Share a folder with Windows server


In this tutorial, we will see a common task on a server, which is the folder share.

There are several solutions to share a folder, in this tutorial we will see two possibilities:

  • By the file explorer
  • By the server manager

Before starting to share a folder, we will make a point on the operation of rights SMB and NTFS.

NTFS rights apply to local access folders directly from the server and also to the folder if it is shared.

SMB rights applies only to the shared folder and allows access to this folder. NTFS rights then take over for access to folders and files.

We share the folder Direction with SMB rights for Everyone, at the NTFS level only the GRP_Direction group has rights on it, if a user who is not part of the group tries to open the folder, it will not have access on.

Share a folder with the file explorer

This solution is often used and works for all versions of Windows server and desktop.

1. Open the explorer and go to the location of the file to share.

2. Right-click on the 1 folder and click Properties 1 .
Right click on folder

3. Go to the Sharing tab 1 and click on Advanced Sharing 2 .
Tab Share

4. Check the Share this folder 1 box and click on Permissions 2 .
Share folder

5. Configure sharing permissions as needed 1 then click Apply 2 and OK 3 .
Share Authorization

6. Click Apply 1 and OK 2 again to close the Advanced Sharing window.
Advanced sharing

7. The folder is shared and the path 1 is visible in the properties.
Summary sharing

8. Test the share directly from the server entering the above address in Windows Explorer.
Folder in explorer

Share a folder by the Server Manager

Since Windows Server 2012, shared folder management is done directly from the new server manager.

1. Open Server Manager and go to Sharing Management located in File and Storage Services.
Server Manager

The folder shared by the explorer is visible in Server Manager.

2. Click on TASKS 1 then on New sharing 2 to launch the wizard.
Server manager lauch wizard

3. Select the SMB Share – Fast 1 profile and click Next 2 .
Sharing profile

4. Select Type a custom path 1 and click Browse 2 .
configure the location

5. Go to the file to share 1 and click on Select this folder 2 .

6. The folder path is set to 1 , click Next 2 .
Location added

7. If necessary change the share name 1 then click Next 2 .
share name

8. Change the additional options for sharing 1 and click Next 2 .
Share options

In the case of confidential file, I advise you to disable caching. Deactivating the cache also increases the security of the share, because the users having the folder locally, when they return to the corporate network the content is synchronized, if the user is encrypted the file, this will send the files to the server.

9. Click Customize Permissions 1 .
Edit permission

10. As needed change the NTFS and SMB Authorization and close the window.
Edit permission Edit permission

11. The configured permissions, click Next 1 .
configured authorization

12. Start creating the share by clicking Create 1 .
Create sharing

13. When finished, exit the wizard by clicking Close 1 .
Close wizard

14. The shared folder is created.
shared folder created


Folder sharing is not a difficult operation to do on Windows Server, but you have to be careful about the right you give to sharing if it is to remain confidential.

All you need to do is set up GPOs so that users automatically access the folder through a network drive.

As part of a file server, I recommend the installation of the resource manager that will allow better management of files and the use report edition.

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