How to Turn "File and Printer Sharing" On or Off for Networks in Windows 8 and 8.1

information   Information
This tutorial will show you how to turn "file and printer sharing" on or off to allow files, folders, and printers set to be shared on this Windows 8 PC to be able to be accessed by people on the network. When turned off, only users signed in locally with an account on the computer are able to access shared files and printers, and not from the network.

You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do the steps in this tutorial.

Note   Note
Sharing Items on a Network Requirements:

  • PCs need to be in the same homegroup or workgroup, and that each PC has a unique computer name.
  • If your PC is in a workgroup, use the same user name and password combination on each PC.
  • Check Use Sharing Wizard in View tab of Folder Options.
  • Turn on network discovery.
  • Turn on file and printer sharing as in the tutorial below.
  • If you have a home (private) network and a PC that’s a member of a domain (for example, if you bring home a work laptop), you can access items that are on your home PCs using your work laptop, but not the other way around. Make sure the user accounts on the home PC have passwords. To access items using your work laptop, you might need to enter the user name as home PC name\user name and then provide the password.


Tip   Tip
If you find that you lose connection to your shares from a network location randomly, then go into Device Manager (devmgmt.msc) on the PC that is the source of the shares. For each network adapter, uncheck the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power option in the Power Management tab, and click/tap on OK.

The network adapter may be getting put to sleep, and breaking the network connection of the shares.

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OPTION ONE
Turn File and Printer Sharing On or Off in Network and Sharing Center

1. If you are turning on file and printer sharing, then set your network location to be private to also turn sharing and connect to devices on.

2. Do step 3 or 4 below for how you would like to open the Network and Sharing Center.

3. On the desktop, right click on the Network system icon in the taskbar notification area, click/tap on Open Network and Sharing Center, and go to step 5 below. (see screenshot below)

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OR

4. Open the Control Panel (icons view), click/tap on the Network and Sharing Center icon, and go to step 5 below.

5. In the left pane of Network and Sharing Center, click/tap on the Change advanced sharing settings link. (see screenshot below)

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6. Click/tap on the Name:  arrow.jpg
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NOTE: Normally this would be for the network profile marked as your current profile.

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7. To Turn Off "File and Printer Sharing" for Networks in Windows 8

A) Click/tap on (dot) Turn off file and printer sharing. (see screenshots below step 6)

B) If the current profile is for a "public" network location, then it's recommended to also turn off network discovery for better security.

C) Click/tap on Save changes, and click/tap on Yes if prompted by UAC. (see screenshots below step 6)

D) Go to step 9 below.

8. To Turn On "File and Printer Sharing" for Networks in Windows 8

A) If not already, turn on network discovery, and check Use Sharing Wizard in View tab of Folder Options.

B) Click/tap on (dot) Turn on file and printer sharing, click/tap on Save changes, and click/tap on Yes if prompted by UAC. (see screenshots below step 6)

C) If you like, you could also turn on password protected sharing so only people who have a user account and password on your Windows 8 PC can access shared files, attached printers, and Public folders on your PC.

D) In the left pane of Network and Sharing Center, click/tap on the Change adapter settings link. (see screenshot below step 5)

E) Double click/tap on your connected network adapter. (see screenshot below)

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F) Click/tap on Properties, and click/tap on Yes if prompted by UAC. (see screenshot below)

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G) Check the File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks box, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

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H) Click/tap on Close. (see screenshot below step 8F)

I) Close the Network Connections window, and go to step 9 below. (see screenshot below step 8E)

9. You can now close the Network and Sharing Center window if you like. (see screenshot below step 5)








OPTION TWO
Turn File and Printer Sharing On or Off in Command Prompt

1. Open an elevated command prompt.

2. Do step 3 or 4 below for what you would like to do.

3. To Turn On File and Printer Sharing for Private and Public Network Profiles
NOTE: This is the default setting for private network profiles.

A) In the elevated command prompt, copy and paste the command below, press Enter, and go to step 5 below.

netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="File and Printer Sharing" new enable=Yes

4. To Turn Off File and Printer Sharing for Private and Public Network Profiles
NOTE: This is the default setting for public network profiles.

A) In the elevated command prompt, copy and paste the command below, press Enter, and go to step 5 below.

netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="File and Printer Sharing" new enable=No

5. When finished, you can close the elevated command prompt.

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That's it,
Shawn