How to Setup SMB File Share on Windows Super Fast in 10 minutes

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One of the easiest ways to access your media and files over a network is to setup an SMB file share on Windows. With the proper setup, you can access your media files through other devices using the SMB protocol. Windows has SMB file sharing built into its operating system.

With a few quick configurations on Windows, you will be fully setup with SMB file share enabled so you can access your files or media from other devices on your network. First, ensure SMB is enabled on your Windows operating system. After confirming SMB is enabled, select the folders and files to share over the network. Follow this guide for step-by-step instructions to get SMB file share working on Windows.

How to Enable SMB on Windows

By default, SMB should be enabled on Windows 10 and 11. The SMB feature on Windows is called SMB Direct and is Windows’ name for the SMB 3.x file sharing protocol. The first step is to ensure this feature is enabled. If for some reason it is disabled, follow these steps to enable it. If you don’t have the SMB Direct feature available, make sure your Windows operating system is fully up to date.

Launch the Control Panel and select the Programs and Features option.

The first step to setup SMB file share on Windows is to go to the control panel and click on Programs and Features, circled in red.

Once you have clicked on Programs and Features, on the left menu bar, at the top, look for Turn Windows Features On or Off. Go ahead and click into that.

The second step to setup SMB file share on Windows is to click on the Turn Windows Features On or Off

Clicking on Turn Windows Features On or Off will bring up a new small window with a list of checkboxes. These should be listed alphabetically. Scroll down and find SMB Direct. Make sure this box is checked. You may also see SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support.

If you do have this option, make sure it is unchecked. This is how you enable SMB 1.0, but SMB 1.0 has some vulnerabilities associated with it. If this feature is enabled, your machine and entire network could become compromised. I highly suggest turning this feature off, if enabled, and leaving it off, it disabled.

The final step to setup SMB file share on Windows is find SMB Direct and make sure the checkbox is checked.

After turning SMB Direct on by checking the box, your Windows machine should be good to go and have SMB enabled. Now all we need to do is setup SMB file shares on Windows and assign the correct users to the shares.

Setup SMB File Share on Windows

Before beginning with setting up the SMB file share, I would strongly encourage you to create a new user on Windows specifically for sharing. It only takes about 30 seconds and provides a lot of extra security. You can choose to skip creating a new user, but then anyone who has access to your network will have access to the SMB file shares you create.

If you are not going to create a new user, you will need to go into Control Panel -> Network and Sharing -> Change Advanced Sharing Options -> All Networks ->then enable Turn Off Password Protected Sharing. Again, this is not ideal and exposes you to anyone who may have, or will have access to your network. Replace the word kodi in my screenshots with the word Everyone (that is a preexisting user you can select).

I am using a user I named kodi to setup SMB file shares. Use the user’s name that you created in place of kodi as seen in the provided screenshots.

First navigate to the folder you wish to share. Go ahead and right click on the folder and select Properties at the bottom.

To continue with setup SMB file share on Windows, right click on a folder you want to share and select properties from the menu.

Once the folder’s Properties window is open, navigate to the Sharing tab.

The next step to setup SMB file share on Windows is to navigate to the sharing tab on the folder's properties window.

From there, go ahead and click the Share button to open another window.

Next, continue to setup SMB file share on Windows by clicking the Share... button.

Another window will open and you will want to click on the dropdown bar and select your user. I selected the user I created named kodi.

Continue to setup SMB file share on Windows by clicking on the dropdown bar and selecting your user (my user is "kodi")

Once you have selected your user, click the Add button to the right of the dropdown bar.

Continue to setup SMB file share on Windows by clicking on the add button to add your selected user to the list (my user is "kodi").

Once your user has been added to the list, click on the Share button.

The last step to setup SMB file share on Windows is to click the share button once your user has been added to the list (my user is "kodi").

This folder you just set up is now ready to be shared via the SMB protocol. Repeat this process for any other folders you want to share. Once all folders are shared, you are finished with setting up SMB file share on Windows.

With that, a congratulations are in order, you have officially setup SMB file share on Windows. You can now move on to the devices you wish to access files on. Remember to use the user you created as the credentials when setting up SMB on those devices.

If you chose to use Everyone rather than create a new user, that user does not have a password. Some applications, such as Kodi, for example, require a password even if there isn’t an actual password. For cases such as this, use a single space as the password. If you have any questions or get stuck, please leave a comment and I’ll do my best to assist!

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4 responses to “How to Setup SMB File Share on Windows Super Fast in 10 minutes”

  1. Shahood Ul Hassan Avatar
    Shahood Ul Hassan

    Do we require Windows 11 Pro for SMBDirect?

    1. Donnie Avatar

      Hi Shahood, it is available on Windows 10 and 11. For example, I am running Windows 10 on my machine.

  2. Gustavo Avatar

    Hi! The SMB Direct option is not available in my computer. Any ideas?

    1. Donnie Avatar

      Hi Gustavo, is your Windows fully up to date, including optional updates as well? That is the only reason why SMB Direct wouldn’t be showing that I can think of. You check out Microsoft’s documentation to see if it helps as well:

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