How to Access Shared Folder on Network Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Accessing shared folders on a network in Windows 11 can be done in just a few simple steps. By following this guide, you’ll be able to locate and open folders shared by other network users. Let’s get started!

Accessing Shared Folders on Network Windows 11

This tutorial covers the steps needed to access shared folders on a network using Windows 11. Following these steps will help you navigate to and open the shared folders effortlessly.

Step 1: Open File Explorer

Navigate to File Explorer by clicking the folder icon on your taskbar.

Opening File Explorer is your first step towards accessing shared network folders. You’ll recognize it as the folder icon usually found on your taskbar, but you can also find it by searching for "File Explorer" in the Windows search bar.

Step 2: Click on ‘Network’

On the left sidebar of File Explorer, click on ‘Network.’

The ‘Network’ option in the left sidebar of File Explorer displays all the devices connected to your local network. Clicking it will show you all the computers and devices that are part of your network, including any that have shared folders.

Step 3: Locate the Computer with Shared Folders

Find the computer name that has the shared folders you want to access.

Look through the list of networked computers to identify the one containing the shared folders. Networked computers are labeled by their device names, which you might need to recognize from a list or by asking your network administrator.

Step 4: Double-click the Computer Name

Double-click on the computer name to see its shared folders.

Double-clicking opens a new window showing all the folders and files shared by that particular computer. You might see several folders or just a few, depending on the sharing settings.

Step 5: Open the Shared Folder

Double-click the folder you want to access.

After locating the desired folder, double-click to open it. You can now view, edit, or copy the files within, depending on the permissions set by the folder’s owner.

Once you complete these steps, you’ll have full access to the shared folders and their contents, allowing you to work with the files as needed.

Tips for Accessing Shared Folders on Network Windows 11

  1. Ensure your computer is connected to the same network as the shared folders.
  2. Update your Windows 11 to the latest version for better network stability.
  3. Use strong passwords on shared folders for increased security.
  4. Ask the network’s administrator for the computer’s name if you can’t find it.
  5. Restart your router if you have trouble accessing network devices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can’t I see the ‘Network’ option in File Explorer?

Make sure Network Discovery is turned on in your network settings.

What should I do if I can’t find the computer with the shared folders?

Check if the computer is turned on and connected to the network.

Why am I getting an access denied message?

You may need permission from the folder’s owner to access it.

Can I access shared folders from a different operating system?

Yes, but the steps may vary. You might need additional software or settings.

How do I set up a shared folder on my computer?

Right-click a folder, go to ‘Properties,’ then ‘Sharing,’ and follow the prompts to share it.


  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Click on ‘Network.’
  3. Locate the computer with shared folders.
  4. Double-click the computer name.
  5. Open the shared folder.


Accessing shared folders on a network in Windows 11 is straightforward once you know the steps. Whether you’re at home or in a professional setting, knowing how to navigate network folders can make your life easier. With the instructions provided, you should have no trouble getting to the files you need.

For further reading, you might consider exploring how to set up shared folders yourself or delve deeper into Windows 11’s network settings to optimize your connection. Now that you have the basics down, why not take a moment to test your new skills by accessing a shared folder on your network today?