How to share files using File Explorer

On Windows 10, you can share files with other users over the network. While this might seem complicated, it’s technically a simple task using the operating system’s built-in tools.

Depending on your network environment and what you want to accomplish, there are at least four ways to set up file sharing on Windows 10. You can use the Public folder, a specific setup that lets you share files over the local network without configuring permissions. Or you can share content using the File Sharing feature on Windows 10. And if you are looking to share files with other people across the internet, you can use file sharing with OneDrive. 

Using the built-in File Sharing feature on Windows 10 is the best method to share files in a local network, as it is more flexible. You can use more restrictive permissions and share files with virtually any device, including Mac, Android, and Linux devices.

There are two ways to share files using File Explorer. You can use the basic settings, which allow you to share files on the network with minimal configuration quickly, or you can use the advanced settings to set custom permissions and other advanced options.

Sharing files using basic settings

To share files on a local network using the express settings, use these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer on Windows 10.
  2. Navigate to the folder you want to share.
  3. Right-click the item, and select the Properties option
  4. Click on the Sharing tab.
  5. Click the Share button.
  6. Use the drop-down menu to select the user or group to share a file or folder. (For this guide, select the Everyone group.)
  7. Click the Add button
  8. Under the “Permission Level” section, select the sharing permissions you want the folder to have. For instance, you can choose Read (default) if you only want users to view and open files. If you select Read/Write, users can view, open, modify, and delete the content on the shared folder.
  9. Click the Share button.
  10. Confirm the folder’s network path that other users need to access the network’s content and click the Done button.
  11. Click the Close button.
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