From Bradley Mitchell,

Simple File Sharing is a feature introduced in Microsoft Windows XP. Simple File Sharing removes some file sharing security options available in other versions of Windows. This helps Windows XP administrators quickly set up folder shares.

Simple File Sharing (SFS) is always enabled and cannot be disabled in Windows XP Home Edition. The below step-by-step instructions explain how to enable/disable SFS in Windows XP Professional.

Here's How:

  1. Open My Computer from the Start Menu or Windows XP Desktop. A new My Computer window will appear.
  2. Open the Tools menu and choose the "Folder Options..." option from this menu. A new Folder Options window will appear.
  3. Click on the View tab and locate the "Use Simple File Sharing (Recommended)" check box in the list of Advanced Settings.
  4. To enable Simple File Sharing, ensure this check box is checked. To disable Simple File Sharing, ensure this check box is not checked. Click inside the check box to alternately enable and disable the option.
  5. Click OK to close the Folder Options window. The settings for Simple File Sharing are now updated; no computer reboot is required.


The Simple File Sharing check box should be at or near the bottom of the Advanced Settings list in the My Computer Folder Options. Enabling Simple File Sharing prevents the ability to assign user-level passwords to shares. When Simple File Sharing is enabled on a computer, remote users will not be prompted for a password when accessing that computer's shares.

If the Windows XP Professional computer is part of a Windows domain rather than a Windows work group, this process for enabling or disabling Simple File Sharing has no effect. Simple File Sharing always remains disabled for computers joined to domains.