Sharing Files In Windows 7 Has Never Been This Easy

Windows 7 has provided users with a huge leap, in terms of performance and flexibility when compared to its resource hungry predecessor, the Windows Vista operating system. Out of the several flexible features present in the Windows 7 platform, the extrapolated form of convenience happens to be sharing files and folders on this operating system. It is a relatively simple process and we will take you through every step to make sure that you don’t lose your footing.

Before We Begin:

We have compiled this guide for users who ONLY WANT TO ADOPT the very basic features of file sharing. Should you wish to share files for other purposes, you will have to execute additional procedures. Luckily for you, we are here to instruct, but in a later topic. Furthermore, before you start sharing files (which can range from pictures, documents, media files), here are 3 requirements that must be fulfilled if you want to complete the process:

  1. Whichever computers you will be using; must be part of the same Work Group
  2. The network that the computers have been connected to, must be the same (ex: they must be connected to the same Wi – Fi network)
  3. Keeping a different username and password for both computers (in case of your passwords, it is up to the user if he / she wants to keep one. However, in case of usernames, both computers must be supplemented with a different name. This has been illustrated below)

Windows 7

Since the username of one computer is omar-PC, make sure that the name of another computer is different. omar123-PC will also suffice.

Moving on, to create a folder, right click on the folder you want to share and click on the properties tab. From there, you will be able to view a tab labelled ADVANCED SHARING. Click on that and proceed forward.

Windows 7

After clicking on the tab, another tab will open in front of you. Check the Share this folder box, and click on the permissions tab. You will need to alter the level of permissions that you have assigned to each computer. For your convenience, it is recommended that you check the Full Control box as shown in the image below:

Windows 7

In addition, you can also add remarks which will explain as to what kind of sharing this folder will possess. Furthermore, the maximum number of connections (or computers) that can be set are 20, so unless you have more than 20 fully functional computers present in your room, do not tamper with this option. After clicking on Apply, you have finally completed phase one, but not quite out of the tunnel yet. There are a few more settings that need to take place in order for you to start sharing your folders. The details have been given below:

Disabling Windows Password Sharing

Disabling the use of encryption is helpful if you want to avoid constant number of hassles. If you have the patience to input a password, then by all means keep one. If you don’t, then follow these steps:

  1. Click on start, and in search bar type advanced sharing
  2. From there, click on Manage Advanced sharing settings
  3. After clicking on the tab, scroll down to the password protected sharing and click on Turn Off Password Protected Sharing.

Furthermore, while you are on this section, you should make changes to the other settings, just to make sure that there are no hurdles impeding your progress:

  1.  Network Discovery: Turn on
  2.  File and printer sharing: Turn on
  3.  Public folder sharing: Turn off
  4.  Media streaming: Turn on or off (up to the user)
  5.  File sharing connections: 128 bit encryption
  6.  Password protected sharing: Already discussed this earlier (off)
  7.  Home Group connections: Choose anyone you like (whatever settings you have made for this computer, make sure that these settings have also been applied to the other systems as well).

The image has been given below, to help you expedite the process:

A prompt will appear, asking you to restart your computer for the changes to take effect. Proceed forward, restart your computer and before you know it, you will already be sharing files on to your computers (click on the image to improve visibility).


The file sharing guide has now been completed. You should be able to share files without facing any forms of difficulties. However, if you are still facing issues, then here are couple of things that you should keep in mind.

If you are unable to view the computers that you have shared the folders with, then make sure that each and every computer present near you is connected to the same network. This will also include the Work Group. In addition, if the IP address of the shared computer is said to be and the subnet happens to be, then the IP address of the other computers SHOULD NOT BE Remember that since all the computers are in the same network, the figures 192.168.2 will remain the same. The remaining 111 WILL NOT. So if one computer has been assigned the number 111, then it is compulsory for the other computers to the assigned with different numbers such as 112, 113, 114 and so on.

If you are still facing additional issues, then it can also be due to a custom firewall. Disable it and then proceed forward. In our next tutorials, we will move away from the basics of file sharing and move on to more complex sharing procedures. This will be helpful when you decide to create flexibility in a home or even in an office when sharing files. Till then, use this guide to your advantage, follow the steps carefully and you will have absolutely no problem when sharing your files. Happy sharing everyone!

Ali Moin

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