How To Network Two Computers in Windows 10

Windows 10 users wanting to share files with other members of their household, or coworkers in a small office, often relied on HomeGroup, a technology that allowed you to share resources on a small local network. But the Windows 10 April 2018 update (version 1803) discontinued this service.

How To Network Two Computers in Windows 10

You can still accomplish the same tasks, but as a replacement, you need to use the Windows 10 built-in sharing tools like OneDrive, Share, and Nearby Sharing. In this article, we’ll walk you through getting connected.

Sharing Files Using File Explorer

Before we get started, it’s important to note that the devices must be on the same network to communicate. Just like how a radio antenna picks up only on the signal that it’s tuned to, computer networks also operate on different frequencies and channels to help prevent interference.

Sharing a file to someone in your house–or across the globe–is easy, here’s how.

  1. Just open File Explorer (Windows key + E), and find the file you’d like to share. You can select multiple files if you wish.
  2. Then, click the Share tab, and you’ll see the Share button in the upper left corner of the window.
  3. When you click this button, a dialog box will open, asking you to select the sharing method, which includes Email, Nearby sharing, or a Microsoft Store app. Clicking on Tap to turn on nearby sharing will allow you to share with any nearby computer running the Windows 10 April 2018 update or later with compatible Bluetooth adapters.

Sharing a Drive Using File Explorer

As mentioned below in the comments by WhipScorpion, you can also share a whole drive over the network.

Here’s how to share a drive in Windows 10.

  1. Right-click on the drive you want to share and select Give access to > Advanced sharing… Windows Drive menu
  2. Now, within the Sharing tab, click on Advanced Sharing… File Properties
  3. Then, click on the Share this folder checkbox. File Properties - Sharing
  4. Next, click on Permissions to adjust the read/write access for the drive. File Properties - Sharing 2
  5. From here, set the permissions how you need them, click Apply and then OK
    File Permissions
  6. Finally, click OK to close the window.

Sharing Files with OneDrive

Here’s how to share files stored on OneDrive.

  1. Open the File Explorer, navigate to your OneDrive folder, right-click on the file you want to share, and then select Share a OneDrive link.
  2. This will create a unique link to the file location in OneDrive which will be copied to your clipboard. You can then paste that link into an email message, or share it however you like. Only people with that link will have access to the file.

Below the Share a OneDrive link contextual menu item, you’ll find a choice for More OneDrive sharing options. This will allow you to set permissions for the shared file, including the ability to edit, setting an expiration date, setting a password, and sharing via social media.

Networking Computers with Windows 10

For most people, these methods will be all you need to get those documents into other people’s hands. Remember to check your file permissions and network settings when setting up file/drive sharing.

Are you creating a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device or a more reliable backup storage solution for your files and pictures? Share your thoughts below.

15 thoughts on “How To Network Two Computers in Windows 10”

Barrett Leibe says:
MS apparently wants you to use its server or cloud server. I use a Seagate drive with NAS (networked attach server) to share files. You could configure any old computer as a server. To access the other computers on your network, use any of several remote desktop programs such as Google or MSP360.
Tracy Cook says:
I have two laptops, no desktop. So, wi-fi does the trick around the house (until some drunk driver wipes out the cable box out on the curb). And even if one goes with me somewhere, I tether from my phone if I need to. Whichever way, I share what I need through One Drive. As much as I despise even the sound of the word forming on someone’s lips to the point where I want to wipe it off their face with a Louisville Slugger… um, yeah. So anyway, that’s my thought.
WhipScorpion says:
My desk top connects to the router with cable. My lap top connects to the router by Wi-Fi. They are so integrated that it is like sitting at one machine.
The guy here talks about “file” sharing. What the guy here does not say, nor anyone else, is that you can share your whole stinking C:\ hard drive.
Shea says:
You’re talking about sharing like you used to be able to do in Win 7, but how do you configure that when both PCs now have Win 10?
Kenneth Bush says:
I have 3 ethernet-connected Windows 10 machines. One is relatively new with a clean Windows 10 install. The other two were updated to Version 2004. Computer A cannnot see B but sees C. C sees A. B sees C, but not A. A cannot connect to C, even though all are in the same workgroup, private network (same router), network discovery on, file & printer sharing on, and password-protected sharing off. I’ve tried all the suggested fixes: Use passwords, not PINs. Make sure certain services are running. Disable IPV6. Made sure that all folders to be shared were for everyone’s access. Nothing works. I asked for help on the Microsoft Community website, but was told to move my inquiry to the TechNet site. Never heard a reply from anyone.

I will revert to Windows 8.1 (still supported and still functions quite well with a classic menu app), and see who sees what. Maybe the fix for the version 2004 upgrade will solve all the problems. Too bad there isn’t alternative networking software available for home use.

James Mooney says:
This is rotten. I have huge files that will take forever to upload to Onedrive, and won’t even fit on a USB. Windows Sux Again. Go Linux!
Chris Morris says:
After beating my head on this problem for a long time I finally found a solution. I have 6 networked computers (all Win 10, latest version -1909) each with several partitioned drives. Some computers could see another (often in one direction only), some could access files … others couldn’t. This was never a problem under XP and sought of worked with the “Homegroup”. Then Microsoft took the Homegroup away and everything turned to [email protected]#$.

Sharing didn’t work. Setting access via the Credential Manager didn’t work I tried many posted solutions but they didn’t work (ever notice how many posted solutions don’t work because Microsoft keep moving/hiding operational functions. They are usually there somewhere, the trick is to find them).

Finally, I came up with this method. It requires taking away ALL local security, but it was the only way I could get it to work. Well done Microsoft … every time you release a new Win 10 version you break something (or deliberately block it) .

Follows these steps …

1. Make sure your network has Network Discovery and File and Printer Sharing turned on.
2. Make sure the drive(s) you want to access on the networked computer is “Shared”.
3. Select each drive (right click) and open “Properties”.
4. Go to the “Security” tab and click the “Edit” button.
5. Click the “Add…” button and add a new group “Everyone” (you have to type it).
6. Give “Everyone” Full Control and “Apply” (it will run through the files and may take a while).
7. Repeat the above for all drives you want to access (if you have partitions).

It’s crap that you have to take away ALL security to get access to a networked computer.

8. On each computer the Credential Manager will ask for the Username and Password of the networked computer you want to access.
9. Enter these and check the Remember box (it won’t ask again if you enter them correctly).
10. You should now have access to the networked computer and all shared drives and files.

Final Comment: I always though that how I configure, run and secure my computer was up to me. But, with each new version of Windows Microsoft seem hell bent on taking away more and more control (notice how they now hide the Control Panel). Based on past experience the cynical side of me thinks that if Microsoft see this post they will likely change security permissions to block you doing the above. I hope I’m wrong!

Rob McRobface says:
Windows 10 sucks

My wife’s computer is running Windows 10 while I still use Windows 7 on my computer. The ease with which I do things like networking in Windows 7 makes Windows 10 look like a sick pile of dog****

BTW, for those of you who are now saying “Oh noooo, Windows 7 – you’re unsafe!”, I say, “Try these new-fangled things called antivirus/antiransom software, and hardware firewalls.”

WhipScorpion says:
It took me 5 days to figure out what you said. My desk top connects by CAT-5 to the router. My lap top connects by Wi-Fi to the router. I know what I did, but I could never tell anyone else how to do it.
It was worth the effort. Now my two machines are as one.
RJB Phillips III says:
I have use Windows 7 Homegroup for a number of years, It is much needed to do my job as I could get information from them as needed for doing my job. First I find you robbem me of the Briefcase and now the Homegroup Windows is not advancing it is declining. very disappointed in you folks.
Clarence Hornung says:
The short answer is “you can’t network on windows 10”. This sucks, I wish I still had windows 7 on my computers. I think that was the best one Microsoft made.
Brian says:
Duh! I like the term who to share with when other PCs don’t show up. Even if they did the diaglog does not show users on other PCs so what are they taking about?
Jeff says:
Onedrive sucks. We need to be able to do the same way we did it with Windows 7.
mike says:
maybe Microsoft wants you to buy their server software
Nena says:
I have three windows 10 laptops and each of them created their own wifi connection to the same router. One is called UPC789, another UPC789 2 and the third one UPC789 6. All three connected to the same router and wifi network UPC789 and none of them see each other. So how to put them into the same homegroup so that they can see each other, when there is no option of creating a homegroup? Incredible.
aud says:
no homegroup on windows 10
lolwut says:
You lost me at Web network adapter

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