You do not have permission to access a shared folder on another computer

This is a common error seen on Windows: you shared a folder on a computer, and when trying to access the folder from another computer, you received above error message.

Most documents and online articles suggest two solutions: join both computers into a HomeGroup, or use same account (username/password combination) on both computer.

Today I tried to setup a share on a computer so that it can be accessed by anybody, without typing in username/password or joining HomeGroup. I made sure that:

  • File and printer sharing was turned on for the profile (it doesn’t need to be private);
  • Password protected sharing was turned off (this will allow the local computer being accessed using guest account);
  • Folder sharing was enabled with Everyone granted read access;

Then I went to another machine and tried to access the folder. The folder was visible but I tried to open it, Windows displayed “you do not have permission to access …”.

Crap. It took me 15 minutes until I realized Windows was tell me exactly the source of the problem: the guest account doesn’t have permission to access the folder. For whatever reason, after I granted read access to Everyone using Share tab in Windows Explorer, Windows didn’t modify the permission in NTFS. In the Security tab, only authenticated users, SYSTEM, administrators and Users are in the list. After I added Everyone into the list with Read control only, the problem went away and I can access the shared folder from any computer without entering username/password.

I might be missing a setting or something, I am wondering whether should Windows update NTFS permission automatically after sharing was enabled or disabled.

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Posted on October 2, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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