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.

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.

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.

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

Now expand the All Networks section.

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

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

Profile Photo for Taylor Gibb Taylor Gibb
Taylor Gibb is a professional software developer with nearly a decade of experience. He served as Microsoft Regional Director in South Africa for two years and has received multiple Microsoft MVP (Most Valued Professional) awards. He currently works in R&D at Derivco International.
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