One of our readers asked us some time ago: "Where would I be able to see listed all the folders I've shared on my computer?" We thought it was a really good question and we decided to answer it. We have two alternatives to share: one using Windows Explorer and one using Computer Management. Let’s see how this is done.
A Simple View of Shared Folders in Windows Explorer
The simplest method for viewing all the files you have shared is to open Windows Explorer, click on Network and then on the name of your computer. You will see a list with all the folders shared with your network.
The problem with this view is that it doesn’t show "hidden" shares and doesn’t give too much information about how each folder is shared. However, you can right click on each folder and select Properties. This opens the Properties window of that shared folder, from where you can access more information about how the folder is shared.
Even though this works, it is not an elegant way of viewing shared folders and managing them. There is a much better alternative.
Viewing Shared Folders in Computer Management
The best tool for this task is called Computer Management. You can open it in many ways. You can search for Computer Management in the Start Menu search box, or open Control Panel and go to System and Security -> Administrative Tools and open it from there.
On the left side of the Computer Management there is a panel with lots of sections. Go to "System Tools -> Shared Folders -> Shares".
Once you click on it, the central white panel of the Computer Management window loads a list with all the folders and partitions shared by your computer. There you will see both the folders you shared and default shares of Windows (C$, D$ representing all the partitions in your computer), plus any default remote administration shares created by Windows.
For each shared folder and partition, you see the official share name (as it will be viewed by others on the network, if not hidden), the exact folder path, the type of share, the number of connections made from the network to that folder and a short description (if available).
If you double click on a shared folder, you get access to its Properties window, from where you can manage different sharing parameters.
Clicking on the Sessions link, on the left side panel, shows you a list with all the users currently connected to your network shares.
The Open Files link, on the left side panel, shows all the files and folders being accessed by the users connected to your network shares.
Really useful information isn’t it?
Want Even More about Managing Shared Folders?
This article only shares the basics of viewing all your shared network folders. In future tutorials we will explain how to manage active shared folders, connections and open files in an advanced way, using options not present in your default sharing wizards and menus. Stay tuned to 7 Tutorials to find out all the details.