Hide shared folders with Windows XP Pro's Net command line tool

When you want to limit who can access your shared folders in Windows XP Pro, you can use the Net command line tool to hide your computer, and subsequently your shared folders, from other network users. Greg Shultz shows how to create a hidden share.

By sharing a folder in Windows XP Pro, it usually means that you want network users to be able to find and access the folder in the My Network Places tool. If you want to share a folder with only certain users, you can use the Net command line tool to essentially hide your computer and shared network folders.

Follow these steps to create the hidden share:

  1. Open a command prompt.
  2. Type this command: net config server /hidden:yes.
  3. Share the folder as you normally would.

If your computer is already sharing network folders, it may take up to 30 minutes for this command to take effect and hide the computer name.

Users who have access to the hidden shared folder can get to it by using the UNC name or by mapping the hidden share to a local drive letter. To unhide the computer, type
net config server /hidden:no.

Note: This tip is for Windows XP Professional only.

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Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

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