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How to Create Network File Shares with No Passwords in Windows 8

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We have all had to connect to a network share at some point only to have the authentication dialog pop up. There are many ways around it, for example mapping a network drive, but if you have a lot of users connecting to copy some files you may want to disable the password dialog instead of distributing your password.

Disabling Password Protected Sharing

If you try to connect to any modern Windows OS that’s hosting a network share you will probably be greeted with an authentication dialog. If you try to type in your current username and password and hit enter, it just bounces back and asks for your credentials again.

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To make things worse, this happens even if you you have given the Everyone security principle on the remote machine Full Access to the share.

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What you are experiencing is normal Windows behavior–on the recent versions of Windows Microsoft enabled password protected sharing by default, so although “Everyone” has access to that particular file share you need to authenticate as a user on the remote machine before the share permissions are even evaluated. To disable this behavior go to the machine that is hosting the file share, right click on the Network Notification Icon and select Open Network and Sharing Center from the context menu.

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Then click on the Change advanced sharing settings Link in the left hand panel.

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Now expand the All Networks section.

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Finally switch the radial button to the Turn off password protected sharing setting and click Save changes.

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That’s all there is to it, now anyone will be able to connect to the share without a password.

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Taylor Gibb is a Microsoft MVP and all round geek, he loves everything from Windows 8 to Windows Server 2012 and even C# and PowerShell. You can also follow him on Google+

  • Published 11/20/12

Comments (9)

  1. Aviad Raviv

    Nice one, thanks :)

  2. Frank

    Is this on a per-share basis, or will this make all shares completely open? It would be nice to have the former.

  3. javakiko

    This is all good, however, my shares keep losing the security setting, when I log off or shutdown, I have to re-do all the security when I logon again, I’m using W8 Pro, all the laptops coneecting are using various flavours of W7.

  4. Willy

    This solves a lot of problems for me with keeping everyone in the office using the same spreadsheets and data files. Nothing ticks me off more than finding out that someone updated information or configuration of a spreadsheet and now everyone else’s work was for nothing. The constant password requirement for internal shares was unnecessary security overkill. Glad to see this – a big help in our office.

  5. Tarik

    i have problem i cannot get my Laptop ( running on win 8) to share file with my other PC (win xp)
    both is on same workgroup and i disable password on workgroup .
    i cannot see in my net work the other computer
    can you help me please?

  6. temu

    Hi, quick question, this trick works with win7 ?

    I mean, its possible create these file shares with no pass on 7 or its win8 exclusively ?

    Thank you

  7. dave

    @temu
    works exactly the same on Win 7 (and I assume Vista as well)

    @Tarik have you shared the folder? right click on the folder you want to share, select the ‘sharing’ tab click ‘Advanced sharing’ and tick ‘share this folder’, click ‘ok’, then select tthe ‘share…’ option in the box that opens on the drop down select ‘everyone’ and ‘add’ click ‘share’ and close out.
    everything on the network should be able to see and access it without a password now.

  8. DaFoo

    Excellent, I can’t wait to try this one at home.

  9. Dingolania

    Thanks alot… i wasted many time trying to figure it out

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