How to Share a Vista Directory with XP Machines in a Local Network

(Posted 1/6/2011) - It seems simple but network sharing in Vista kinda turns the security access control settings upside down from what you are used to in the XP world.

It is no longer sufficient to just mark a directory (in Vista) as shared and expect it to become visible to other users in your local network. Sharing is a necessary but not sufficient step. It is but step one of a two step process -- both steps will be described in the following paragraphs.

To share a Vista directory, first right-click on the directory name (or icon) and select Properties from the drop down menu.

Click on the Sharing tab and then select the Advanced Sharing button from the dialog box.

Check the Share this Folder box and click OK. You've now marked the selected folder as shared -- next you need to set access permissions.

From the Properties dialog for your selected directory click the Security Tab. In the Security dialog select the group called Everyone from the group and user names.

Click the Edit button and check the permission you want to give the group Everyone (I limit my permissions to read only for safety). Click the OK button to apply the access controls.

Now you should be sharing your selected directory with all others on your network. This is an XP-like default group share equivalent.