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How to know if a folder is shared in Windows 10

Starting with Windows 7 and continuing with Windows 8/10, Microsoft has removed the functionality according to which, once shared a folder, it would have changed the folder icon so that it could immediately say that it was shared.

Instead, they moved this information into the box Details, which appears at the bottom of Windows Explorer in Windows 7. It makes it difficult for us to find shared folders on the PC.

In Windows 8, also quite ugly! Even when you select the folder, the Details panel doesn't even tell you that in sharing! Instead, you have to click on the Sharing tab on the ribbon interface and if it says " Stop sharing "means that the folder is currently shared. What a royal pain!

Turning to Windows 10, things are even worse! The sharing tab has only one button Remove access, but fixed and does not change even if the shared folder or not.

After playing around with Explorer a bit, I managed to figure out two ways to partially solve my problem. A simpler way and it does not imply having to change anything. The second method is a two-part process: firstly, you can add a column to Explorer that will tell you whether a shared folder or not and secondly, it applies that view to all folders that use the same folder model. Here's how to do it.

Use the network browser to view shared folders

If you want to quickly see which folders are shared by your computer, you can go to Explorer in Windows 10 and click Network in the left panel.

As you can see, I will provide you with a list of computers, devices, etc. On your network. In the computer section, you should also see the name of the computer you are working on. In my case, my custom CyberPowerPC machine.

Double click on the computer and you will see a list of all shared folders.

Add column to Explorer in Windows 10

The second method is a little more involved and not the best solution in general, but it works. Go to the folder where you want to be able to see if the folders within that folder are shared or not.

For example, if you have shared folders in Documents, go to the Documents folder and then right-click immediately to the right of the header of the last column:

Then go ahead and click Other . Now you will get a giant list of additional columns that you can add to Explorer. Scroll down to S where you will see four sharing fields.

These include Shared, Shared with, Sharing is Sharing . You can add them all if you wish, but if you only want to get an S or No answer for each folder, check the box shared . Now you will see the extra column and it will have one Y per se if shared and one N not if not shared.

So fantastic, but the moment you close explorer and return to the folder, you will see that the Shared column is gone. This is because you have not applied it to all folders. To do this, you have to click on Options and then on Change folder and search options .

Now click on the tab View and click Apply to folders .

This will apply that view to all folders of the same type. By the same type, it means all folders that use the same folder model. In Windows 7 and Windows 8/10, each folder on the system is based on a folder model. You can view the template for a folder by right-clicking on the folder and choosing properties .

Go to the file Customize and you will see that folder optimized for a certain type of file model. These include documents, images, videos, music and general objects. So if you add a new column to the Pictures folder and then Apply to folders as shown above, the new column will only be displayed on folders optimized for pictures. Does this make sense?

So this is just a small warning which can be quite confusing if you add a column and then suddenly you don't see that column in certain folders while navigating in Explorer. If you want to see the shared column on practically every folder starting from the root of drive C, the best thing to do is go to C: and add the shared column there. Then go to Folder and look for options and Apply to folders . Since the root of drive C uses the General Items template, the Shared column will be displayed on all folders except Videos, Music and Pictures.

The only other place where you won't see additional columns in Libraries. For libraries, you can add columns, but Windows does not allow you to save them by clicking the Apply to folders option. This is a bit annoying, but the way Windows 7 and Windows 8/10 work! Hopefully this helps you find shared folders on your Windows 10 PC a little faster than before. To enjoy!