Disable this settings to allow convenient access without password if all the users are known to you and you can trust them with files and folder access, else keep it on.

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image – change all network settings in Windows 8

This is it, after you have made above changes, just click the “Save Changes” button and then you can access Windows 8 shared folders from Windows 7 PC, Windows 7 shared folders on Windows 8 PC and folders shared on one Windows 8 PC on other Windows 8 PC.

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