XP Networking Tutorials

Sharing files and folders in Windows XP is much easier than the earlier version of windows. Windows XP allows us to share a folder with two different levels of permission. In this tutorial we will present these permission levels with examples. Later we will explain how to enable advance sharing options in Windows XP.

Workgroup is group of computers those are setup for easy sharing. Earlier articles of this category present a step by step guide for setting up a workgroup network form Windows XP. For this article we assume that you have setup workgroup network and your workgroup contains at least two Windows XP systems. We will share files and folders form one system and access them form another computers.

You can share any existing folder or you may create new folder for sharing. Steps will be same in both conditions. To expend our example we will create new folder for sharing. We will use Shared_folder name for this folder. You can use any name.

create new folder

Create a test file in our folder with some dummy contents and save it

create test file

Okay we have a data folder for sharing. Select the folder and do right click. From right click context menu click Sharing and Security

share folder right click context menu

We have two types of access level for sharing.

Read Only: -
Members are allowed to navigate in this folder and view the content. But they are not allowed to modify or delete any contents of this folder.

Full Access: -
Members are granted full access. They can view, edit or even delete the content of this folder.

Select Share this folder on the network. This option will share folder with read only access. We can use same folder name for sharing or may change it. If we change the name here, members will see the name that we update here regardless its actual name.

Don't select second option now. It will give us an opportunity to view how ready only permission actually works on member computers.

Click OK.

read only sharing windows xp

Once folder is shared, an indicating icon will appear under the folder.

shared folder

We will access this shared folder from another computer of workgroup.

Move on any workgroup member computer and open My Network Places.

My network place

All shared resources are by default available in My Network Places. If you don't see any recently shared resources, press F5 key to refresh the My Network Places. Alternatively you can see what is shared by members individually by clicking View workgroup computes from left pane.

My network palces Windows XP

Open test file from shared folder

access shared file windows XP

Try to append the test file. What happened? Windows is not letting us to edit. This is what read only permission do. We are allowed to navigate the shared folder. We are also allowed to view the file. But we are not allowed to edit the file.

read only file edit error windows xp

Come back to first PC and change the permission.

Select Allow network to change my file and click OK.

share folder with full permission windows xp

Move back to member computer and save the same file again. Bingo we are now allowed to save the file.

edit shared files windows xp

Come back to first PC and verify that change made by network users are still there.

shared file updated

How to enable / disable simple file sharing in windows XP

What we have seen in this article so far was simple file sharing. Simple file sharing is a special sharing features used in Windows XP. It is a nice feature that avoids accidental damage. A user with little technical knowledge can commit mistakes. It hides advance sharing options from normal user. We can enable or disable simple file sharing any time by following these steps.

Open My Computer and click Tools. From Tools menu items click Folder Options

folder option windows xp

Switch to View tab and scroll Advance settings option to bottom. In the end of Advance settings we have an option Use simple sharing (Recommended).

If we select this option, Simple file sharing will be enabled. By default it is selected.

simple sharing enable windows xp

If we unseclect this option, Simple file sharing will be disabled.

simple sharing disable windows xp

If we disable the simple file sharing, advance files sharing option will be revealed in Sharing and Security option. Following figure illustrate advance sharing options.

advance sharing option windows xp

We cannot disable simple file sharing in Windows XP Home edition.

In this article we have seen how files and folders sharing works in Windows XP. In next article we will share printer in Windows XP workgroup network.