Turning off Simple File Sharing

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How to turn off simple file sharing of files and folders in Windows and why you should do this. 

Simple file sharing is intened for use in a home network and for computers with windows xp pro, which are in Workgroup. When adding workstations to the domain, this is automatically turned off, but sometimes is suddenly switched back from for I don’t no why and what cause this, probably after some patch upgrades.

What is simple file sharing?

Determine the method of approach to shared folders on your PC, allowing easy sharing access as a guest only which is suitable for home environment. In the comapny’s domain local users on workstations are undesirable and in the case of simple sharing is not possible access with different rihts than guest rihgts.

  • The problem with this is, that some network apps can not be updated, in my case Sophos anti-virus software.

They are 3 ways how to remove the use of simple file sharing:

  • manually
  • through the registry
  • through a group policy in active directory
Manually turning off

On the workstation go to start – my computer. Open Tools and then select Folder Options to view. Tick option use simple file sharing.

Turning off through the registry

Change the following registry key via remote registry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Cotnrol\LSA\ForceGuest   change the value from 1 (allow simple sharing) to 0 (disable)

Turning off through a group policy in active directory

In the settings for your computer needs to be changed this local security policy:

Security Settings – Local Policies – Security Options – Network Access: Sharing and Security model for local accounts

Instead Guest only – local users authenticate as guest need nastavitiClassic – local users authenticate as themselves


Works as system engineer in Slovenian Enterprise in Microsoft environment focusing on security, deployments, SharePoint, SCCM and CheckPoint firewall. Author of successful blog about IT security, Microsoft tips & tricks, social media, internet trends.

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