File and printer sharing service on Windows 7 is a feature using which other computers in the network can access peripherals like the printer connected to your machine. On most occasions, this is done over a network which is configured as TCP/IP. You need to share local folders in order to enable file sharing on Windows. Printers and files are often shared with other computers in a home or office network.
First and foremost, it is important to ensure that network discovery and printer sharing is enabled on your system. The following steps will guide you to do so, on Windows 7.
- Go to ‘Start’ menu and open the ‘Control Panel’. From there, click open ‘Network and Sharing Center’ by clicking on ‘Network and Internet’.
- See if the network discovery is on. If it is off, click on the arrow to expand the section and then hit ‘Turn on Network Discovery’. Click ‘Apply’ for the changes to take place. If you are intercepted by administrator passwords, key it in to authenticate yourself.
- Check if Public folder sharing is turned on/off. You need to turn this on if you want to share files on the public folder. Expand the section once again by clicking the arrow and click on Turn on. This will allow anyone within the network to view the public folder of your system. Users will be able to change and create files also. You may again be asked to provide the admin password for authentication.
The steps mentioned above will make your system visible within the network.
To enable printer sharing within a particular network, follow the steps mentioned below.
- With your printer connected to the system, log on to ‘Network and Sharing Center’ once again. Locate the Printer sharing section and expand to turn it on. Click on ‘Apply’ and authenticate yourself with the admin password if prompted.
- Once this is done, right click on the file or folder that to intend to share and click on ‘Share’. Choose the people you want to share your printer with so as to prevent unauthorized people from accessing it.
- You can then simply share files by copying it to the public folder of your system.
These steps should be able to help you to share printer on your system. In case you have any problems, check the status of your firewall. It might happen that the firewall is preventing file and printer sharing.
You can solve it with the following steps as mentioned below:
- Open the ‘Control Panel’ from the ‘Start’ menu and click on ‘System Security’ followed by ‘Windows Firewall’.
- To enable printer sharing, click on ‘Allow a program through Windows Firewall’. At this step, you will be again required to key in the administrator password for verification purposes.
- Look into the program or port list to see if the File and Printer sharing is checked. Click OK and log out.
File and printer is a very useful feature on Windows. It allows users within a group to share valuable information thereby providing a medium for communication. This kind of sharing is very popular in workplaces where people need to send work related data to one another. You can also establish this kind of a network at home if you have multiple computers and need to transfer data frequently.