How to view a list with all shared network folders in Windows

Some of our readers wanted an answer to the question: "Where can I see listed all the folders I've shared on my Windows computer or device?" We thought it was a really good question and we decided to answer it. We have two alternatives to share: one using Windows Explorer for Windows 7 or File Explorer for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, and one using Computer Management , which works in all versions of Windows . Let's see how this is done:

How to view your shared folders using Windows Explorer in Windows 7

The simplest method for viewing the folders that you have shared in Windows 7 is to open Windows Explorer. Click Network and then the name of your Windows 7 computer. You will see a list with all the folders shared by your computer with the network.

The problem with this view is that it doesn't show hidden shares and doesn't give too much information about how each folder is shared. However, you can right click on each folder and then click Properties.

This opens the Properties window of the selected shared folder. You can use it to access more information about how the folder is shared, the security settings it has and so on.

Even though this works, it is not an elegant way of viewing your shared folders and managing them. There is a much better alternative that you will find on page two of this tutorial.

How to view your shared folders using File Explorer in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10

In Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, the procedure is the same, only the tool that you are using has a different name and look. Open File Explorer and go to the Network section. There, click or tap your computer's name and your shared folders are displayed.

To view the properties of a shared folder, select it and then click or tap the Properties button, in the Open section from the Home tab, on the ribbon.

Alternatively, you can right-click or press and hold the shared folder that you are interested in and, in the contextual menu, click or tap Properties.

The Properties window is opened for the selected folder. Here you can learn more about how that folder is shared, its security settings and so on.

Now that you know how to view your shared folders using Windows Explorer for Windows 7 or File Explorer for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, go to the next page of this guide and learn the best way of listing all the folders that you have shared on your computer.

How to view your shared folders using Computer Management

The best tool for this task is named Computer Management. You can open it in many ways and you can find a complete tutorial about how it works and how to start it, here: Reasons why Computer Management is our favorite administrative tool.

On the left side of the Computer Management window, there is a column with lots of sections. Navigate to "System Tools -> Shared Folders -> Shares". The central white panel in the Computer Management window loads a list with all the folders and partitions shared by your computer. There you see both the folders you shared and the default shares of Windows, like C$ and D$, representing the partitions found on your computer.

You can also view the default remote administration shares created by Windows , like ADMIN$.

For each shared folder and partition, you see the official share name (as it will be viewed by others on the network, if not hidden), the exact folder path, the type of share, the number of connections made from the network to that folder and a short description (if available).

If you double click or tap on a shared folder, you get access to its Properties window, from which you can manage different sharing parameters like its share name, description, the maximum number of users that are allowed to connect to the shared folder simultaneously and so on.

If you go to the Share Permissions tab in the Properties window you can view and set which users and user groups have access to the shared folder and the type of access that each of them has.

Clicking or tapping the Sessions link, on the left side column of the Computer Management window, shows a list with all the users that are currently connected to your network shares. For each user you can see the computer from where the connection is made, how many files he or she has opened, the time since the connection was initiated and so on.

In the same column, the Open Files link shows all the files and folders that are accessed by the users who are connected to your network shares.

All this is really useful information, isn't it?


As always with Windows operating systems, there's more than one way of doing something. Try both the methods that we have showed you in this guide and, in the comments below, let us know which one works best for you.