Unlocking The Vault: How To Access Shared Folders On Windows 11

Access Shared Folders On Windows 11
Written by Editor N4GM

Have you tried accessing shared folders on Windows 11 but run into difficulty with accessing them? No worries; you aren’t alone!

When the dreaded “Windows cannot access the shared folder” message appears, it can leave you feeling locked out – but don’t despair, fellow sharers! Our guide “Unlocking the Vault: How to Access Shared Folders on Windows 11” can provide your solution.

We will identify common causes behind this error and show how to solve them quickly in simple steps – all while making sharing easy on Windows 11! Get ready to gain accessing shared files and unlock all its secrets – get ready!

Why Win 11 Cannot Access Shared Folders?

Sharing files on Windows 11 should be a breeze, but sometimes you might encounter a roadblock.

Network settings, typos in folder names, permission issues, password protection, and even outdated protocols on older computers can all prevent access. Fear not!

This guide will help you troubleshoot these common problems and get you sharing files on your network in no time.

Checking Before Fixing

If you have experienced problems similar to these, this guide offers some troubleshooting techniques that may prove effective in solving this problem.

Before trying out advanced solutions, ensure the following settings are active:

1. File Sharing Support

Windows SMB sharing not working can lead to Windows 11 not accessing shared folders and file sharing not taking effect.

To fix this, make sure that the sharing protocol is enabled by following these steps on your PC.

  • Launch the Start Menu, type programs and features, and click Turn Windows features on or off to bring up the Windows Features window.
  • Scroll down until you locate features related to SMB, then make sure all SMB folders are checked here before clicking OK.
  • Reboot your PC so the changes take effect, and check whether you can access shared folders.

2. Network Discovery

Your PC may be unable to access shared folders due to Network Discovery being turned off, which prevents it from recognizing and accessing them on the same network.

Turning it back on will allow it to view and access shared folders on its network.

  • Open the Start menu, type control panel and press Enter.
  • Change the view type to small or large icons before heading over to the Network and Sharing Centre.
  • Use the left pane to select and change advanced sharing settings.
  • Under Private, select Turn On Network Discovery.
  • Navigating through All Networks, expand Password Protected Sharing, and turn on password protected sharing before hitting Save changes.

How To Access Shared Folders On Windows 11?

1. Network Sharing Permission

  • Right-click a shared folder and choose Properties, followed by the Sharing tab and Share option.
  • Click the arrow to select everyone for sharing and click Add. Select Read/Write under Permission Level, and share.
  • Return to the Sharing tab. Under Advanced Sharing…, enable the Share this Folder option. In the same window, under Permissions click the Permissions button and allow the Full Control option by checking “Allow Box.”

2. Allow Security Permissions

Solution #2 for this issue is changing the security permission settings for shared folders. Follow these quick steps to get started and begin making adjustments today!

  • Press Windows + E to launch File Explorer and locate the drive or folder on your computer that you would like to share with others. Right-click and choose Properties before sharing!
  • Switch to the Security tab of the Properties window and click on its Edit button.
  • Click the Add button in the next window.
  • Within the Select Users or Groups window, select Advanced.
  • In the new window that appears, click Find Now on the right side and a list of search results will appear in front of you; scroll through and select Everyone before clicking OK.
  • Now, in the Permissions for Shared Folders properties window, there will be an entry called “Everyone”. Select that entry from the list, and check all boxes within Permissions to grant all privileges as desired before clicking OK/Apply to save changes.

3. Windows Firewall Settings

If you still can’t gain access to your shared folder, check your firewall settings. A firewall could potentially prevent accessing it; for instance, if the firewall is set up to block all incoming traffic it could prevent other computers on the network or internet from accessing your shared folders.

Here’s how you can fix all the firewall issues on your computer:

  • Click Windows Start Menu > Firewall & Network Protection for an array of options related to firewall and network protection.
  • Select the most compatible option and press Enter.
  • Uncheck or disable the option “Block all incoming connections.”
  • Repeat these steps with both Domain networks and Private networks as well.
  • Restart your PC to ensure the firewall isn’t blocking any Internet connections now.

4. Reset Network Settings

If none of the previous solutions work, resetting your network settings might be necessary.

Resetting will return all network-related settings to their factory default values and should enable you to reconnect to your network once more.

Before moving forward with any significant changes, we strongly suggest setting up a restore point on Windows to be extra safe.

A restore point allows you to undo any modifications made to your computer in an emergency.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Launch the Windows Search Bar by pressing Win+Q and typing Command Prompt.
  • Select your ideal match, and from the right-side menu select Run as administrator.
  • Enter the netsh int ip reset command into the Command Prompt window without double quotes.
  • Press Enter to execute this command and change your network settings. This will reset them successfully.

This command can help address many common networking problems, including when your computer fails to connect to a network or when internet connectivity becomes unstable.

Should a network-related error arise in the future, now you have an effective command available for troubleshooting!

About the author

Editor N4GM

He is the Chief Editor of n4gm. His passion is SEO, Online Marketing, and blogging. Sachin Sharma has been the lead Tech, Entertainment, and general news writer at N4GM since 2019. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online technicality flows the expert industry coverage he provides. In addition to writing for Technical issues, Sachin also provides content on Entertainment, Celebs, Healthcare and Travel etc... in