How To Find Shared Windows Folders

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Microsoft Windows allows files and folders to be shared on a network. These step-by-step instructions explain how to find the list of folders that have been shared on a Windows computer.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: < 1 minute

Here's How:

  1. Open "My Network Places" from the Start Menu or from the left pane of Windows Explorer (under Desktop, below My Documents and My Computer).
  2. Open the "Entire Network" item listed in the left pane of My Network Places.
  1. Open the "Microsoft Windows Network" item.
  2. Next, open the new item that appears showing the computer's workgroup (or domain) name.
  3. Finally, click on the new item that appears showing the computer's name.
  4. In the right pane, any non-administrative Windows shares set on this computer will appear. If no items appear, no folders have been set for sharing.

    Folders shown in this window link to the actual shared folders. Opening any of these shares will reveal the contents of the actual folder. Note that renaming or deleting files from this linked location is not permitted. Note also that this method reveals the contents but does not reveal the actual location of the shared folders on the hard drive.

  5. To find the actual location of file shares on Windows XP or Windows 2000, and also to view administrative shares, open a command prompt. To open a command prompt, click the Start Menu, choose the Accessories option, then choose Command Prompt. Alternatively, click the Start Menu, choose the Run option, then type 'cmd' in the Run window that opens.
  1. Type the command 'net share' and press Enter in the command prompt window. The 'net share' command shows the name and location of each shared folder on that computer. Share names that end with a dollar sign ($) are administrative shares.

    Several administrative shares are created automatically by Windows; these should not be modified.

    What You Need:

    • Computer running Microsoft Windows