File Sharing Configuration

File sharing means you are allowing other users on the network to access your files on a shared folder. Once a folder is shared, all the files under that folder can be accessed on the network.


Choose the operating system that you are using:

Windows XP

I'll be showing instructions on how to use Simple File Sharing in Windows XP Home/Professional editions. Windows XP Home edition always have this feature enabled. In Windows XP Professional, you have to enable this feature.

The steps below show how to enable the Simple File Sharing in Windows XP Professional edition:

  1. Right click Start menu then click Explore.
  2. Click Tools menu then click Folder Options.

Simple File Sharing

  1. Place a check mark next to Use simple file sharing (Recommended) then click OK.

There are five levels of permissions when sharing files in Windows XP. You may skip to File Sharing Setup for Quickbooks to proceed on setting up your files and folders for multi-user access but it's nice to know these five levels.

You can use Simple File Sharing to configure these five levels of access:

  1. Level 1: My Documents (Private)
  • The option to make a folder private is available only to user account in its own My Documents folder.
  • This level of access will make your My Documents folder private meaning you are the only one who can access it.
  • This level is the most private and and secure setting.
  • When a folder is marked as private all subfolders that are contained in this folder will remain private unless you change the parent folder permissions.

Follow the steps below to configure a folder to Level 1:

  1. Right click the folder you want to configure.
  2. Click Sharing and Security.
  3. Select the Make this Folder Private check box then click OK.

Private Folder

  1. Level 2: My Documents (Default)
  • Aside from you as the owner, the Computer Administrator have read and write permission to this folder.
  • This is the default setting for all the folders and files in each user's My Documents folder.

Follow the steps below to configure a folder to Level 2:

  1. Right click the folder you want to configure.
  2. Click Sharing and Security.
  3. Make sure that the Make this Folder Private and Share this folder on the network check boxes are both cleared, then click OK.

File Sharing Level 2

  1. Level 3: Files in Shared Documents available to local users
  • Local Computer Administrators can read, write, and delete the files in the Shared Documents folder.
  • Restricted Users can only read the files in the Shared Documents folder.
  • The configuration of this level does not change when you turn on or off Simple File Sharing.

Follow the steps below to configure a folder to Level 3:

  1. Open Windows Explorer (Click Start then right click My Computer then click Explore).
  2. Then copy or move the folders to the Shared Documents folder under My Computer.

File Sharing Level 3

  1. Level 4: Shared on the Network (Read-Only)
  • In this access level, files are shared for everyone to read on the network but they cannot modify the contents.

Follow the steps below to configure a folder to Level 4:

  1. Right click the folder you want to configure.
  2. Click Sharing and Security.
  3. Click Share this folder on the network check box to place a check mark.
  4. Click to clear the Allow network users to change my files check box then click OK.

File Sharing Level 4

  1. Level 5: Shared on the Network (Read and Write)
  • This is the access level that you need for sharing files in Quickbooks.
  • Any user (local or remote) can read, write, change or delete a file or folder shared at this access level.
  • This access level is the most public and the most changeable setting.

Follow the steps below to configure a folder to Level 5:

  1. Right click the folder you want to configure.
  2. Click Sharing and Security.
  3. Click Share this folder on the network check box to place a check mark.
  4. Click Allow network users to change my files check box to place a check mark then click OK.

File Sharing Level 5

Sharing Files for Quickbooks (Windows XP)

Sharing files in Quickbooks is in Level 5 permission. You have to share the folder and allow them to change the Quickbooks company file. Follow the steps below to use the Simple File Sharing to share your Quickbooks company file:

  1. Go to the folder where your Quickbooks company file is saved (e.g. through Windows Explorer).
  2. Right click the folder and click Sharing and Security.
  3. Click Share this folder on the network check box to place a check mark.
  4. Click Allow network users to change my files check box to place a check mark then click OK.

File Sharing Level 5

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Windows Vista

Before you can proceed on sharing files in Windows Vista you have to make sure that the Network Discovery and File Sharing features are enabled. To enable these features follow the steps below:

  1. Click Start button Start Button Vista > click Control Panel > click Set up file sharing.

Vista Control Panel

  1. If Network Discovery or File Sharing is off, click the arrow button to expand the selection then click Turn on network discovery or Turn on file sharing then click Apply.

Vista Sharing Discovery Off

Vista Network Discovery

Vista File Sharing

Now that you have enabled those features, it's time to share the Quickbooks company files. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the location of the folder where you Quickbooks company file is saved.
  2. Right click that folder then click Share.

Vista Share

  1. A dialog box will show up, click the dropdown arrow next to the text box then select to whom you want to share the folder then click Add.
  1. You can set the Permission Level for each user that you add in the File Sharing dialog box. For sharing files in Quickbooks, you have to set it to Co-owner. Here are the definitions of each permission levels:
    • Reader - can view shared files, but not add, alter or delete them.
    • Contributor - can view or add shared files, but can only alter or delete files that the user has contributed.
    • Co-owner - can view, add, alter or delete any shared file.

Vista File Sharing Dialog Box

  1. Once you have added the users, you can click the Share button to apply the settings. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

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