By Yuka / Last update November 2, 2022

Benefits of file sharing over network

File sharing is the practice of distributing or providing access to digital media, such as computer programs, multimedia (audio, images and video), documents or electronic books. File sharing may be achieved in a number of ways.

For a long time in the past, USB flash drives or alike played a very important role in data transmission between computers. Nowadays, more and more users prefer to share files over network to reduce the risk of data corruption, because removable or portable devices are more susceptible to unauthorized access.

Windows 11 File Sharing

Some pros of file sharing over network are listed below:

♨ Save time
Users don't have to worry about sending files via email, uploading or downloading files, which can save them a lot of time. They can quickly access the data they need when they need it.

♨ Up-to-date file version
Unlike multiple versions of the same file with different information, all information is up-to-date and is always the latest version of the file. When changes are made to a shared file, they become available to all users immediately.

♨ Reduce costs
Files are shared directly through the Internet, companies or individuals do not need to purchase expensive equipment and machines to share files.

How to turn on network discovery and file sharing in Windows 11

If you want to share a folder on network, you should first turn on “Network Discovery” and “File Sharing” in Windows 11.

Turn on Network Discovery in Windows 11

Turning on the "Network Discovery" setting will allow the computer to view other computers and devices on the same network. At the same time, it also allows other computers on the same network to see the computer.

To enable Network Discovery, continue below.

  1. Press Windows + I on the keyboard at the same time to open Settings (or click on Start and select Settings).

Windows 11 Settings

  1. In Windows Settings, click Network & internet, then select Ethernet on the right pane of your screen.

Network and Internet in Settings

  1. In Ethernet settings pane, under Network profile type, choose Private.

Network  Profile Type

Tip✍: The Private profile will allow the discovery of devices in your network, which is suitable for home, work places and network that are trusted. If you choose Public profile, your device is not discoverable on the network.

  1. When you’re done, exit and network discovery should be enabled.

Turn on File Sharing in Windows 11

Turning on the "File and Printer Sharing" setting will allow other computers or devices to access the files, folders or printers you shared from this particular computer.

To enable File Sharing, continue below.

  1. Click on Start. Type Control Panel and click on the search result.

Windows 11 Control Panel

  1. In the Control Panel, select Network and Internet.

Network and Internet in Control Panel

  1. Then select Network and Sharing Center.

Network and Sharing Center

  1. Next, select Change advanced sharing settings.

Change Advanced Sharing Settings

  1. In the Advanced sharing settings, select the Private (current profile) and Turn on file and printer sharing.

Change Sharing Options

  1. Scroll down and expand All Networks. Check Turn on sharing so that everyone with network access can read and write files in the Public folders under Public folder sharing.

Public Folder Sharing

  1. Save your changes and exit.

Steps to share a folder on network in Windows 11

If there are other systems or users connected to the same network as you, you can easily share folders with them. Here is how you can do it.

  1. Right-click the folder that you want to share and select Properties.


  1. In the Documents Properties, click on Share under the Sharing tab.

Documents Properties

  1. Choose people you want to share with, select Everyone on the drop-down menu.

Network Access

  1. Then click on Add to share this folder to everyone on the network.

Choose People to Share With

  1. Now click Share.


  1. Now your folder is shared and click Done to exit.

Change share permissions

Your folder is now shared. But the recipient may not have all the permissions to the folder and the files within it. To change that, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Document Properties of this shared folder. Click on Advanced Sharing.

Advanced Sharing

  1. Check the Share this folder option and click on Permissions.

Share This Folder

  1. Change the permissions and click on OK on all open windows.

Share Permissions

This folder will now be accessible to all those who are on the shared network.

Best free Windows 11 file sharing alternative

Windows 11, as a system that has just been released, we still don't know if there will be problems like Windows 10 File Sharing not working in use. In order to be able to perform file sharing more safely and efficiently, I recommend you to use the best free file sharing software—AOMEI Backupper.

It allows you to sync folders between different locations, such as from one folder/disk/computer to another folder/disk/computer. You can also sync folders to cloud storages, such as create backups to Seagate Cloud, OneDrive, Google Drive, etc.
✫ It enables you to create
automatic sync tasks with the Schedule Sync feature, which can help you get changes regularly by syncing files at daily/weekly/monthly.
✫ It enables you to sync multiple folders simultaneously, saving you from repetitive work.
✫ It supports various operating systems like Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8.1/8, Windows 7, Windows Vista and XP.

Learn how to do network sharing in Windows 11 via AOMEI Backupper below. First of all, download and install this freeware.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Note✍: Do not change the folder name of your source. Otherwise, AOMEI Backupper cannot sync it anymore.

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper, click “Sync” on the left pane, and select “Basic Sync”.

File Sync

Tips✍: Three other synchronization modes are also available in advanced editions.
✬ Real-Time Sync: This mode will automatically monitor the source directories that need to be synchronized in real time.
✬ Mirror Sync: This mode always keeps the files between the source directory and the target directory the same. Any changed files in the target will be deleted.
Two-Way Sync: Any changes in the source or destination directory will be synced with each other.

Step 2. Click “Add Folder” to choose the folder you want to share. If you want to add more folders, you can click the “+” icon after adding the first folder.

Add Folder

Tip✍: If you want to exclude certain file types from selected folders, please use the "Filter settings” feature in AOMEI Backupper Professional.

Filter Settings

Step 3. Click the box under the arrow to select the destination. In the pop-up window, select "Share/NAS".

Select Sync Destination

Step 4. Click “Add Share or NAS Devices”, type the IP address of the Windows 11 computer and click “OK”. Type username and password if it prompts.

Add Network Location

Step 5. Then all network-shared folders under it will be listed. Choose one folder as the destination path and click “OK”.

Select Destination

Step 6. Confirm all your settings and click on “Start Sync” to perform the operation.

Start Sync

✮ Options:
You can write a comment for the task to distinguish this sync task from others easily. You also can enable email notification to get informed of the operation results through emails.

✮ Schedule: Five modes are available for this software: Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers, USB plug in. The last two are available after you upgrade to advanced version.

Except for sharing a folder on network via NAS device, you still can sync local folder to cloud drive like Google Drive. For free users with a few GB of cloud storage, it's suggested to backup files to AOMEI Cloud and you will get 1TB of free cloud storage 15 days after you sign up for an AOMEI account.



After reading this article, you can learn how to perform Windows 11 file sharing with Windows built-in tool or its alternative. To avoid any network sharing problem with Windows 11 in the future, you can have a try on AOMEI Backupper. What’s more, it’s not just a reliable file sync software, but also the best backup and cloning tool that can meet all your needs for protecting your computer.

Windows 11 was released not long ago, and some users reported that there were some problems in the process of using the new system. As long as you have backed up computer before upgrading to Windows 11 via AOMEI Backupper, you will not be bothered by these problems.