Fix Can’t Access or View Shared Folders from Windows 10 PCs

Before Microsoft removed the HomeGroup feature on Windows 10, you could easily share resources on a small network with others in your homegroup.

Today, you’ll need to use different methods to share folders or files and printers, such as using OneDrive, Sharing, and Nearby Sharing.

If you’re having trouble trying to access or view shared folders on your PC, try some of the fixes in this guide.

How to fix Windows 10 can’t access shared folders

Before trying the fixes below to fix problems viewing or accessing shared folders on Windows 10, make sure the devices are on the same network.

Also, check that you are signed in with the same account that you entered when sharing the folder with different users.

Windows 10 Update

To make sure folder sharing works properly, update Windows 10.

  1. Selection Begin > Settings > Update & Security.
  1. Next, choose Windows Update and install pending updates.
  1. You can also choose Check for Windows Updates to manage your preferences and view available updates.

Set your WiFi Network to Private

You can set a WiFi network to private or public when you first connect to it.

The private network option is suitable for networks you trust like your home or work network. When you set your WiFi network to private, other devices can discover your PC on the network and you can use it to share files or printers. This is not available on the public network.

Note: To set your WiFi network to Private, your PC must be running Windows 10 version 1709 or later. See our guide on how to tell which version of Windows you have installed.

  1. Choose WIFI network icon to the right of the taskbar.
  1. Next, choose network you want to connect and then select Link Selection.
  1. Enter NS network password and choose Next.
  1. If you are asked if you want to make your PC discoverable to other devices on the same network, select correct next Private network.
  1. If your WiFi network is set to Public, you can change it to Private. Choose WIFI network icon and then select Properties under the name of the network you are connected to.
  1. Selection Private Below Network Configuration.

With the network set to Private, check if you can now view or access shared folders on your PC.

Turn on network discovery and turn off password protected sharing

If Network Discovery is disabled on your PC, you cannot view or access shared folders in Windows 10. To resolve the issue, turn on Network Discovery and disable password protected sharing.

Network Discovery is a setting in Windows 10 that affects whether your PC can see and connect to other devices on the network and whether other devices can see and access your PC. . This setting is enabled when you enable network sharing, but if it doesn’t work, you can enable it manually.

However, you should not enable Network Discovery when connected to a public network, for security reasons.

  1. Selection Begin > Settings > Internet.
  1. Selection Wifi > Advanced change Share your choice Below Related Settings.
  1. Selection Enable network discovery Below Private to enable network discovery and then select Save changes.
  1. Next, choose Turn off password protected sharing Below All networks > Share password. Selection Save changes and then check if you can view or access the shared folders on your PC.

Make sharing services start automatically

Your PC’s sharing and network services can also affect how you view or access shared folders.

These services include SSDP Discovery, Function Discovery Provider Server, UPnP Device Server, and Function Discovery Resource Publishing. Make sure these services start automatically and are now running on your PC.

  1. Selection Windows logo key + NS to open Run dialog box.
  1. Category services.msc in the Run dialog and then select OK or press Enter.
  1. Right click on each of these services, select Properties and choose Begin:
  • Explore SSDP
  • Device Server UPnP
  • Function Discovery Resource Publication
  • Function Discovery Provider Server
  1. Next, choose Automatic Below Start-up type and then select OK.

Enable File and Printer Sharing in Windows Defender Firewall

If you still cannot view or access shared folders on your PC and you use Windows Defender Firewall, enable File and Printer Sharing in the firewall application.

  1. Go Windows Defender and open Firewall and protect the network.
  1. Selection Allow the application through the firewall.
  1. Allow File and printer sharing and check if you can view or access the shared folders.

Check your Windows credentials

Still can’t view or access shared folders? Try checking the Windows credentials in the computer where you are trying to access the folders.

  1. Open Dashboard > User account.
  1. Selection Credential Manager.
  1. Next, choose Windows login information.
  1. Selection Add Windows login information.
  1. Further IP address of the computer that stores the file and imports administrators username and password of the computer. Selection OK to save your login information and check if you can view or access the shared folders on your PC.

Note: You can enter a network address into File Explorer to view or access shared folders.

Use the Shared Folders Troubleshooter

The Shared Folders troubleshooter can help identify and resolve any issues that might be preventing you from viewing or accessing shared folders on your PC.

  1. Selection Begin > Settings > Update & Security.
  1. Next, choose Troubleshoot > Additional debugger.
  1. Selection Shared folder Below Find and fix other problems.
  1. Selection Run the Troubleshooter, enter the network location you want to access and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process. Once done, restart your PC and then check if you can see or access the shared folders.

Use Command Prompt to access shared folders

If you cannot view or access the shared folder through File Explorer, you can do it through the Command Prompt.

  1. Category CMD in the search box and select Command Prompt from the search results.
  1. Type this command and press Enter: net use :

Next, enable SMB 1.0 support. The SMB (Server Message Block) protocol is used for file sharing, printer services, and communication between PCs on a network.

  1. Open Dashboard > Programs.
  1. Selection Program and features.
  1. Next, choose Turn Windows features on or off > SMB 1.0 / CIFS file sharing support.
  1. Check SMB 1.0 / CIFS . Client box and press Enter.

View and access shared folders on your PC

There’s a lot you can do with your local network about sharing files and folders across devices in your home or work. While it may look easy in principle, trying to make things work properly can be a pain.

With the solutions in this guide, you should be able to view and access your shared folders again from any PC on your network.

We have more instructions on how to create and manage shared folders including how to share folders between host and guest operating systems in VirtualBox and how to connect to shared folders on Windows 10 from Mac OS X.

Leave a comment and let us know which solution works for you, if any. If you have a solution not mentioned here, feel free to add a comment and let us know.

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