We have a three-person office, with two CPAs and an office assistant. It’s been networked so we can share Internet access. Is there some easy way we also can share files and printers?
Since you already have a network, adding file- and printer-sharing is a snap. Let’s start with file-sharing.
Open Explorer and select a folder you want to be able to share with the two other computers and right-click on it. Select Properties and the Sharing tab. Then, under Network sharing and security , place a check next to Share this folder on the network and give it a unique name to identify the folder for the network (see screenshot).
You now have two choices: If you check Allow network users to change my files , you give your colleagues full editing rights to files in that folder. If you don’t check it, they can only view the files. When done, click on OK .
Now for the printer. Let’s assume you want the others to be able to use your printer. Open the Control Panel , click on Printers and Faxes and right-click on your printer’s icon and select Properties. Select the Sharing tab and click on the button for Share this printer (see screenshot) and enter a name for the printer.
If all your printers operate on the same Windows version, just click on OK . Otherwise you need to install software drivers to operate those printers. You’ll find them on the printer’s installation disk or on the printer manufacturer’s Web site.
Finally, on one of the other computers, open the Control Panel and click on Printers and Faxes. Double-click on Add Printer, which triggers the Add Printer wizard. Under Local or Network Printer , select A network printer, or a printer attached to another computer and click on Next (see screenshot).
Under Specify a Printer , select Browse for a printer and click on Next . Under Shared printers , you’ll see your computer listed. Double-click on it, and it will show the shared printer. Click on the printer’s icon, then Next and you will be prompted to set the printer as your default.
Select Yes and Next, and finally click on Finish.