Share Folders in Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8 - dummies

Share Folders in Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8

By Doug Lowe

When you are working on a network, regardless of the version of Windows you are running, you can choose to share your folders with everyone on the network, or with no one on the network. To share a folder in Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8, follow these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer.

    • Windows Vista or 7: Choose Start→Computer.

    • Windows 8: Open the desktop and click the File Explorer icon on the taskbar; then click Computer in the Location list on the left side of the screen.

  2. Navigate to the folder you want to share.

  3. Right-click the folder you want to share and choose Properties.

    The Properties dialog box appears.

  4. Click the Sharing tab and then click the Share button.

    The File Sharing dialog box appears.


  5. Click the arrow in the drop-down list, choose Everyone, and then click Add.

    This action designates that anyone on your network can access the shared folder.

    If you prefer, you can limit access to just certain users. To do so, select each person you want to grant access to and then click Add.

  6. Select the level of access you want to grant each user.

    You can use the drop-down list in the Permission Level column to choose from three levels of access:

    • Reader: A reader can open files but can’t modify or create new files or folders.

    • Contributor: A contributor can add files to the share but can change or delete only her own files.

    • Owner: An owner has full access to the shared folder. He or she can create, change, or delete any file in the folder.

  7. Click Share.

    A confirmation dialog box appears to confirm that the folder has been shared.