How to Access Shared Folder on Network Windows 11: Step-by-Step Guide

how to access shared folder on network windows 11

Accessing a shared folder on a network in Windows 11 is as simple as locating the networked device, entering the correct credentials if prompted, and opening the folder you need. This guide will walk you through each step, ensuring you can easily share files across your network.

Step-by-Step Tutorial for Accessing Shared Folder on Network Windows 11

In this section, we’ll break down the process of accessing a shared folder on a network using Windows 11. Each step is designed to help you navigate through the operating system smoothly and efficiently.

Step 1: Open File Explorer

Click on the File Explorer icon on the taskbar to open it.
Opening File Explorer is the first step as it allows you to navigate through your computer and the network. It’s like opening the drawer where all your files are stored.

Step 2: Click on Network

On the left sidebar, click on "Network."
Clicking on "Network" will display all the devices connected to your network. It’s like entering a room where all your devices are gathered.

Step 3: Find the Computer with the Shared Folder

Locate the computer that has the shared folder you want to access.
Finding the right computer is crucial because that’s where the shared folder is stored. Imagine looking for a specific friend at a party.

Step 4: Double-Click on the Computer

Double-click on the computer’s icon to open it.
Double-clicking will prompt you to enter credentials if required. This step is like knocking on the door and waiting for someone to let you in.

Step 5: Enter Network Credentials, If Prompted

Enter the username and password if a login window appears.
Entering credentials ensures that only authorized users can access the shared folder. It’s like giving the secret password to get into an exclusive club.

Step 6: Navigate to the Shared Folder

Navigate through the folders until you find the shared one.
Once you’re in, you can browse through the folders to find the one shared with you. Think of it as exploring different rooms in a house to find the one with the treasure.

Step 7: Double-Click to Open the Shared Folder

Double-click on the shared folder to access its contents.
Finally, double-click to open the folder and access its files. It’s like unlocking a chest to see the goodies inside.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you should be able to freely access and use the files in the shared folder as if they were on your own computer.

Tips for Accessing Shared Folder on Network Windows 11

  • Ensure that your network is set to Private, not Public, for easier sharing.
  • Disable any firewall settings that may block network discovery.
  • Keep your Windows 11 updated to avoid compatibility issues.
  • Use strong and unique passwords for network access to keep your data secure.
  • If you frequently access shared folders, consider mapping them as network drives for quick access.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do if the network computer does not show up?

Ensure that network discovery is enabled on both computers and that both are connected to the same network.

Why am I being prompted for credentials?

This is for security purposes. Make sure you have the correct username and password.

How can I make the shared folder easier to access in the future?

Map the shared folder as a network drive, so it appears in File Explorer under "This PC."

What if I can’t find the "Network" option in File Explorer?

Make sure network discovery is turned on and that you’re connected to the network.

Can I access shared folders on a different operating system?

Yes, but the steps may vary slightly. Ensure both devices are properly connected and discoverable.

Summary of Steps for Accessing Shared Folder on Network Windows 11

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Click on Network.
  3. Find the computer with the shared folder.
  4. Double-click on the computer.
  5. Enter network credentials if prompted.
  6. Navigate to the shared folder.
  7. Double-click to open the shared folder.


Accessing a shared folder on a network in Windows 11 might seem like a daunting task, but it’s pretty straightforward once you get the hang of it. By following the steps outlined above, you’ll be able to seamlessly share and access files across different computers on the same network.

Remember, keeping your network secure and your system updated is crucial for a smooth experience. Whether you’re working on a school project or sharing family photos, networked folders make sharing so much easier. If you run into any issues, don’t hesitate to refer back to the FAQ section or consult the tips provided. Happy sharing!

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy