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How To Use Windows Home Server Shared Folders

Setting up shared folders in Windows Home Server puts you in charge of which users can change, view or have no access at all to files on the network.

Here's how to access, set up and optimize the Shared Folders feature built into Microsoft Windows Home Server (WHS).

First, select the Shared Folders tab in the WHS Console.

WHS comes with several pre-named default folders. Let's add our own folder and call it Family Documents. At the WHS Console’s upper left, click Add.

Click Add to open this window, where you type in your name and description and select whether to enable Folder Duplication. (The latter is Drive Extender renamed, basically.) Enter your information.

Here's what I typed in mine.

Decide whether to enable Folder Duplication. Your server drive storage requirements for this folder will double if you do, but I find that the security and backup that duplicating folders offers is totally worth it. To enable duplication, check the Enable Folder Duplication button.

Now choose how much access you want to give to other people's user accounts for docsharing over Shared Folders.

It's best to first select users who need Full or at least Read access to the folder. Full access means users are able to view, add, modify, and delete files from shared folders. If you want to limit access to just viewing – no data entry or saving – choose Read. They'll see the Shared folder names but not the contents. Make your decision. Click Finish.

WHS now will create the folder, apply the settings you chose, and present you with the results. Here is the screen I get. Click Done.

Now see the new shared folder in the WHS Console, below.

View the properties of your Shared Folders and any folder you create. Just right click the folder and select Properties.

Note: Unlike our Family Documents folder below, the prenamed default folders retain their names. You can't change them or delete them.

Within properties, you can adjust levels of access – Full, Read or None – to your Shared Folders docs.

Typically, WHS users are going to have log off and back in to see the new Shared Folder feature you enabled for them.

Here’s a hidden gem. Access View History via the Shared Folder tab and monitor activity. There are some powerful options on the WHS Console. Explore!

Note: Shared data history is available one week after you've added this feature to WHS.

Based in Helenville, WI, David McCabe is a senior contributor at BYTE. Follow him @homeservershow, or email him at

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