How To Enable or Disable Simple File Sharing in Windows XP

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Simple File Sharing is a feature introduced in Microsoft Windows XP. Simple File Sharing removed some file sharing security options available in Windows 2000 with the goal to help Windows XP administrators more quickly set up folder shares.

Simple File Sharing (SFS) is always enabled and cannot be disabled in Windows XP Home Edition. The below step-by-step instructions explain how to enable/disable SFS in Windows XP Professional.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: < 1 minute

Here's How:

  1. Open My Computer from the Start Menu or Windows XP Desktop. A new My Computer window will appear.
  2. Open the Tools menu and choose the "Folder Options..." option from this menu. A new Folder Options window will appear.
  3. Click on the View tab and locate the "Use Simple File Sharing (Recommended)" checkbox in the list of Advanced Settings.
  4. To enable Simple File Sharing, ensure this checkbox is checked. To disable Simple File Sharing, ensure this checkbox is not checked. Click inside the checkbox to alternately enable and disable the option.
  5. Click OK to close the Folder Options window. The settings for Simple File Sharing are now updated; no computer reboot is required.


  1. The Simple File Sharing checkbox should be at or near the bottom of the Advanced Settings list in the My Computer Folder Options.
  2. Enabling Simple File Sharing prevents the ability to assign user-level passwords to shares. When Simple File Sharing is enabled on a computer, remote users will not be prompted for a password when accessing that computer's shares.
  1. If the Windows XP Professional computer is part of a Windows domain rather than a Windows workgroup, this process for enabling or disabling Simple File Sharing has no effect. Simple File Sharing always remains disabled for computers joined to domains.

What You Need:

  • Computer running Windows XP Professional