Setting up access

How to access network shared folder on Windows 11

If you have already configured file sharing, use these steps to access the network contents from other computers.

Access network shared folder

If you have already set up file sharing on Windows 11, users also need to configure access from the remote computers.

On Windows 11, network users can access the shared files in at least three ways browsing the network location, specifying the network path, or mounting the shared folder as a drive in File Explorer.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to access a network shared folder on Windows 11.

Access shared folder on Windows 11

Windows 11 has at least three ways to access a shared folder through File Explorer, and here’s how.

Open shared folder browsing location

To access a shared folder with the “Network” tab, use these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer.

  2. Click on Network from the left pane.

  3. Double-click the computer containing the shared folder.

    Explorer networks shared

  4. Sign in with the account that grants you access.

Once you complete the steps, the files in the shared folder will be accessible.

Usually, the account information is the credentials for users on the computer sharing files. If both devices have the same account, you can use your account information to sign in. Also, if the shared folder has been configured not to require authentication, you won’t need to enter a user name and password to access the files.

Open shared folder using network path

To access files in the network with the network location path, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for the Run command and click the top result to open the app.

  3. Type the path to the shared folder in the network.

    Run command network folder

  4. Click the OK button.

  5. Sign in with the account that grants you access.

After you complete the steps, you should be able to access the shared folder’s contents.

Open shared folder using mount point

To mount a shared folder on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer.

  2. Click on This PC from the left pane.

  3. Click the menu (three-dotted) button and select the Map a network drive option.

    Map network drive

  4. Confirm the path to the shared folder:

    \\COMPUTER-NAME-IP\myShare

    In the command, replace “COMPUTER-NAME-IP” for the computer name or IP address of the remote computer hosting the shared folder. This example accesses the “myShare” folder in the 10.1.4.118 address:

    \\10.1.4.118\myShare

    Map shared folder on Windows 11

  5. Check the Reconnect at sign-in option.

  6. Check the Connect using different credentials option (if applicable).

  7. Click the Finish button.

  8. Sign in with the account that grants you access.

Once you complete the steps, the shared folder will mount as a drive, and you will be able to access the contents from the “This PC” page.

Fix authentication problems with shared folder

If you configure a shared folder on a computer that uses a Microsoft account, you likely won’t be able to authenticate to access the files in the network. However, you can get around this problem in two ways. You can switch from a Microsoft account to a local account and switch back to a Microsoft account. Or you can create a new local account on the source computer that you can use to authenticate and access a shared folder or connect using Remote Desktop.

In case the problem isn’t authentication, then it could be an issue with the file-sharing configuration. You can use these steps to set up a network shared folder on Windows 11.