Disabling File and Print Sharing and Network Discovery in Windows 11

  1. Open the Start Menu and select "Settings" (gear/cog icon) then choose "Network & Internet" and "Advanced network settings"

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  2. In "More settings" choose "Advanced sharing settings"

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  3. In "Advanced sharing settings" expand each of the network types and move each slider to the "Off" position. Also make sure to turn off "Public folder sharing" in the "All networks" section.

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What is Microsoft File and Print Sharing?

File and printer sharing is the part of Microsoft networking that enables you to share files and local printers with other users on small networks.

Why remove Microsoft File and Print Sharing?

If this service is enabled on your Windows computer and you are connected to a Local Area Network (LAN) you are allowing others to connect to your computer and access your files and printer. While you can setup passwords to protect your files and printers when using this service, you should know that passwords can provide a false sense of security. It is possible for someone to guess your password, or run a program to try all possible passwords. If a user on the network gains access to your computer, they may have access to all of your personal information stored on your hard drive. Also, with remote access a malicious individual can use your computer to spread viruses or even become a launching pad for attacks on other computers or networks. A much better security practice is to remove File and Print Sharing.

Due to the above issues, it is the policy at UW-Platteville that File and Print Sharing be turned off on all Windows computers.

Need help?

If you have questions, please contact the ITS Help Desk at 608.342.1400 or helpdesk@uwplatt.edu.  You may also visit the Help Desk on the first floor of the Karrmann Library.

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Article ID: 4906
Wed 5/17/23 6:16 AM
Tue 10/24/23 11:21 AM