How to Access Shared Disks and Folders on a Windows 7 Home Network

By Lawrence C. Miller

Once you’ve set up (or been granted the right to use) sharing for files, folders, and disks on a Windows 7 home network, you need to know how to access those shared files, folders, and disks. Remember that you can use the Share With command on the Windows Explorer toolbar to set up sharing options on your Windows 7 home network if you haven’t already done so.

Follow these steps to access shared disks and folders:

  1. Open Windows Explorer.

  2. In the navigation pane on the left, click the small arrow to the left of Libraries, HomeGroup, Computer, or Network.

    The menu expands so that you can access any shared files, folders, disks, or devices.

  3. Double-click the object you would like to access.

    If prompted for a username and password, enter a username and password that has permission to access the object on the computer you are attempting to connect to.


Accessing shared files and folders on your network from a Windows Vista or Windows XP computer is similar to the preceding steps. Just look for Network (Vista) or My Network Places (XP), browse to the shared location, and double-click.