How to Turn On or Off Public folder Sharing in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to turn On or Off Public folder Sharing in Windows 11. By default, Windows creates a Public folder under the C:\Users directory that contains Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures and Video subfolders.

Whatever you add in the Public folder are automatically shared with other users on the computer. These folders are created and remained empty until items are placed in them. They can help users get organized in Windows, especially if you want consistent view across multiple accounts.

When you turn on Public folder sharing in Windows 11, other connected devices on the same network will be able to search, discover and access these folders. If change permissions are given, users will be able to view, and change the content of the Public folder.

Public folder sharing is turned off by default. When sharing is off, only users on the computer can access them locally.

How to enable or disable public folder sharing on Windows 11

As mentioned above, Public folder sharing is feature in Windows that allows other connected devices on the same network will be able to search, discover and access these folders.

Below is how one can turn on or off Public folder sharing in Windows 11.

Windows 11 has a centralized location for majority of its settings. From system configurations to creating new users and updating Windows, all can be done from its Settings app.

To get to System Settings, you can use the Windows key + i shortcut or click on Start ==> Settings as shown in the image below:

windows 11 start settings

Alternatively, you can use the search box on the taskbar and search for Settings. Then select to open it.

Windows Settings pane should look similar to the image below. In Windows Settings, click Network & internet tile to expand it.

windows 11 network internet pane

On the Network & internet settings pane, select Advanced network settings tile at the bottom to expand it.

windows 11 advanced network settings

On the Advanced network settings pane, under More settings, select the Advanced sharing settings tile to expand it.

windows 11 advanced sharing settings tile

On Advanced sharing settings pane, click on All networks tile to expand it.

Under All networks, toggle the button to the On or Off position to enable or disable Public folder sharing as highlighted below.

turn on public sharing in windows 11

That should do it.

You can now exit the Sittings app.

The Public folder should now be accessible remotely.

turn on or off public folder windows 11

Related Public folder sharing posts:

That should do it!

Conclusion:

This post showed students and new users steps to turn on or off Public folder sharing in Windows 11. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.

1 Comment

  1. Hello,

    I just followed your directions. The option now seems to have been eliminated. I double-checked by searching for “public folders.” It returned no results.

    For reference, I am running Win 11 21H2, upgraded from Win 10 21H2 on 6/20/22, with Experience Pack 1000.22000.739.0.

    Would you kindly consider going through your exercise with different computers running Win 11?

    Thank you,

    Angel

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