Fix Unable to open or view shared folder from Windows 10 PC

Before Microsoft removed the HomeGroup feature on Windows 10, you can easily share resources over a small network with others in your homegroup.

Nowadays you have to use different methods to share folders or files and printers such as: using OneDriveShare and Share Close.

If you’re having trouble accessing or viewing shared folders on your PC, try some of the solutions in this guide.

How To Fix Windows 10 Cannot Access Shared Folder

Before trying the solutions below to fix problems with seeing or accessing shared folders on Windows 10, make sure that the devices are on the same network.

Also, make sure you’re signed in with the same account you entered when you shared the folder with several users.

Update Windows 10

Update Windows 10 to make sure folder sharing works properly.

  1. Select Get startedSettingsUpdate & Security
  1. Then select Windows Update and install the pending updates.
  1. You can also select: Check for Windows updates to manage your options and view available updates.

Set your WiFi network to private

You can set a Wi-Fi network to private or public when you first connect to it.

The private network option is suitable for networks you trust, such as your home or business network. When you set your Wi-Fi network to private, other devices can discover your PC on the network and you can use it to share files or printers. This is not available on a public network.

Remark: To set your Wi-Fi network to Private, your PC must be running Windows 10 version 1709 or later. See our guide on how to see which version of Windows you have installed.

  1. Select the WiFi network icon on the right side of the taskbar.
  1. Then select the network you want to connect to, then select the Connect choice.
  1. Enter the network password and select Next one
  1. When asked if you want your PC to be discoverable by other devices on the same network, select Yes next Private network
  1. If your Wi-Fi network is set to Public, you can change it to Private. Select the WiFi network icon, then select Properties under the name of the network you are connected to.
  1. Select Private below Network Profile

With the network set to Private, check if you can now see or access the shared folders on your PC.

Enable Network Discovery and Disable Password Protected Sharing

If Network Discovery is turned off on your PC, you may not be able to see or access shared folders in Windows 10. To resolve the issue, enable Network Discovery and disable password-protected sharing.

Network discovery is a setting in Windows 10 that determines whether your PC can see and connect to other devices on the network and whether other devices can see and access your PC. The setting is enabled when you enable network sharing, but if it doesn’t work, you can manually enable it.

However, for security reasons, it is not recommended to enable network discovery when connected to a public network.

  1. Select Get startedSettingsNetwork & Internet
  1. Select Wi-Fi Change advanced Sharing options below Related settings
  1. Select Enable network discovery below Private to enable network discovery, then select Saving Changes
  1. Then select Disable password protected sharing below All networksShare password† Select Saving Changes and then check if you can see or access the shared folders on your PC.

Let sharing services start automatically

Your PC’s network and sharing services can also affect how you view or access shared folders.

Such services include SSDP Discovery, Function Discovery Provider Host, UPnP Device Host, and Function Discovery Resource Publication. Make sure these services start automatically and are currently running on your PC.

  1. Select Windows logo keyR to open the Run dialog box.
  1. Type services.msc in the Run dialog box, then select Okay or press Enter
  1. Right click on each of these services, select Properties and select Get started
  • SSDP Discovery
  • Host of UPnP device
  • Discovery Resource Publication Feature
  • Discovery Provider Host Feature
  1. Then select automatically below Startup type and then select Okay

Allow file and printer sharing in Windows Defender Firewall

If you still can’t see or access shared folders on your PC and you’re using Windows Defender Firewall, you’ll need to allow File and Printer Sharing in the firewall app.

  1. Go to Windows Defender and open the firewall and network security
  1. Select Allow an app through the firewall
  1. Allow File and Printer Sharing and check if you can see or open shared folders.

Check your Windows credentials

Still can’t see or open shared folders? Try checking the Windows credentials on the computer from which you are trying to access the folders.

  1. Open Control panelUser Accounts
  1. Select Credential Manager
  1. Then select Windows Credentials
  1. Select Add a Windows Credential
  1. Add the . please IP address from the computer hosting the file and run the administrator username and password from the computer. Select Okay to save the credentials and check if you can see or access the shared folders on your PC.

Remark: You can enter the network address in File Explorer to view or access the shared folders.

Use the shared folder troubleshooter

The Shared Folder Troubleshooter can help identify and resolve issues that might prevent you from seeing or accessing the shared folders on your PC.

  1. Select Get startedSettingsUpdate & Security
  1. Then select Resolving problemsAdditional troubleshooters
  1. Select Shared Folders below Find and fix other problems
  1. Select Run the troubleshooterenter the network location you want to access and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process. When it’s done, restart your PC and check if you can see or access the shared folders.

Using Command Prompt to access the shared folder

If you can’t see or access the shared folder through File Explorer, you can do that through Command Prompt.

  1. Type cmd in the search box and select Command Prompt from the search results.
  1. Type this command and press Enter: net use

Then enable the SMB 1.0 support function. The SMB (Server Message Block) protocol is used to share files, printer services, and communications between PCs on a network.

  1. Open Control panelPrograms
  1. Select Programs and Features
  1. Then select Enable or disable Windows featuresSupport for SMB 1.0/CIFS file sharing
  1. Check the SMB 1.0/CIFS Client box and press Enter

View and access shared folders on your PC

There’s so much you can do with a local area network when it comes to sharing files and folders across the devices in your home or work. While it may seem simple in principle, getting everything to work properly can be tricky.

With the solutions in this guide, you should be able to see and access your shared folders again from any PC on your network.

We have more guides on how to create and manage shared folders, including how to share folders between host and guest OS in VirtualBox and how connect to shared folders on Windows 10 from Mac OS X

Leave a comment and let us know which solution worked for you, if any. If you have a solution not mentioned here, feel free to add a comment and let us know.

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