Changes to file sharing over a network in Windows 10

Applies to: Windows 10

In Windows 10, some features of file sharing over a network have changed, including the removal of HomeGroup in the latest Windows 10 update. Read on for answers to common questions about other changes you might have noticed.

How do I share files or folders over a network now?

To share a file or folder in File Explorer, do one of the following:

  • Right-click or press a file, select Give access to > Specific people.

    Sharing a file with specific people on a network
  • Select a file, select the Share tab at the top of File Explorer, and then in the Share with section select Specific people.

    Sharing a file with specific people on a network

If you select multiple files at once, you can share them all in the same way. It works for folders, too—share a folder, and all files in it will be shared.

How do I stop sharing files or folders?

To stop sharing in File Explorer, do one of the following:

  • Right-click or press a file or folder, then select Give access to > Remove access.

    Stop sharing a file over a network
  • Select a file or folder, select the Share tab at the top of File Explorer, and then in the Share with section select Remove access.

    Stop sharing a file over a network

Why is "Stop sharing" (or "Remove access") showing in File Explorer for files I haven't shared?

Currently, File Explorer shows the "Remove access" option ("Stop sharing" in older versions of Windows 10) for all files, even those that aren't being shared over a network.

How do I tell which files or folders I've shared over a network?

Open File Explorer, then type \\localhost into the address bar.

How do I turn on Network discovery?

If you open File Explorer, go to Network, and see an error message ("Network discovery is turned off…."), you'll need to turn on Network discovery to see devices on the network that are sharing files. To turn it on, select the Network discovery is turned off banner, then select Turn on network discovery and file sharing.

Turning on network discovery in File Explorer