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What is Simple File Sharing and How to Turn It Off

Simple File Sharing is a built-in Windows feature that makes it very easy to share files and folders with other computers on your local network. It’s so simple that it’s also pretty insecure. If you have shared a folder, anyone can access it, and there are no permissions or passwords to restrict access to the shared folder.

If you are using Windows XP Home Edition, this is the only file sharing option. Windows XP Professional users can share files and folders with much more security. To share a folder using Simple File Sharing, right-click the folder and select Sharing and Security.

If this is your first time setting up sharing on your computer, you will be prompted to either use a wizard or simply turn on file sharing. I would only use the wizard if you are not using Service Pack 2 or higher, because the wizard will simply enable a firewall to protect your computer from Internet access.

Finally, you will be able to select “Share this folder online” and give your Share a name.

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By default, users can read, write, and delete the files you share. If you want them to be able to read only files, clear the Allow network users to modify my files check box.

How to turn off basic file sharing

If you have a Windows XP Professional computer that is not joined to a domain, then Simple File Sharing will be enabled. You can turn it off and use advanced file sharing features like NTFS file permissions.

Go to “My Computer” and click on “Tools” and then “Folder Options”.

Click the View tab and scroll all the way down until you see the Use Basic File Sharing (Recommended) checkbox.

Go ahead and uncheck the box, and now when you go to the Sharing and Security tab for a folder, you will see additional sharing options and a Security tab that allows you to configure NTFS permissions.

This is it! If you don’t know how to set NTFS permissions, read my previous written post. If that was too difficult for you, you can try online storage like Dropbox, a cloud-based service for storing and sharing files between computers. Enjoy!

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