Hide Windows Network Shares

This tutorial will show you how to hide network file shares from browsing and still be able to access them over the network.

I have a folder on my local machine that is shared over the network. This folder is called “shared”. As you can see if we go to my network places and browse to my machine, the folder is visible.
Hide Windows Network Shares

I want to allow access to this folder still, but I only want people who know about the share to be able to access it. I don’t want someone who gets bored to stumble upon the folder, so I will hide it. It is very, very simple.

First we have to unshare the folder by removing the check mark from the “share this folder on the network” box .
Hide Windows Network Shares

Then all we have to do is share the folder again, but first we have to rename the folder. I will rename the folder to “share$”, adding the “$” to the end of the name. This will tell Windows to hide the share when browsing. Now share this folder on the network.
Hide Windows Network Shares

You can test by browsing back to the same folder.
Hide Windows Network Shares

The share is now hidden. To access it you will need to type in the UNC name. We will add \shared$ to the computer name in the address bar.

Hide Windows Network Shares

There you can see my test file. It is that simple to hide a shared folder on a windows network. Enjoy.

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  • hello

  • hi, thanks for the tutorial, thats a VERY usefull tip.

  • man on a mission

    Is there a way to block a user from accessing the folder completely even if they know the UNC? Using $ will work but they can still browse to it if they know the path to take. I’ve been looking for a way to stop that from happening, especially if they don’t have permissions to access it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.