Configure and access shared folders on Windows

Learn how to configure shared folders and access them on Windows over Meshnet.
In this article, you will learn how to set up a shared folder on Windows and access another device's shared folder from a Windows device.

Configure a shared folder

You can choose from two methods of setting up shared folders: through the graphical interface or the PowerShell command line.
To configure a shared folder using File Explorer's graphical interface, perform the following steps on your Windows device:
  1. 1.
    Right-click the folder that you want to share and select Properties.
  2. 2.
    Navigate to the Sharing tab and click Share.
    "Share" button highlighted.
  3. 3.
    In the lower-right corner, select Share and click Done.
  4. 4.
    On the Sharing tab, click the Advanced sharing button.
    "Advanced sharing" button highlighted.
  5. 5.
    In the new window, select the Share this folder checkbox. In the Share name field, you can change the folder name for network identification, keeping in mind to use a unique name that doesn't include spaces.
    "Share this folder" checkbox selected and the "Share name" field highlighted.
  6. 6.
    Click Apply to save the changes, and OK.
The folder is now ready for access over Meshnet. Your Meshnet peers will need the network path provided in the Sharing tab to access the folder remotely, as described further in the article.
Network path of the shared folder highlighted.
You can use the PowerShell command line capabilities to share a folder by taking these steps:
  1. 1.
    Open PowerShell as an administrator.
  2. 2.
    Run the following command to create a shared folder:
    New-SmbShare -Name "<ShareName>" -Path "<Path\to\folder>" -FullAccess "<Username>"
    Make sure to replace:
    • <ShareName> with your desired share name
    • <Path\to\folder> with the path to the folder you want to share
    • <Username> with the name of your Windows user account Example
      New-SmbShare -Name "MeshnetFolder" -Path "C:\Users\meshnet\Desktop\MeshnetFolder" -FullAccess "meshnet"
      The output should display the details of your new shared folder.
You have successfully configured your folder for remote access over Meshnet.

Finding PC access credentials

When connecting to the shared folder, you will be required to enter authentication details. The username and password depend on the type of Windows account the PC is using.
  • If you're using a Microsoft account, you can use either:
    • Your Microsoft account's email address and password. Example
      Email and password entered in the authentication dialog.
    • Your Windows account's username and Microsoft account's password. Example
      Username and password entered in the authentication dialog.
  • If you're using a local Windows account, you need to use the account's username and password.
To view your Windows account's username, run the following command in PowerShell:

Access shared folders

You can find platform-specific instructions for accessing the shared folder in the appropriate guides:
To connect to a folder shared by another device in your Meshnet from a Windows device:
  1. 1.
    Copy the sharer's Nord name directly from the NordVPN app.
    Nord name copied from NordVPN application
  2. 2.
    Press the Windows
    key + R on your keyboard to open the Run command dialog.
  3. 3.
    Enter \\, paste the Nord name, followed by a backslash (\) and the name of the network share. The format must match the network path in the folder’s sharing properties, replacing the device’s name with the Nord name. Example
    Windows Run dialog with the path to the shared folder entered.
  4. 4.
    In the Enter network credentials dialog, click More choices and select Use a different account.
  5. 5.
    Enter the username and password for accessing the shared folder. Optionally, you can select Remember my credentials option, so you won't need to enter authentication details for this folder again.
    Windows defender dialog with filled in authentication credentials.
  6. 6.
    Click OK.
The shared folder should now open in File Explorer.

Mount a shared folder

Accessing a shared folder using the Run command dialog can get tedious because you have to enter the folder's network path each time. To overcome this, you can map the folder directly on your system and conveniently access it anytime.
  1. 1.
    Copy the sharer's Nord name directly from the NordVPN app.
  2. 2.
    Open File Explorer and select This PC from the menu on the left.
  3. 3.
    Select to map a new network drive.
    • On Windows 11: click the More button and choose Map network drive.
      Map network drive selected in the more menu
    • On Windows 10: in the upper-left corner, click Computer and select Map network drive.
      Clicking "Computer" and then "Map network drive".
  4. 4.
    From the Drive dropdown list, select a drive letter.
  5. 5.
    In the Folder field, enter \\ and paste the Nord name followed by a backslash (\) and the name of the network share. Example
    The "Folder" field highlighted with the path to the shared folder entered.
  6. 6.
    Select Connect using different credentials and click Finish.
  7. 7.
    Enter the required username and password for accessing the shared folder and click OK.
The mounted network drive will now be visible and easily accessible from This PC, under Network locations.
Mapped network folder visible.

See also

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