How to Share Files & Folders With DOS Commands


Windows is a complicated operating system and doesn't always work flawlessly, which means you may have to work around some weaknesses to achieve certain tasks. If you have been trying to share folders on Windows but keep encountering problems, you might want to consider opening a command prompt and giving the DOS commands a try.

  • Turn on your computer and log into an administrator account.

  • Click “Start.”

  • Click “Run” in Windows XP. In Windows Vista and Windows 7, click “All Programs,” scroll down and click on the “Accessories folder.”

  • Type in “cmd” and press enter in Windows XP. In Windows Vista and Windows 7, right-click on the cmd.exe icon, click “Run as administrator” and click “Yes.”

  • Type in “cd C:\” — without the quotes — and press \"Enter.\" If you would like to create a folder to share on a different drive, replace ‘C’ with that drive’s letter.

  • Type in MKDIR or MD and then type ‘ “shared folder” ’, making sure to have quotes around the words “shared folder.” Alternatively, you can type whatever name you would like.

  • Type ‘net share “shared folder”=C:\“shared folder\" ', being sure to change the drive letter and folder name if you are using different ones.

Tips & Warnings

  • While you cannot specify an individual file to be shared under Windows’ sharing protocols, you can create a shared folder and store a single file there.
  • If you create a directory with the wrong name, navigate to that directory’s root and type in “rd C:\\shared folder”, replacing “C:\\” and “shared folder” with the appropriate drive and directory name in order to delete the directory.
  • Want to share from a folder that already exists? Go to the root directory of the drive you would like to share from—for example, type “cd C:\\” —and type in “dir.” From the list, type in “cd” followed by the name of the folder that your shared folder is under, and press \"Enter.\" Repeat this process until you find your folder. Then, without opening the folder itself, go to Step 7 above and follow the instructions.
  • When using DOS, make sure every keystroke is identical to the one listed. Otherwise, the command won’t work. Be especially careful with the “/” and “\\” keys and spaces.
  • When sharing a directory, all files and folders from within that folder become available to people in your work group or domain. Be careful to not put private files or folders into a shared directory.

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  • Photo Credit Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images
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