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Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Accessing Shared Folders

Now suppose you’re not you. You’re your coworker, spouse, or employee. You’re using your laptop downstairs, and you want access to the stuff that’s in a shared folder on the Beefy Main Dell computer upstairs. Here’s what to do (the steps are the same whether the Public folder or any folder was shared):

  1. Open any Explorer window.

    The navigation pane at left shows a Network heading. Click its flippy triangle, if necessary, to see icons for all the computers on the network (Figure 27-11, top). The same navigation pane is available in the Save and Open dialog boxes of your programs, too, making the entire network available to you for opening and saving files.

    Top: The computers on your network are arrayed before you! Double-click the one you want to visit.Bottom: Supply your account name and password as it exists on the distant PC, the one you’re trying to access.

    Figure 27-11. Top: The computers on your network are arrayed before you! Double-click the one you want to visit. Bottom: Supply your account name and password as it exists on the distant PC, the one you’re trying to access.

    Tip

    Alternatively, type network at the Start screen; press Enter to open the Network result in the results list.

    If you don’t see a certain computer’s icon here, it might be turned off, or off the network. It also might have network discovery turned off; that’s the feature that lets a PC announce its presence to the network. (Its on/off switch is one of the buttons shown in Figure 27-7.)

    And if you don’t see any computers at all in the Network window, then network discovery might be turned off ...

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