Windows 7 Can’t View XP Share?…Turn off Simple File Sharing on XP

This article discusses the pitfall of simple sharing in XP and why it may fail when one tries to browse the share from Windows 7 or even Vista.

I had two events which conspired against me. I updated a shared resource (hard drive) on an XP SP3 machine and updated my primary computer to Windows Seven. On my XP machine I turned on sharing and opened it up.

When I went to browse the share from Windows 7 I got this message:

Network Error 
Windows cannot access \\OMEGA\Terra
You do not have permission to access \\OMEGA\Terra. Contact your network administrator to request access. For more information about permissions, see Windows Help and Support

It stumped me for awhile until I realized that my previous hard drive was setup long ago and the sharing was the advance share. I also vaguely remember years ago thinking simple sharing was a crock…but that was a long time ago.

The new hard drive used the simple sharing, why I don’t know,  and it frankly falls short. Here are the steps I took to get XP to be viewable from Windows 7 and Vista. All on the XP machine:

  1. Windows Explorer-> Tools menu –> Folder Options –> View –> (Scroll list down til you see) Use simple file sharing. Uncheck it and close the dialogue.
  2. In Windows…Right Click the Computer Icon (maybe on desktop or will be on Start Menu) and select Manage.
  3. Open Computer Management –> System Tools –> Shared Folders –> Shares and open the folder to list the shares.
  4. Find the share in question, highlight it and right click and select Properties –> Shared Permissions.
  5. In the Share Permission it should have the group Everyone listed. If it is not there add it and check all three permissions: Full Control, Change and Read.

Once done go back to Windows 7 and browse the share. HTH



  1. Windows 7 Can't View XP Share?…Turn off Simple File Sharing on XP … | Tech Talk says:

    […] Windows 7 Can't View XP Share?…Turn off Simple File Sharing on XP … […]

  2. Windows 7 Can’t View XP Share?…Turn off Simple File Sharing on XP « Jasper Blog says:

    […] Read more: OmegaMan’s Musings […]

  3. Vera says:

    thanks a lot, searched for solution all around the web

  4. RUDE says:

    What if I’m using an XP machine to remote assist to a 7 machine?

  5. krog says:

    Hi, I have an ntfs volume I pulled out of my old XP computer, long gone. Simple file sharing was on, as I recall. When I try to access it from my new Windows 7 system, I get the access denied. Is there any way to access the files?


  6. omegaman says:

    If you are admin on your current box you should be able to view the entire drive at least the admin hidden share of ‘C$’.

  7. Simon says:

    Fabulous Fix. I have been to many web sites and tried lots of fixes, none of which worked. As soon as i reset sharing on XP HDD’s All networking returned as normal. Thank you.

  8. JOHN says:

    i have all windos xp and just got a windows 7 laptop

    i tried that

    they are in the same work group however the windows 7 machine can not see any of the windows xp machines

    there are folders shared and ive not got homwgroup on win 7

    please help if u know what i need to change on win 7

    • omegaman says:

      Get the IP address of the XP machine and type that into explorer it should show the shares. Or try {IP Address}\{MyShareName} and see if it comes up. If it doesn’t try to ping the machine to verify that your machine is on the same subnet of the network. HTH

  9. Betty says:

    Tried it, but still can not get into shared documents on the XP laptop from the Windows 7 laptop, I can see the XP laptop just can’t open the file (get: SharedDocs is not accessible…)The Win.7 laptop can get into the XP desk top shared docs. I’m stumped.

    • OmegaMan says:

      Hi Betty…I am not seeing the whole situation. Post your question to the Microsoft Answer Forum (Files, Folders, and Search) with a detailed description of how you are sharing, what works and what does not. THe more information you provide the better it is for the people of the forum to help. Reply back here with a link to your post so I can follow. Thanks.

  10. jlucard says:

    Seen a lot of tutorials about how to do this but none of them said anything about the shared permissions on the XP machine so I was kinda stuck. Thanks, this worked perfectly :)

  11. ruben says:

    my problem is that, i cant find the use simple file sharing in the view.also cannot find the share permission in the share folder of computer management. so i cannot follow ur steps. do u know any reason why my xp is like that????

    thanks a lot in advance

  12. Greg says:

    Simple File Sharing is not listed in the folder configuration options in Windows XP Home.

  13. Kris says:

    We just got a new Win7 computer and set it up. I have two xp machines both sp2. my win7 can see both xp machines but can’t access it. It is able to get the internet through the xp machine but when I try to access the xp machine from win7 network I get it doesn’t have permission. So I can’t get to the plotter I need to network to the win7 computer. What am I missing!? Thanks

  14. says:

    I recently had the same issue with Windows 7 cannot view a shared folder on XP but found a way access it.

    On my Windows 7 machine, I used to be able to see the shared folder on my XP machine if I clicked on “Network” in windows explorer. For some reason, my Windows 7 machine cannot see it anymore even though all the settings are set correctly.

    Assuming you have a shared folder set up correctly in XP but can’t view it from your Windows 7 machine, try typing the computer name of the XP machine in Windows Explorer.

    In Windows 7’s Window Explorer, type in \\XPcomputername at the address bar. This should show the shared folders on your XP machine.

  15. Steve says:

    Phooey! My hopes have been dashed again. This fix did not work for me either. I can access my Windows 7 laptop from my XPsp3 desktop but not visa versa. I get a “login failure: the user has not been granted the requested login type at this computer” I can use the printer though.

  16. Steve says:

    Got a solution from Steve W. This action right here put me right:

    If the computer runs Windows XP Professional:

    1. Click Start > Run , type secpol.msc in the box, and clickOK .
    2. Click Local Policies .
    3. Click User Rights Assignment .
    4. Click Access this computer from the network and make sure that theEveryone group is included.
    5. Click Deny access to this computer from the network and make sure that theEveryone group is NOT included.

  17. XtalEng says:

    Looked everywhere for the solution to the problem – this is the first response that got it right. THANKS!!

  18. Dan says:

    That tip worked great for me – simple yet effective – can now see my xp machine from a win7 laptop – both connected wirelessly. Had almost given up on sharing between xp and Win 7 – but can now – so thanks!

  19. Dean says:

    I think I did all these suggestions and still havent found a right solution for my problem.

    I have several windows XP machines. To be precise, 6 XP pro (mostly SP3 but 2 of them with SP2), and one XP home SP3 and just bought another machine with WIN7. My new PC that runs WIN7 sees all other PCs as I set workgroup to be the same on all. I also can access all shared folders and drives on the XP machines but when I try to access WIN7 machine from any XP pc i get the message that access is denied, and that I dont have right permissions. In Network Connections I see the list of all computers and shared locations incl WIN7 but simply cant access WIN7.

    • OmegaMan says:

      The win 7 security may not allow for a “Guest” to do any such viewing. Either turn on the Guest account in the “Manage Accounts” section then verify it has permissions to view the folder(s) in question, or log into the Win 7 box as the user which you use to log into the win 7 box. HTH

  20. Rich says:

    Make sure your user name has a password. It cannot be blank.

  21. Michael K says:

    Thanks for your help, turning off simple file sharing did it! Now I can see my Xp machines shared folders on my Win 7 Ultimate’s network listing.
    THANKS a billion… Inflation u know.

  22. Keston Smart says:

    I had the same problem and the problem was that the laptop had the same computer name as another.
    To change the pc name :- Go to Start>Computer>System properties.
    Under the heading,”Computer name,domain,and workgroup settings” click “Change settings. In the Tab “Computer Name”, click “Change” and change the computer name, then click ok. It will ask to restart now or restart later choose which ever one you want to do. Hope this solve the problem.

  23. Patil says:

    Thanks for the tip :)
    It helped me to share between my XP desktop and Win 7 Laptop.

  24. Ralph says:

    I have 2 windows XP computers and 1 windows 7 computer. All 3 on same network. Windows xp systems can see and access windows 7 system . Windows 7 system can see but not access both xp systems. Access is denied “do not have permission to access system contact administrator” . Tried everything I could find on the net including these fixe sbut cannot get it to work……PLEASE HELP.

  25. Brad Karal says:

    In many cases, the solution to this problem is the same as it was networking strictly older versions of Windows. That is, you cannot add users to a local PC from a machine on the network while in a Workgroup.

    So the fix is often to create an account with username and password that is the same on the client machine. That usually works for me (though I’m not claiming it works in all cases).

  26. robert sinkowitz says:

    If you’ve turned off SImple File Sharing (XP) you are using a Win2000 security scheme (still Micr$oft’s best). Under that scheme, and with a peer-to-peer, each machine that will be ‘visited’ by you must also have/recognize a user, ‘you’, with the exact same password as ‘you’ are using.

  27. Dart says:

    IS it okay if I only have Workgroup with full control on the Windows 7 machine?

  28. SYSADMIN says:

    ISN’T IT FANNY??????

    • OmegaMan says:

      So you are saying the Ping fails from Windows 7 to XP or from XP to Windows 7? Regardless if either can’t see each other via ping, you have a different problem *before* the sharing of folders.

  29. Reg Giles says:

    OP – thanks for this! I’ve been pulling my hair out, searching the web, following tips on forums where people go on about drivers, service packs, etc etc. I gave your instructions a shot and it worked first time, can’t believe it was such a simple fix. Nice1.

  30. Col says:

    Got excited at discovering this new potential solution to this ‘access denied’ problem between my Windows 7 and XP computers but unfortunately you can’t turn off Simple File Sharing if like me you’re using XP Home, so no way to know if this works.

  31. Roger says:

    I get this far with these error messages:
    XP machine when trying to open from Computer Management Shares folder: “The following error occurred while reading the list of shares for Windows clients: Error 2114 The Server service is not started”

    Win7 machine from Windows Network Diagnostics: “Problems Found The remote device or resource wont accept the connection Detected”

    My problem still is I cant see shared folders on the XP from Win7, ok vice versa.

  32. NotToday says:

    I have similar problem.
    I can see the XP, see the folders and subfolders, but when I try to open a file Win 7 just drops.
    On the XP “Simple sharing”is unchecked. Everynone is lister everywhere :)
    I access the XP with user and password.
    When I ping the XP its OK.

  33. Jim T says:

    My problem is similar but different. I didn’t want to switch my computer from XP Pro to Win 7 all in one step as I wanted to make sure Win 7 didn’t cause me any problems. So as in previous OS upgrades I just added another HD to my computer and put Win 7 on it so that I could boot either OS and switch over when i was ready.

    I had no idea that Win 7 would not let me look at any on my XP hard drive files and that when I let it take over the rights to my XP files that XP would no longer have access to them! This is total BS. All I want if for each to be able to look at each others drives. I did not ask for or need any of this security.

    Another problem I have is when I upgraded my SolidWorks software to another version and installed it (only) on my Win 7 drive I was told that I had to name the “new Win 7 computer” (same physical computer keep in mind) the same name as my XP was so that that my SW license would transfer over easily. So I’m not sure if this is hurting. I’d think it would make no difference or would help being the same name.

    Please help as I’ve lost most of a weeks work/income trying to deal with this.


  34. Wayne Boshier says:

    I suspect the users above who have followed your advice and are still unable to connect to a Windows XP share from a Windows 7 computer on the same workgroup are facing the “IRPStackSize” issue that is well documented on various forums. By creating (or increasing the value if it exists) this DWORD key in [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\
    Parameters] with a decimal value between the default of 4 and the maximum of 50 I believe they will start smiling. The “Not Enough Server Storage” message is the giveaway.
    A value of 26 dec sorted my woes. This should be done on the XP host of course.

  35. Attila says:

    I’ve read and followed a lot of proposed solutions to the common problem to no avail. As the saying goes, “All things being equal, the simplest solution is most likely the correct solution.”

    In my [particular] case, none of the more complex solutions was the root of my problem. Finally “” provided a hint to my problem of XP machine not being visible on my network.


    • Navigate to Control Panel > Network Connections
    • Right click appropriate interface(s), select Properties
    • Ensure “File and Printer Sharing of Microsoft Networks” is selected/checked for all applicable adapters [cable, wireless, etc.]

    This solved my problem TOTALLY! Good luck with yours.

  36. Mike Beard says:

    I have three XP SP3 machines and three Win7 machines. All three XP machines can see each other and each other’s files. The three XP machines can also see and change files on the Win7 machines. However, ONE of the XP machines can not be accessed by any of the three Win7 machines. I CAN see the XP computers but when I try to open the XP computer, from the Win7 machine, I get the “Windows Security – Enter Network Password – Username/Password” dialogue box. HELP!

  37. geeth says:

    i have an issue with my win 7 desktop…From this i am not able to access shared folders from win xp..i checked the n/w,pinging the pc,simple file sharing turned off.full permission applied to everyone in the share settings…when i access the xp system via run \\ip adress…i can able to see the page…but nothing is displayed in that page..Any solution???????

  38. Joshua says:

    In my case, to enter the XP shared folder, I found that I needed one more step after Step 5, which is:
    6. In the Security tab it should have the group Everyone listed. If it is not there add it and check all permissions.

  39. Stano says:

    I am using no passwords on my Win7&XP PCs and now after two weeks of frustration I finally found this working solution how to get access from Win7 to WinXP:

    “@WinXP computer run regedit and navigate to the following registry key:
    Double click on LimitBlankPasswordUse registry value name, and set its value data from 1 to 0.

    Voilà tout! Access granted! ;-)

  40. Gareth says:

    Many thanks for this – it’s nearly four years old, now; but it’s still helping people!

  41. Joseph says:

    Make that 11 years old and its still helping people. This solved my problem, thanks a bunch.

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