How to Turn on File & Printer Sharing Remotely

By Ruri Ranbe

As a business owner, you might need to know how to perform certain technical tasks that might be out of your usual business functions. Or, you need to know how to find someone who can perform those technical tasks for you. Turning on file- and printer-sharing remotely is one such task you can do yourself in your business. You can modify group policy objects to deploy firewall settings on workstations that are connected to the company's domain. Turning on file- and printer-sharing enables employees to exchange data with one another or to access remote printing devices, without the need to connect the printer to a local computer. Administrators can define network functions in Windows via Active Directory. Note that enabling sharing in Windows will unblock user datagram protocol ports 137 and 138 and transmission control protocol ports 139 and 445.

Press "Windows-R" and enter "dsa.msc" into the dialog box. Click "OK" to open Active Directory Users and Computers.

Right-click the domain from the left pane. Click "Properties." From the Group Policy tab, click "Default Domain Policy," then "Edit."

Expand the following folders: "Computer Configuration," "Administrative Templates," "Network," "Network Connections," and "Windows Firewall."

Click "Domain Profile" to turn on file- and printer- sharing on the private network, or click "Standard Profile" to turn on file- and printer- sharing on unsecured networks.

Double-click "Windows Firewall: Allow File and Printer Sharing Exception" from the right pane.

Select "Enabled" from the options on the Setting tab. In Allow Unsolicited Incoming Messages From, type "*" to allow traffic from all networks, or enter a specific Internet protocol address to allow traffic from that address.

Click "OK" to turn on file- and printer- sharing. Wait at least 30 minutes for the workstations on the domain to accept the new rule.


You can also allow incoming messages from multiple IP addresses. Simply separate each address with a comma.