Section 49. Access Shared Folders and Open Shared Files

49. Access Shared Folders and Open Shared Files


About My Network Places

Verify Workgroup Membership and Access Network Neighborhood

About Accessing Network Resources

Shared folders can be quickly accessed from the My Network Places window. The My Network Places icon is available on the Start menu; click it to open the My Network Places window (which is similar to the My Computer window; both are actually opened using the Windows Explorer application, which is used to browse the contents of your computer or network). If you want to place the My Network Places icon on your Windows XP desktop, right-click the My Network Places icon on the Start menu and select Show on Desktop from the context menu that appears.

After you open a shared folder, you have access to all the files contained in that folder. You can edit, delete, and move files in a folder only if the user sharing the folder allowed workgroup users to change the files in the share by selecting the Allow network users to change my files check box on the Sharing tab of the folder's Properties dialog box. Be advised that if the files have been shared so that you can't change the files; the only way you can edit a read-only shared file is to copy the file to your computer, where you can then treat the file as you would any other file on your computer.


Although you can access files in a shared folder, you can't change any of the share settings related to the shared folder. For example, if the user who shared the folder didn't select the Allow network users to change my files check box when the share was created, there is no way you can change this share attribute. Only the user on the computer who created the share can change the share attributes. This also means that the user who created the share is the only one who can "turn off" the sharing on a particular shared folder. Because the sharing of folders in a workgroup is decentralized (meaning that each computerand that computer's userscontrols the resources it shares), and because workgroups do not have servers or network administrators, there is no way to override the sharing preferences sent on each individual computer or host in the workgroup.

Access Shared Folders and Open Shared Files

Access My Network Places

Click the Start button and then select My Network Places. This opens the My Network Places window. Shares available on workgroup computers will appear in the window. You can tell which are icons for remote shares (shares not on the computer) by the fact that they have a small network "T" (an upside-down T, denoting a network resource) at the bottom of the icon. Shares you have shared on the computer appear as regular folders in the My Network Places window.

Open Shared Folder

To open a particular share (folder), double-click the icon for that folder in the My Network Places window. The shared folder opens, and the contents of the folder are displayed.

Open Shared File

Double-click any file shown in the shared folder to open that file. The file opens in the application that is configured on your computer for that file type. For example, a Word document opens in Microsoft Word; a picture opens in your default picture-editing software (which can be an application such as Microsoft Paint). If the creator of the share did not allow changes to be made to the shared files (that is, if the file has read-only access), you cannot make changes to the file unless you first save it under a new name on your computer.


You cannot run executable files over the network. You cannot run programs installed on another computer (other than installation programs that install the software on your computer) from shared folders.

Home Wireless Networking in a Snap
Home Wireless Networking in a Snap
ISBN: 0672327023
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2007
Pages: 158
Authors: Joe Habraken © 2008-2017.
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