Enable Simple File Sharing in Windows XP

How do I share a folder in Windows XP? Where is the regular "Sharing" tab I’m so used to?

Windows XP Home Edition-based computers always have Simple File Sharing enabled. Windows XP Professional-based computers that are joined to a workgroup have the Simple File Sharing UI enabled by default. Windows XP Professional-based computers that are joined to a domain use only the classic file sharing and security interface. When you use the Simple File Sharing UI (located in the folder’s properties), both share and file permissions are configured.

Windows XP Home Edition supports only Simple file sharing. Windows XP Professional supports two types of file sharing: simple and advanced. You can make one of two choices:

  • Whether you share a folder on the network

  • Whether users can change files in the shared folder

If you choose to deny users permission to change files, Windows XP Professional gives everyone Read access to the share. Otherwise, the operating system gives everyone Full Control of the share.

To Share a Folder Using Simple File Sharing:

Create the folder you want to share.

Right–click the folder and then click Sharing and Security. The Sharing tab of the Properties dialog box for the folder opens.

Click the Share this folder on the network check box. This makes the folder visible on the network.

Click the Allow network users to change my files check box if you want network users, including yourself, to be able to modify your stuff on the network.

If the option to share the folder isn’t available, look at the bottom of the Sharing tab. Does it say that remote connections to this computer are disabled until you run the Network Setup Wizard? If you haven’t you must do so before you can share the folder.

To Turn on Advanced File Sharing

If you disable Simple File Sharing, you have more control over the permissions to individual users; however, you must have advanced knowledge of NTFS and share permissions to keep your folders and files secure. If you disable Simple File Sharing, the Shared Documents feature is not turned off.

You need advanced file sharing, if:

  • You want to have remote access to files, but don’t want other remote users such as children or employees to have access to them.

  • You want to specify different levels of access for users of the shared files.

  • To Share a Folder Using Advanced File Sharing

In Windows Explorer, click Tools, then click Folder Options.

On the View tab, in the Advanced Settings area, click to clear the Use Simple File Sharing (Recommended) check box.

Now, rather than just sharing a folder, you have complete control over how Windows XP Professional shares the folder on the network and who can access it, just like good old Windows 2000 did…

  1. Right–click the folder you want to share, and then click Sharing and Security.

  2. Click to select the Share This Folder check box.

  3. In the Share Name box, enter the name of the share the way you want it to look on the network.

  4. Click Permissions, and then edit the list of users who have access to the share. You can give each user or group full control of the share, permit them to change, or just read files.