How to Enable File Sharing

Many users need to share computer files with other users on their networks or computers. File sharing can be useful for sharing documents and other types of files. This article will tell you how to enable file sharing.

Method 1 of 4: File Sharing in XP

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    Run the "Network Setup Wizard" on the computer(s) you want to enable sharing on.Enable File Sharing Step 2.jpg
  2. 2
    Choose "Enable file sharing" when the wizard gives you the option. This option creates a "Shared Documents" folder on all of your computers.
    • The files in the "Shared Documents" folder are accessible to anyone in your network. You cannot share individual files outside of the folder in Windows XP.
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Method 2 of 4: File Sharing in Vista

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    Click on the "Control Panel" from the "Start" menu. Click on "Network and Internet" and choose "Network and Sharing Center."
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    Ensure that "network discovery" is on. Click on the chevron to expand the "network discovery" section of the window, if necessary, and choose "Turn on network discovery." Click "Apply" and type in any passwords.
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    Expand the "file sharing" chevron of the window to turn it on. Click "Turn on file sharing" and click "Apply."
    • Type in administrative passwords to confirm the selection. This option will allow you to share individual files with selected people.
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    Turn on "Public Folder Sharing" by expanding its chevron. Select "Turn on sharing so anyone with network access can open files" to allow someone to see the files in this folder.
    • Select the option "Turn on sharing so anyone with network access can open, change, and create files" to allow someone to control and add files to this folder. For both options, click "Apply."
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Method 3 of 4: File Sharing in Windows 7

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    Right Click on the file you want to share. This will bring up the "Share with" menu. You can choose one of 4 options in this menu.
    • You can decide to share it with nobody and make the file private. You can choose to share it with everyone on your network. You can give them a "Read" only option or a "Read/Write" option, which gives them the ability to modify it.
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    • You can also choose "Specific people," which will open a file sharing wizard so you can choose individuals to share the file with.
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    Turn on public sharing folders by selecting the "Control Panel" from the "Start" menu. Type in "network" and click on the "Network and Sharing Center."
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    Click "Change advanced sharing settings" in the left pane and expand the section on your network.
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    Click on the chevron to expand the network profile. Select "Turn on sharing so anyone with network access can read and write files in the Public folders" under "Public Folder Sharing."
  5. Method 4 of 4: File Sharing in MAC 10.5 and later
  6. 1.Log onto your computer with an administrator user account. Select "System Preferences" from the "Apple" menu. Choose "Sharing" from the "View" menu.
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    Click on the (+) icon below the "Shared Folders:" field. A navigational window will appear so you can find the files you want to share. Select the desired files.
    • Alternately, you can select a folder through the "Finder." Choose "Get info" from the "File" menu of the selected folder. Click "Shared folder" to enable sharing.
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    Configure your users with share access privileges. Select an existing user group or create a new one in "User" field of the folder.
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    Select the type of access you want each person to have. Mac's default is "Read only." Use the "Read Only" pop up menu to change the access to the other 2 options.
    • A user can "Read & Write," which includes the ability to read, copy, edit and delete the shared file. You can also give an user "Write Only," access which only allows an user to copy contents into the file.
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    Choose the correct network protocol to communicate shared files with the users' computers you have chosen.
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    Click "Options..." in "Sharing Preferences." Select "Share files and folders using AFP" to communicate with other Macs.
    • Choose "Share files and folders using FTP" for UNIX and LINUX systems or select "Share files and folders using SMB" to share files with Windows PCs. You will need the user's password for a user account with SMB.
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