How to Change Shared Folder Permissions in Windows 7 and Windows Vista - dummies

How to Change Shared Folder Permissions in Windows 7 and Windows Vista

By Dan Gookin

After setting a folder to be shared folders on a network, you need to set the permissions for that folder. By default, Windows allows others on the network to only read and copy the files in a shared folder. If you want them to be able to add files to the folder, delete files from the folder, or edit files in the folder, you must change the folder permissions.

To set folder permissions for a shared folder in Windows 7 and Windows Vista, heed these steps:

  1. Right-click a shared folder icon.

    You can tell it is shared by the Sharing Buddies tag on the folder icon.


  2. Choose Properties from the shortcut menu.

  3. In the folder’s Properties dialog box, click the Sharing tab.

  4. Click the Advanced Sharing button.

  5. In Windows Vista, click the Continue button or type the administrator’s password.

    The Advanced Sharing dialog box shows up.

  6. Click the Permissions button.

    The shared folder’s Permissions dialog box appears. You see a list of users who can access the folder, coupled with a set of access privileges at the bottom of the dialog box.

  7. Select a group or username.

    You can add individual usernames or categories by clicking the Add button. The Everyone group lets anyone and everyone on the network gain access.

  8. Set the permissions for the selected group or user.

    There are three types of permissions:

    • Full Control: Gives a user the same control over the folder as your account has.

    • Change: Lets a user change files but not add new ones or create folders.

    • Read: Lets a user open files and copy files from the folder.

    For each permission, you can choose either Allow or Deny. Choosing neither option means that the user gets the same permissions as his account has for your computer.

  9. Click OK to close the Permissions dialog box.

  10. Click OK to close the Advanced Sharing dialog box.

  11. Click OK to close the folder’s Properties dialog box.

Consider sharing the Public folder on your computer, making it “up for grabs” to any other user on the network. This way, you can easily make files available by copying them to the Public folder. This trick avoids complications that arise when sharing individual folders.

  • If you add more specific users or groups in Windows 7/Vista in Step 8, you must select each group individually and set permissions for that user or group.

  • Having multiple users and groups in a shared folder is often a source of woe. When you have trouble accessing a shared folder on a Windows 7 or Vista PC, it’s most likely because individual users, as opposed to groups, are selected for sharing.

  • Setting file permissions can get quite technical in Windows 7 and Vista. You can not only share files on a network but also share folders with other users on the same PC.