Creating a hidden share on your network makes the shared folder or drive less detectable and accessible by others. It adds another layer of protection for your shared files against any unauthorized people that may connect to your network.
Creating a hidden share or converting a regular share into a hidden share is essentially the same across all Windows versions and editions. To make a shared folder or drive hidden, all you have to do is add a dollar sign ($) to the end of the Share Name.
The following steps take you step-by-step on how to create a hidden share:
- In Windows XP, right-click on the folder or drive you want to create a hidden share for and select Sharing and Security. In Windows Vista, right-click on the folder or drive you want to create a hidden share for and select Properties. Then on the Folder Properties window, click the Sharing tab and click the Advanced Sharing button.
- Select the Share This Folder or Share This Folder on the Network radio button or checkbox.
If the folder or drive is already been shared, but you want to change it to a hidden share, you must first disable sharing (deselect the Share This Folder option and click OK) and then come right back to enable sharing using these steps.
- Enter a name for the share, followed by a dollar sign, into the Share Name textbox.
- If you’re using Simple File Sharing in Windows XP, check or uncheck the Allow Network User to Change My Files option; otherwise when using advanced sharing in XP or Vista, specify the remaining settings: Comments, User Limit, Permissions, and Caching.
- Click the OK button.