If you’re experiencing issues with accessing shared folders in a Windows 10 or 11 LAN, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to address the problem.
Check Network Connectivity
- Ensure that all the computers are connected to the same local area network (LAN), such as Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable. Shared folders only work on a network, and if the devices are connected to different networks, shared folders will not work.
Verify Wi-Fi Router Functionality
- If all your devices are on the same network, check if your Wi-Fi router is functioning properly or experiencing issues.
- If you’re unable to access a shared folder that someone else owns, it’s possible that you may not have permission to access the folder. Ask the owner to modify the permissions for the folder and grant you read/write access.
Enable Folder Sharing and Network Discovery
- Ensure that folder sharing and network discovery are enabled on your PC to fix the problem of being unable to access shared folders on your Windows 10 or 11.
Fix the Permission
- Open Local Group Policy Editor by searching in Start Menu or going to Run and running
- Then go to
Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\network\Lanman Workstation
- Now Enable insecure guest logons
The “Enable insecure guest logons” setting refers to a policy setting in the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol, which is used for file and print sharing in Windows networks. When this setting is enabled, it allows the SMB client to establish unauthenticated guest logons to an SMB server.
Insecure guest logons are used by file servers to allow unauthenticated access to shared folders. While uncommon in an enterprise environment, insecure guest logons are frequently used by consumer Network Attached Storage (NAS) appliances acting as file servers. Enabling insecure guest logons means that the server logs on the user as an unauthenticated guest, typically in response to an authentication failure.
However, it’s important to note that guest logons don’t support standard security features such as signing and encryption, making the client vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks that can expose sensitive data on the network.
By default, Windows disables insecure guest logons for security reasons. It is recommended not to enable insecure guest logons unless there is a specific need for unauthenticated access to shared folders. Enabling this setting can potentially expose the client to various security risks, including data loss, data corruption, and exposure to malware.
More Information ℹ
- Common Windows Error Codes and How to Fix them
- Guest access in SMB2 and SMB3 disabled by default in Windows