How to Create a Hidden Network Share in WindowsIf you have multiple computers on a network and want to share folders between them you can add an extra bit of security by creating a hidden Windows share. This guide is pretty simple and assumes that you are either in a workgroup or in a domain Windows environment. Hidden shares are useful when you want to share a folder but just want it to be accessible by people you’ve given it to the share name.

Of course, a hidden share does NOT guarantee that someone will not have access to the folders if you try hard enough. It is best to take this as an additional security step along with the other network security guidelines. If you are on a Windows domain, as on a corporate network, you will find that 99% of the time, your local hard drives are spread out. These are called admin shares jargon. Basically it is configured so that any administrator can connect to any computer over the network and access any local files.

The admin shares are also all hidden shares so anyone who surf the net won’t see them. You can see if your local drives are shared by going to My Computer , right-clicking the local C drive (or whatever letter you have) and choosing Properties . Click the release – tab and you will see that you ” this folder sharing enabled” and the share name C $ .

The $ symbol after you name the share is what hides the folder on the network. As you can see here, my entire C hard drive is distributed since I am on a corporate domain. Remember, this means that any administrator can access all of your files at any time! So you really don’t have any privacy in a Windows domain.

Of course, to enter a folder on a network at home or even in your office, follow the same procedure as above. By default, when you share this folder, the share name is filled in with the folder name. In Windows 7 and Windows 8, click the Advanced Sharing button to view all of the sharing options.

Just add the $ right after the share name with no spaces. You should note that you can only create this hidden share if you first share the folder in Windows 7 and Windows 8. For some reason, you can’t change the share name once you’ve shared the folder to it To change, you must first remove the share, and then share the folder again.

Also, if you want people to be able to add and delete files in the folder, you have to click on Permissions and click either Change or Full Control .

Usually changing is good enough because it allows people to add files and delete files. Full Control allows someone to change the permissions on the folder itself.

To access the hidden share in Windows, go to Windows Explorer (My Computer) and enter the full UNC path to the folder. If that doesn’t make sense, just use the UNC path as the name of the computer and the name of the folder you want to access. So if I shared a folder called ” MyFiles ” as MyFiles $ on a computer named Comp1 , I would access that folder by going to My Computer and typing in the address bar:

\ Comp1MyFiles $

As long as everything was set correctly, the contents of the folder should pop up without a problem! Note that if you browse the network using Explorer and click on this computer, you cannot see the shared folder in the list because it is hidden. You can only access it by manually typing in the full path as shown above.

And that’s it! You now have the shared folder on the network that is hidden! If you have any questions or problems with the setting, post a comment and we’ll try to help. Enjoy!

 

 

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