How to share a folder in Microsoft Windows Vista

This article tells you how to share a folder in Microsoft Vista, enabling you to easily share files on a local area network (LAN).

Fed up of using cds, dvds, usb drives or NAS boxes to move files between computers? Well an easier way is often to use a ‘shared’ folder.

Note: Now remember, using the method shown below means that the user also can logon to the computer directly. You use the instructions below at your own risk.

Step 1 – Create a new folder for sharing.

I always create a specific folder just for the sharing files on the network. I never share any files I don’t wish to be shared, conscious of security, and definitely never share a whole hard drive on a laptop, desktop or server.

To begin with I run ‘Windows Explorer’, the file manager. I then create the new folder ready to be shared. I then right-click on the folder and select ‘Share’.

Step 2 – Create a new user to share files with.

I then need to setup a user account on the computer I’m sharing on, for the user who I wish to share with. Back in the day, I would often enable anyone on the LAN to access a shared folder. Now with everyone be so connected, and more outside threat, I don’t do this, and instead assign specific people access.

So from the drop-down list, I select ‘Create a new user…’., which also is creating a new user to access the computer at boot-up.

Microsoft Windows Vista - Create a new user for the shared folder

Create a new user for the shared folder

Then I selected ‘manage another account’, and proceeded to create the new account.

Microsoft Windows Vista - Manage another account

Manage another account

I always create a ‘Standard user’ and then set a password.

Microsoft Windows Vista - Create a standard user

Create a standard user

Step 3 – Add the user to the shared folder and enable file sharing.

Now via ‘Windows Explorer’ I right-click on the folder I wish to share and select ‘Share’ from the menu options. From the drop-down list I selected the new user account I created, and then clicked ‘Add’.

Microsoft Windows Vista - Select permission level for the user

Select permission level for the user

There are different permission levels, and I want the new user to have more than read access, so I selected ‘Contributor’. Once finished I selected ‘Share’.

How to map the shared folder to a drive letter on another computer.

You might want to use the shared folder as a ‘drive’ letter on another computer. This is usually done if the computer sharing the folder is a server. It saves the person then having to browse network locations to find the folder.

Years back I would map different shared folders on a server, for different uses, such as a database folder, documents and backup.

The below instructions are for a Microsoft Windows computer, and more specifically I wrote them for accessing the shared Vista folder, from a Windows XP computer.

Step 1 – Connect and map the drive.

On the computer wishing to view the shared folder, browse to the network location using ‘Windows Explorer’. Now you can right-click on the folder and select ‘Map Network Drive…’.

Map a network drive on a Microsoft Windows XP computer

Map a network drive on a Microsoft Windows XP computer

Now you should be able to assign a drive letter.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments