How-To Geek

Lesson 9: How to Share Devices With Others On the Network

How to Stop Sharing the Printer with the Network

The steps involved when you no longer want to share a printer with the network are the same as when sharing it. Follow the instructions in the “How to Share Your Printer with the Network” section, found earlier in this article. Then, in the “Printer Properties” window, go to the “Sharing” tab, clear the box for “Share this printer” and press “OK”.


Your local printer is no longer shared with others on the network.

How to Share Partitions or External Hard Drives with the Network

Sharing entire partitions or external hard drives with others on the network is done only through “Advanced Sharing”. If you need a refresher about this concept, please read Lesson 7. In this section we won’t spend time explaining all the available sharing options and we will only take you through the procedure that’s involved when sharing a drive.

If you are using Windows 8.x, open File Explorer and go to This PC. If you are using Windows 7, open Windows Explorer and go to Computer.

Find the partition or the external hard drive you want to share with others on the network and right-click or press and hold on it. In the right-click menu go to “Share with > Advanced sharing”.


The “Properties” window is shown for the selected drive. In the “Network File and Folder” sharing section of the “Share” tab you can view if it is already shared or not. Press the “Advanced Sharing” button.


In the “Advanced Sharing” window, check the box that says “Share this folder”. By default, drives are shared using their letter.


You can type a more descriptive share name. You can also limit the number of simultaneous users connecting to it over the network. To edit who received permissions for accessing this share drive, press the “Permissions” button.


In the “Permissions” window you will see that the drive is shared with the “Everyone” user group. If you don’t want to share your printer with everyone on your network, then “Remove” this user group and press “Add” to give access to someone else.


The “Select Users or Groups” window is now shown. Press the “Advanced” button.


Then, click or tap “Find Now”.


Windows displays a list with all the user accounts and user groups existing on your computer. Select the user account or the user group you want to share the printer with. If you want to share it with the Homegroup, you need to select the “HomeUsers” group, then click or tap “OK”.


Click or tap “OK” in the Select Users or Groups window.


You are back to the “Permissions” window. Here you can modify the permissions assigned to all the user accounts or user groups you have added. If you would like to learn more about all the available permission levels and what they do, please read Lesson 7.

When you are done setting things up, press “OK”.


The selected drive is now shared with the network and you can see its network path in the “Network File and Folder Sharing” section.

Press “Close” and you are done.


Each time you view the shared drive in File Explorer or Windows Explorer, it will see a small icon on its bottom-left corner, signaling that the drive is shared with others.


If you will stop sharing this drive, the icon will be no longer displayed.

How to Stop Sharing a Partition or an External Hard Drive

To stop sharing a drive from your computer, you need to follow the same steps as for sharing it. When you get to the Advanced Sharing window, clear the box that says “Share this folder”.


Press “OK” and then “Close”.

Attaching External Hard Drives to Your Router

If you need to use the same external hard drive from multiple computers and devices on your network, then it is best to attach it to your router, if it has a USB port available. Modern routers can be set to share your hard drive with everyone on the network and make it available for all the computers and devices that are part of it.

However, the setup of this feature is different from router to router and we can’t create a guide that applies to all of them. Please consult your router’s manual and learn whether it can use your external hard drives and share them with others on the network.

Coming up Next …

In the next and final lesson of this series you will learn how to view and access what is shared on the network: libraries, folders, printers or shared drives.

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Ciprian Adrian Rusen is an experienced technology writer and author with several titles published internationally by Microsoft Press. You can connect with him on 7 Tutorials, Twitter, and Google+ or even buy his books on Amazon.

  • Published 04/17/14

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