How to Turn Off File Sharing on Windows XP

File sharing is switched on by default in Windows XP as it allows other users in the network to access files on your system by remotely connecting to it.

While the file sharing feature is on, your computer becomes more vulnerable to viruses and Trojans, especially if other users on the network do not have an anti-virus installed on their system. The risk of unauthorised access to files on your computer also increases while file sharing is on.

In order to keep your computer safe from the aforementioned risks, it is best to turn off file sharing by disabling File and Printer Sharing in Windows XP.

Things Required:

– Administrator account on Windows XP


  • 1

    Click on the start menu button that is located at the bottom-left corner of the screen to display the main menu. Look for “Control Panel” in the right column of the main menu and click it.

  • 2

    The “Control Panel” window will appear on the screen. If the window has a blue background, then the category view of Control Panel icons is active. You need to change it to classic view. In order to do that, click on the “Switch to classic view” option located on the top-left side of the window.

  • 3

    Once you have switched to classic view, locate the “Network Connections” icon and click on it to open the network connections window. All the computers and networks that your system is connected to or can connect to will be displayed on screen.

  • 4

    If you see more than one connection in the network connections window, look for the connection that has the words “connected” beneath its name, as well as an icon with blue screens instead of grey. This will be the currently active connection and therefore the one that you will need to focus on.

  • 5

    Right click on the active connection and select “Properties” from the context menu.

  • 6

    On the new window that appears on the screen, look for the “File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks” option. Click on the small box on its left to uncheck it and then click “OK” to confirm your action. Close the network connections window as well.

  • 7

    Reboot your computer for the new settings to take effect. The files on your computer will no longer be accessible to anyone remotely after the system is done rebooting.

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