How to enable or disable simple file sharing in Windows

Published: June 28, 2022

Last Modified: February 8, 2023

How to enable or disable simple file sharing in Windows

Enabling and disabling SFS in Windows XP Professional

Simple file sharing was introduced in Microsoft Windows XP.SFS has removed some of the file sharing security options available in Windows 2000 to help Windows XP administrators set up shared folders more quickly.

Working with SFS in Windows XP Professional

Simple File Sharing is always enabled and can not be disabled in Windows XP Home Edition. However, it can be enabled and disabled in Windows XP Professional.

  1. Open My Computer from the Start menu or Windows XP desktop.

  1. Open the Tools menu and select Folder Options from this menu to open a new Folder Options window.

  1. Click the View tab and check the Use simple file sharing (recommended) in the advanced settings list to enable SFS.

  1. To disable simple file sharing, make sure the box is unchecked. Check the box inside to alternately enable and disable this option.

  1. Click OK to close the Folder Options window. Settings for simple file sharing are now updated; restarting the computers is not required.

SFS Tips

  • The Easy File Sharing checkbox is at the bottom of the Advanced options list in or next to the My Computer folder options.
  • Enabling simple file sharing prevents you from assigning user-level passwords to shared folders. When simple file sharing is enabled on a computer, remote users are not prompted for a password when they access shares on that computer.
  • If the computer running Windows XP Professional is part of a Windows domain and not a Windows workgroup, this process of enabling or disabling simple file sharing does not work. Simple File Sharing always remains disabled for domain-joined computers.