Enable file and printer sharing

Make sure network discovery and printer sharing are on by following these steps:

  1. Open Network and Sharing Center by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Network and Internet, and then clicking Network and Sharing Center.

  2. If network discovery is off, click the arrow button Picture of the arrow button to expand the section, click Turn on network discovery, and then click Apply. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. If file sharing is off, click the arrow button Picture of the arrow button to expand the section, click Turn on file sharing, and then click Apply. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  4. If Public folder sharing is off and you want to share files by placing them in the Public folder on your computer, click the arrow button Picture of the arrow button to expand the section, click Turn on sharing so anyone with network access can open files or Turn on sharing so anyone with network access can open, change, and create files, and then click Apply. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  5. If printer sharing is off, and you have a printer you want to share, click the arrow button Picture of the arrow button to expand the section, click Turn on printer sharing, and then click Apply. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  6. Finally, share the file or printer by doing one of the following:

    • Right-click the file or folder you want to share, click Share, click the arrow, select the people you want to share with, and then click Share. For more information, see Share files with someone.

    • Copy the files or folders you want to share to the Public folder on your computer. To find the Public folder, click the Start button Picture of the Start button , and then click Documents. In the Navigation pane, under Favorite Links, click Public. For more information, see Sharing files with the Public folder.

If you're still having trouble sharing files or a printer on a network, make sure Windows Firewall is not blocking File and Printer Sharing. Here's how:

  1. Open Windows Firewall by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Security, and then clicking Windows Firewall.

  2. Click Allow a program through Windows Firewall. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  3. In the Program or port list, make sure the File and Printer Sharing check box is selected, and then click OK.