Opening a Shared Folder on a Network (with Pictures)

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Opening a Shared Folder on a Network (with Pictures)
Opening a Shared Folder on a Network (with Pictures)
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This wikiHow teaches you how to open a folder shared by another computer on your network. You can do this on both Windows and Mac computers.

Steps

Method 1 of 2: In Windows

Access Shared Folders on a Network Step 1

Step 1. Make sure you are on the correct network

To access a shared folder from another computer, you must use the same network as the computer sharing the file.

Skip this step if your PC is connected to the computer sharing the folder(s) via an Ethernet cable

Access Shared Folders on a Network Step 2

Step 2. Open Start

Windowsstart

Click the Windows logo at the bottom left of the screen. The Start menu appears.

Access Shared Folders on a Network Step 3

Step 3. Open Settings

Windowssettings

Click Settings (Windows 10) in the lower-left corner of the Start menu or Control Panel (earlier versions). The Settings or Control Panel window opens.

Access Shared Folders on a Network Step 4

Step 4. Click

Windowsnetwork

Network & Internet.

It's in the center of the Settings window.

Access Shared Folders on a Network Step 5

Step 5. Click Network and Sharing Center

This is a link at the bottom of the page.

  • You may have to scroll down to see this link. If you still can't find the link after scrolling down, click the tab Status in the top left corner of the window and search again.
Access Shared Folders on a Network Step 6

Step 6. Click Change advanced sharing settings

It's in the top left of the window. A new window will open.

Access Shared Folders on a Network Step 7

Step 7. Enable network discovery and file sharing

Check both 'Enable network discovery' and 'Enable file and printer sharing'.

Access Shared Folders on a Network Step 8

Step 8. Click on Save Changes

You will find this option at the bottom of the window. Your settings are now saved.

Access Shared Folders on a Network Step 9

Step 9. Open File Explorer

File_Explorer_Icon

Click the File Explorer icon at the bottom of the screen, or right-click the Start icon and click Explorer in the resulting pop-up menu.

You can also press ⊞ Win+E to open File Explorer

Access Shared Folders on a Network Step 10

Step 10. Click Network

This option can be found at the bottom of the sidebar on the left side of File Explorer.

You may have to scroll down the left sidebar of the file explorer to see this option

Access Shared Folders on a Network Step 11

Step 11. Select a computer

Double-click the name of the computer with the shared folder you want to access.

Access Shared Folders on a Network Step 12

Step 12. Select a folder

Double click on the folder you want to open.

Access Shared Folders on a Network Step 13

Step 13. Enter a username and password, if prompted

This is usually the username and password used to log into the computer sharing the folder. If correct, the folder will open.

If the folder is not protected, the folder will open by double clicking on it

Method 2 of 2: On a Mac

Access Shared Folders on a Network Step 14

Step 1. Make sure you are connected to the correct network

To access a shared folder from another computer, you must use the same network as the computer sharing the file.

Skip this step if your Mac is connected via an Ethernet cable to the computer sharing the folder(s)

Access Shared Folders on a Network Step 15

Step 2. Open Apple menu

Macapple1

Click on the Apple logo in the top left corner of the screen. A drop-down menu will appear.

Access Shared Folders on a Network Step 16

Step 3. Click on System Preferences…

This can be found in the drop-down menu. The System Preferences window opens.

Access Shared Folders on a Network Step 17

Step #4. Click Share

This option can be found in the 'System Preferences' window. This will open the 'Share' window.

Access Shared Folders on a Network Step 18

Step 5. Check the 'File Sharing' box

You'll find this on the left side of the Share window.

Access Shared Folders on a Network Step 19

Step 6. Open

Macfinder2

finder.

Click the Finder icon, which resembles a blue face, in the Dock.

Access Shared Folders on a Network Step 20

Step 7. Find the "Shared" group

The Shared heading is on the left side of the Finder window. You should see the name of the computer that shares the folder you want to access.

Access Shared Folders on a Network Step 21

Step 8. Select a computer

Under the "Shared" heading, click the name of the computer with the shared folder you want to access. This will open a list of the computer's shared folders in the center of the Finder window.

Access Shared Folders on a Network Step 22

Step 9. Select a folder

Double click on the folder you want to open.

Access Shared Folders on a Network Step 23

Step 10. Enter a username and password if prompted

This is usually the username and password used to log into the computer sharing the folder. If correct, the folder will open.

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