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8 Ways to Fix the “File Sharing Is Not Working” Error on Windows

8 Ways to Fix the “File Sharing Is Not Working” Error on Windows

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The Windows File Sharing tool allows you to share files over the local network. All you need to do is enable the tool and configure some settings. However, this tool often runs into issues and displays error messages like, “File Sharing is not working.”


In this article, we’ll show you how to fix the Windows File Sharing tool when it suddenly malfunctions.


In most cases, this error message pops up if File Sharing is disabled. So, an easy way out is to re-enable the tool.

Here are the steps for enabling the File Sharing tool:

  1. Type Control Panel in the Start menu search bar and select the Best match.
  2. Click the View by drop-down menu and select Small icons.
  3. Select Network and Sharing Center.
  4. Click the Change advanced sharing settings option.
  5. Expand the Private category.
  6. Scroll down to the Network discovery section and select the Turn on network discovery option.
  7. Scroll down to the File and printer sharing section and select the Turn on file and printer sharing option. From there, press the Save changes button at the bottom.

Finally, restart your device and try running the File Sharing tool.

2. Disable the “Password Protected Sharing” Option

File Sharing might run into issues depending on how you’ve configured some settings. For example, the issue at hand might be caused by the fact that you’ve enabled the “password-protected sharing” option.

When password-protected sharing is enabled, only the people who have a user account on your device can access your shared files.

To get rid of the issue, disable the “password protected sharing” option through these steps:

  1. Type Control Panel in the Start menu search bar and select the Best match.
  2. Click the View by drop-down menu and select Small icons.
  3. Select Network and Sharing Center.
  4. Click the Change advanced sharing settings option.
  5. Expand the All Networks category.
  6. Scroll down to the Password protected sharing section and select Turn off password protected sharing.
  7. Press the Save changes button.

3. Use a Different File Sharing Connection

The issue at hand might be caused by the File Sharing connection you’re using.

Your device likely uses 128-bit encryption to protect File Sharing connections. However, some Windows devices don’t support 128-bit encryption and use either 40- or 56-bit encryption.

To resolve the problem, you’d have to change the encryption level for File Sharing connections.

Here’s how to switch to a different File Sharing connection on Windows:

  1. Type Control Panel in the Start menu search bar and select the Best match.
  2. Click the View by drop-down menu and select Small icons.
  3. Select Network and Sharing Center.
  4. Click the Change advanced sharing settings option.
  5. Expand the All Networks menu and scroll to the File sharing connections section.
  6. Select the 40- or 56- bit encryption option and then press the Save changes button at the bottom.

4. Enable the “SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support” Option

In some instances, you’ll usually bump into the issue at hand if the “SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support” feature is disabled.

Simply put, SMB (Server Message Block) is a network protocol that allows Windows devices within the same network to share files.

To resolve the problem, enable the “SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support” option through these steps:

  1. Type Control Panel in the Start menu search bar and select the Best match.
  2. Click the View by drop-down menu and select Small icons.
  3. Select Programs and Features.
  4. Click the Turn Windows features on or off option on the left.
  5. Check the SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support option and press OK.

Finally, restart your device to save these changes.

5. Enable the “File Sharing” Option in the Windows Firewall Settings

The Windows Firewall might also be the reason you’re experiencing the issue at hand. In most cases, you might find that the “File Sharing” option is disabled within the Firewall settings.

So, you can tackle the problem by enabling the “File Sharing” option through these steps:

  1. Type Windows Security in the Start menu search bar and select the Best match.
  2. Select the Firewall & network protection option on the right-hand side.
  3. Click the Allow an app through firewall option.
  4. Check the File and Printer Sharing option and then press OK.

6. Configure the Network Connections Service Settings

The File Sharing connection issue might sometimes stem from the Windows service settings. For example, it might be caused by the way you’ve configured the Network Connections service settings.

In this instance, here’s how you can resolve the problem:

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run command dialog box.
  2. Type services.msc and press Enter to open the Services window.
  3. Right-click on the Network Connections service and select Properties.
  4. Click the Startup type drop-down menu and select Automatic.
  5. Press the Start button. From there, press Apply and then press OK.

Finally, restart your computer to save these changes.

7. Use the Relevant Built-In Troubleshooters

In some cases, the “File Sharing is not working” error might be caused by connection issues. So, an easy way out in this case is to run the relevant Windows built-in troubleshooters.

For example, you could tackle the problem by using the Internet Connections, Network Adapters, and Incoming Connections troubleshooters.

Here are the steps for running the Internet Connections troubleshooter:

  1. Type Troubleshoot settings in the Start menu search bar and select the Best match.
  2. Select Additional troubleshooters on the right-hand side.
  3. Click the Internet Connections troubleshooter and then press Run the troubleshooter.

If the problem persists, try running the Network Adapters troubleshooter through these steps:

  1. Open the Troubleshoot settings window by following the previous steps.
  2. Click the Network Adapters troubleshooter and then press Run the troubleshooter.

As a last resort, you could try running the Incoming Connections troubleshooter.

Here are the steps for running this tool:

  1. Open the Troubleshoot settings window by following the previous steps.
  2. Click the Incoming Connections troubleshooter and then press Run the troubleshooter.

Restart your PC to apply all these changes.

8. Repair Your PC’s Network Drivers

Still struggling to resolve the issue? Maybe your system has some incompatible or corrupted network drivers.

In this case, you could tackle the problem by either updating or reinstalling your PC’s faulty network drivers.

Here are the steps for updating the Windows network drivers:

  1. Type Device Manager in the Start menu search bar and select the Best match.
  2. Double-click on the Network adapters option.
  3. Right-click on the relevant network driver. For example, it might be named “Intel (R) Dual Band Wireless-AC” or something similar.
  4. Select Update driver from the options.
  5. Select Search automatically for updated driver software on the next screen and follow the on-screen steps.

If this doesn’t resolve the issue, try reinstalling the Network adapters through these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Network adapters option by following the previous steps.
  2. Right-click on the relevant network adapter and select Uninstall device.
  3. Click the Action tab in the top-left corner and select Scan for hardware changes.

Follow the on-screen instructions and then restart your device to save these changes.

Your “File Sharing” Problems Are Over

There’s no denying that File Sharing is quite an incredible feature. However, this tool often runs into various problems.

If File Sharing pops up error messages, try fixing it using any of the solutions we’ve covered. Otherwise, you might want to check out the other methods for transferring files between computers.



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