Windows 11 File Sharing Made Easy: Connecting PCs on a Home Network


“How can I establish a successful file-sharing connection between two Windows 11 computers on the same home Wi-Fi network? Despite enabling network discovery, file and printer sharing, and verifying connectivity through pinging, I encounter issues with network credentials or incorrect path errors when attempting to access files on my laptop from my desktop. Both computers are visible to each other, and I’ve ensured that the necessary folders are shared. However, I’m uncertain about the network credentials required, as they don’t seem to correspond with the PIN or Microsoft account password used for logging in. What steps can I take to resolve this and simplify the process?”


Ensure that both computers are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Check the network profile on both computers and make sure it is set to ‘Private’. This setting allows for file and printer sharing on the network.

Step 2: Check File Sharing Options

On both computers, navigate to ‘Network and Sharing Center’ > ‘Change advanced sharing settings’. Confirm that ‘Turn on network discovery’ and ‘Turn on file and printer sharing’ options are enabled.

Step 3: Set Up Folder Sharing

Right-click on the folder you want to share, select ‘Properties’, go to the ‘Sharing’ tab, and click on ‘Share…’. Add ‘Everyone’ or the specific user account and set the permission level to ‘Read/Write’.

Step 4: Address Network Credentials Issue

The network credentials are usually the username and password of the account on the computer that hosts the shared folder. If you’re unsure about the credentials:

  • Go to ‘Control Panel’ > ‘User Accounts’ > ‘Manage your credentials’.
  • Select ‘Windows Credentials’ and add a new Windows credential with the host computer’s name, the username, and the password.

Step 5: Resolve Incorrect Path Errors

Ensure the path you’re using to access the shared folder is correct. It should follow the format: `\\ComputerName\SharedFolderName`. You can find the computer name in ‘System’ settings under ‘About’.

Step 6: Disable Password Protected Sharing

If you continue to face issues, try disabling ‘Password protected sharing’ in ‘Network and Sharing Center’ > ‘Change advanced sharing settings’.

Step 7: Restart Both Computers

After making these changes, restart both computers to ensure all settings are refreshed and applied.

Step 8: Test the Connection

Try accessing the shared folder again. If all steps were followed correctly, you should now have access to the files on the laptop from the desktop.

If you continue to experience issues, consider checking firewall settings or consulting with a professional for further assistance. Remember, the key to successful file sharing is ensuring that both computers have the correct settings and that the network credentials match the account details of the computer hosting the shared files. Keep your system updated, and regularly check your sharing settings to maintain a seamless connection.

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