Sharing hard drive only works when logged in as admin

This happened in Windows 7, as well.

I have an external hard drive connected to my desktop computer that I want to share with all my devices (2 laptops, plus Android devices). I did the following steps to share it:

1. In File Explorer, I right-clicked on the drive and picked Share With->Advanced Sharing
2. Clicked on Advanced Sharing button
3. Checked "Share this folder", set a name and clicked Permissions
4. Gave Everyone proper permissions, then OK'ed my way out.

Now, I can access the share from my laptops, and sometimes from Android, but ONLY when I'm logged in as me (admin) on my desktop. If I log out of my account, the share is unavailable to all other devices.

I then went into Advanced Sharing Settings in the control panel, and enabled all the sharing and network discovery options there. I disabled password-protected sharing just to troubleshoot.

This made no difference.

I need to be able to have other computers access the share regardless of who is logged in on the desktop computer.

Can anyone offer some advice?


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Can you ping the machine when you're not logged in?

Is it's connection wired or wireless?

Is the network connection set to a private or home network (not public)?

Are you using credentials to connect to the share?

Does adding "Anonymous Login" to the share permission make it available when your logged off?

Yes, wireless, yes, I can ping it. Private network. Using credentials didn't seem to help.

I did not have Anymous Login set, but when I did, I can now connect via my Windows laptops, but not via my Android devices. Would making it a public connection do that? It's still behind a router, so it should be safe from outside.


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
No public connection makes Windows Firewall more restrictive, you want to keep it as private to allow Windows File Sharing to work.

I would look in the Event Viewer on that machine, immediately after your Android tries to hit the share, and see what errors you're getting related to file sharing.

Also remember that NTFS permissions on the folder that is shared apply as well as the share permission itself.

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.