Share files and folders

Here are some of the many ways you can share files and folders in Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1:

  • Use your free online storage. With OneDrive, you can get to your files from any device, so you don't need to "share" them to access them from another PC. When you save your files to OneDrive, you can also share them with specific people, or by getting a link that you can post on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. For more info about OneDrive, see Getting started with OneDrive.

    To share a file or folder in OneDrive, follow these steps:

    1. Move the file or folder you want to share to OneDrive if you haven't already. To do this, open File Explorer, browse to the file or folder, and then drag it to OneDrive.

    2. Press and hold or right-click the file or folder in OneDrive, choose Share with, and then choose OneDrive.

    3. Choose how you want to share the file or folder. For more info about the sharing options on OneDrive, see Share files and folders and change permissions. For more help with sharing on OneDrive, contact customer support.

  • Use the Share charm. In many Windows Store apps, you can share files with other people by using the Share charm. For example, to share a photo with someone in email:

    1. Open the Photos app.

    2. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Share.
      (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Share.)

    3. Tap or click the Mail app.

    4. Enter the recipients, add a message, and then click Send.

    For more info about using the Share charm, see Search, share, print, and more.

  • Email files directly from File Explorer. If you have a desktop email app installed, you can share files in email from File Explorer. Select the files, tap or click the Share tab, and then tap or click Email. (Or press and hold or right-click the files, choose Send to, and then tap or click Mail recipient.) This opens your default email app and adds the files as attachments.

  • Share files over a home network or on a shared PC. To share files and folders on your network (homegroup, workgroup, or domain) or on a PC that you share with other people, you can also use the Share tab in File Explorer. The next sections provide more info about this type of sharing.

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Share files over a home network or on a shared PC

  1. Open File Explorer by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering File Explorer in the search box, and then tapping or clicking File Explorer.

  2. Browse to the item, select it, and then tap or click the Share tab.

    The Share tab
    The Share tab
  3. Choose an option in the Share with group. There are different Share with options depending on whether your PC is connected to a network and what kind of network it is.

    • To share a file or folder with a particular person, choose that person's account.

    • To share with all the members of your homegroup, choose one of the Homegroup options. To select folders to share with all the members of your homegroup, swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings. (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.) Tap or click Network, and then tap or click HomeGroup.

    • If the options in the Share with group are unavailable, it could be that we don't recommend sharing the location you selected. If you need to share a location such as a drive or system folder, tap or click Advanced security.

Tip

  • It's best to use HomeGroup for sharing on home networks unless you need to share with PCs running Windows Vista or Windows XP. For more help and troubleshooting tips for sharing files over a home network, see Find PCs, devices, and content on your network.

Find items shared on the same PC

If your PC isn't part of a homegroup or network and other people have shared something in their personal folder, you can browse to the shared file or folder in File Explorer.

  1. Open This PC by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering This PC in the search box, and then tapping or clicking This PC.

  2. Double-tap or double-click the drive that has the Windows logo in the icon (for most PCs, this is the C drive).

  3. Open Users, and then open the folder with the person’s name.

For help finding shared items on a home network, see Find PCs, devices, and content on your network.

Troubleshoot problems sharing items on the same PC

  • If you have problems sharing files and folders on a PC that's not part of a homegroup or network, make sure all user accounts on your PC have passwords. If you want everyone who uses your PC to be able to open shared files and folder, you have to turn off password protected sharing.

    1. Open Advanced sharing settings by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering advanced sharing in the search box, and then tapping or clicking Manage advanced sharing settings.

    2. Expand All Networks, tap or click Turn off password protected sharing, and then tap or click Save changes.

For more help and troubleshooting tips for sharing files over a home network, see Find PCs, devices, and content on your network. If you’re still having trouble with sharing, you can try using the Shared Folders troubleshooter to automatically find and fix some common problems.

  • Open the Shared Folders troubleshooter by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering troubleshooting in the search box, tapping or clicking Troubleshooting, and then tapping or clicking Access shared files and folders on other computers.

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