How to fix the Folder Cannot Be Shared error in Windows - Windows Basics


Wednesday, September 14, 2022

How to fix the Folder Cannot Be Shared error in Windows

Windows makes it easy to share files and folders over your local network… at least in most cases. Sometimes you may encounter the Folder Cannot Be Shared error message. This is an annoying problem, but can be solved quite easily. 

Add an exception for anti-virus software

Your anti-virus software can prevent files from being shared, even over the local network. This is the most likely reason why you are seeing the error message.

You can quickly test this theory by temporarily disabling your anti-virus software and checking if the error persists. If the error no longer occurs, your anti-virus software is to blame.

But don't worry, you don't have to turn off your antivirus and expose your PC to threats. The answer is to set an exception or exclusion for the shared folder.

The exact way to do this will vary, depending on the anti-virus software you use. You can usually find exceptions in the settings menu of your antivirus software. Here's how in Windows Security.

1. In Windows 11, open Settings > Privacy & Security > Windows Security > Virus & Threat Protection. In Windows 10, it's in Update & Security.

2. Click Manage Settings under the Virus & Threat Protection Settings heading, and scroll to the bottom of the page.

3. Click Add or Remove Exclusions, then click the Add an Exclusion button.

4. Navigate to the shared folder and select it to add.

Give all network users full control over the folder in Advanced Sharing

Assuming you trust people using the local network, you can give everyone full control over the directory. This may be undesirable if the local network is in a business environment, but it should not be an issue on a home network.

1. Right-click the folder you want to share with full control and select Properties from the menu.

2. Click the Sharing tab and then click the Advanced Sharing button.

3. Select the Share this folder option, then click the Permissions button.

4. Then you can select Everyone and check the box next to allow Full Control.

5. If you are planning to use password protection for sharing, click Add > Advanced > Find Now.

6. Select Authenticated Users, click OK, then select Full Control. You can then exit the folder sharing settings.

You may need to restart your computer before the setting change takes effect.

Remember that this will allow anyone on the local network to access the shared files. You will decide if this fix is ​​suitable for the local network you are connecting to.

Disable Password Protected Sharing

This is another way to prevent errors from happening that come with some risks. It is better to protect shared files and folders with a password. But if you trust people and devices on your local network, you can remove that protection.

1. Open Control Panel. You can type it into Windows Search if you don't know where to look for it.

2. Open Network and Sharing Center and click Change Advanced Sharing Settings.

3. Expand the All Networks section and turn off the Password Protected Sharing option.

4. Save the changes and close the Control Panel.

The problem of not being able to share a folder over the local network is not uncommon. It is usually caused by your anti-virus software and can be easily resolved. Hopefully the above steps will help you find the cause of this error, how to fix it, and re-share your files over the local network.

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