If you’re someone who heavily relies on file sharing, you’re probably always on the lookout for the best tools and features to make the process smoother and more efficient. Well, if you’re a Windows 10 user, you might not have to look any further than your operating system’s built-in file server functionality.

What is a file server?

Before we dive deeper into how to use Windows 10’s file server functionality, let’s first define what a file server is. At its core, a file server is a computer (or a group of computers) that stores files and data that can be accessed and shared by other devices on the same network.

Why use a file server?

Using a file server offers a number of benefits over conventional file sharing methods like email attachments or USB drives. Firstly, file servers provide a centralized location for storing and accessing files, which helps to prevent duplicates and version control issues. Additionally, a file server can be accessed from anywhere in the office or over the internet, making it ideal for teams who work remotely or who need to share files with clients or partners. Finally, file servers are generally more secure and offer more granular control over user permissions than other file sharing methods.

How to use Windows 10’s file server functionality

If you’re intrigued by the idea of using a file server but don’t want to invest in expensive hardware or software, you’ll be happy to know that Windows 10 comes with file server functionality built-in. Here’s how to set it up:

1. Open the Control Panel and navigate to “Programs and Features.”

2. Click on “Turn Windows Features on or off.”

3. Scroll down and check the box next to “SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support” and “SMB Direct” if they aren’t already checked.

4. Click “OK” and wait for the installation to complete.

5. Next, you’ll need to create a shared folder that other devices can access. To do this, right-click on the folder you want to share and select “Properties.”

6. Click on the “Sharing” tab and then click “Advanced Sharing.”

7. Check the box next to “Share this folder” and give the shared folder a name that others can easily identify.

8. Click “Permissions” and then select which users or groups should have access to the shared folder.

9. Click “OK” to save the changes and exit the window.

10. Finally, you’ll need to find the IP address of the computer that’s hosting the shared folder. To do this, open the Command Prompt and type “ipconfig” followed by Enter. Look for the “IPv4 Address” in the output, and make note of it.

Now that you have your file server set up, other devices on the same network can access the shared folder by typing the server’s IP address into their file explorer’s address bar. They’ll be prompted to enter their credentials (if required) and then can browse, download, or upload files as needed.


Windows 10’s file server functionality is a powerful tool for anyone who needs to share files and data with others in a secure, efficient, and centralized way. With the steps outlined above, you can quickly and easily set up your own file server without the need for expensive hardware or software. So why not give it a try and see how it can elevate your file sharing game?