How to Monitor and Manage Network Shared Folders in Windows

Network-shared folders are an excellent way for users to collaborate with others within an organization or at the home network. However, tracking who can access the files and which ones are used can be tricky. It is crucial to monitor and manage network-shared folders in Windows so that you know how your data is being used.

This article will discuss managing and monitoring shared folders in Windows to track how the data is used efficiently. We will also share some essential tips for managing shared folders effectively. So make sure that you stay tuned till the end.

Monitor and Manage Network Shared Folders in Windows

How to Monitor and Manage Network Shared Folders in Windows

  • Monitor Network Shared Folders
    • Using Windows Computer Management
    • Using Network Share Monitor
  • Manage Network Shared Folders
    • Creating a Shared Folder
    • Deleting a Shared Folder

Make sure your PC is discoverable on the local network.

Monitor Network Shared Folders

Monitoring shared folders is very important for administrators as it allows them to determine what each organization member is working on. Here are the two methods you can use to monitor network-shared folders in Windows:

  1. Using Windows Computer Management
  2. Using Network Share Monitor

You may need an admin account to access the computer management section.

1] Monitor Network Shared Folders Using Windows Computer Management

Computer Management is a preinstalled Windows utility allowing users to access several administrative utilities in a single console. These utilities include the Task scheduler, Event viewer, Device Manager, Shared Folders Management, etc. Here’s how to use it to Monitor network shared folders:

  • Open Computer Management by searching it in the Windows search (Win + S)
  • Now, head over to the left pane in the computer Management and expand the Shared folders option.
  • When the Shared Folders option is expanded, three new options appear, i.e., Shares, Sessions, and Open Files.Using Computer Management To Monitor Shared Folders In Windows
  • These options can be used to monitor the following aspects:
    • Shares: This option tells you which folders on your computer are shared with the network and allows you to view how many clients access the folder.
    • Sessions: This option lets you view which users currently access the files in a shared folder. It also shows the number of files they access, their connected time, and their idle time.
    • Open Files: This option tells you which files are currently open from the folders you’ve shared and the users accessing them. You can also view the lock status and open mode for the file.

As an admin, you can limit the number of simultaneous users on shared folders to limit access to specific individuals in the organization.

2] Monitor Network Shared Folders Using Network Share Monitor

Network Share Monitor is a widely used third-party utility that can monitor network-shared folders in Windows. The application has a simple interface and can be downloaded and used for free. Here’s how to use it.

  • Firstly, download the Network Share Monitor from the official website.
  • Now, extract the files and install the application.
  • Once installed, you will see three tabs on the application’s main screen.NetShareMonitor Windows
  • These tabs are Active Sessions, Accessed Files, and Shared Files.
    • The Active sessions section tells you about the users currently active on the network.
    • The accessed files section tells you which files they are accessing
    • The Shared Files section tells you about all the files you’ve shared.

Download Network Share Monitor

Manage Network Shared Folders

While monitoring network shared folders is a crucial part of the process, several managerial tasks related to shared folders, like creating, setting permissions, and deleting a shared folder, must also be learned. Here’s all that we’ll be covering in this section:

  1. Creating a Shared Folder
  2. Deleting a Shared Folder

Let’s now have a detailed look at these.

1]  Creating a Shared Folder

Creating a shared folder in Windows is pretty straightforward. In this section, we’ll learn how to share a folder and set permissions. Here’s how:

  • Firstly, navigate to the folder you wish to share and right-click.
  • Now, from the right-click context menu, open properties. Opening Folder Properties In Windows
  • In the properties, head over to the Sharing tab. Click on the Share button under the Network file and folder sharing section. It will open a new window of Network access.
  • The Network access section allows you to add people or select everyone on the network to access the folder.Sharing a folder in Windows
  • Once the folder is shared, return to the folder Properties window and click the  Advanced Sharing button. It will open the Advanced Sharing window, where you must select the Share this folder option.
  • The next step is to limit the number of simultaneous users in the folder. You can set any number of users here, but choose as per your requirement to ensure it’s limited.
  • You can set share permissions for different users by clicking the Permissions button. If you want to share a folder with multiple names and different permission, follow the linked guide.Setting permissions for a shared folder in WIndows

If you have too many shared folders to manage, you can find all shared folders in Windows and manage them to save time by not having to do that for each folder separately.

Related: How To Make Shared Folders Content Available Offline in Windows

2] Deleting a Shared Folder

If the folder is no longer required to be accessed by people on a network, it is always better to delete the folder from the network. Let’s discuss how to delete a shared folder from a network:

  • Open the folder properties, then head over to the Sharing tab.
  • First, open the advanced sharing option in the sharing tab and uncheck the share this folder option.Turning off folder sharing in Windows
  • Now, you should proceed with removing the users from the folder. Click on the share button in the following window to see all the users added to the folder.
  • Right-click the user and click on remove to remove the user’s access to the shared folder. Removing Users from a shared folder in WIndows

You can also use the Computer Management section to stop sharing multiple folders.


In conclusion, monitoring and managing network shared folders in Windows is not difficult, provided you have the correct tools at your disposal. Keep the Computer Management tool under your tabs, and regularly manage the shared folders. I hope the post was easy to follow and that you can manage all shared folders on your PC.


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