So we have 11 PC workgroup network and a server without AD DS with windows server 2012 operating system. Is there any way to share folder1 to user1 and so on without setting up domain and active directory? currently there is a entire partition shared to everyone and users cause mess in files. also in sharing option i can only see local users on server not every workgroup PC on network. i would be very thankful if someone could help me. thanks. All PCs use Windows 10.

  • Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking.
    – Community Bot
    Nov 25 at 9:29
  • I really suggest you install Windows server, if financially it's too much, setup a Linux samba sever for minimal cost. I think 11 pc's is a bit much for a workgroup, others may disagree.
    – Bib
    Nov 25 at 11:11

Yes, it is actually done mostly the same way as with AD – the only difference is that you need to manually create all the user accounts on your "server" system.

(You can use the regular Windows 10 user panel, but it will be easiest to do so through lusrmgr.msc or the net user command. Don't forget to set "Password doesn't expire".)

Once user accounts have been created, the rest is the same as with AD. Remove Everyone or Users from the folder's (and/or the share's) access list, then replace it with access entries for individual users instead. (Might be better to create a group for this purpose.)

In a workgroup, clients will be prompted to enter the username/password when connecting to your share. Though if you make sure that the usernames and passwords on your "server" exactly match those of the clients, then connections will happen automatically (just like with AD).

Finally, if you want to prevent those users from logging in to the server directly (or via RDP), you can configure that through secpol.msc "User Rights Assignment".

  • you need to manually create all the user accounts on your "server" system. ..... I am well used to this approach and it works great up to Windows 10. I have not yet been able to use this for NET USE from Windows 10 to Windows 11 (all Pro).
    – John
    Nov 25 at 11:57
  • I see no reason why Windows 11 wouldn't work, given that it is basically just rebranded Windows 10, while the basic concept goes all the way back to WinNT3 (it worked between Win2000 and XP, it worked between XP and Vista, it worked between Vista and Win7...)
    – user1686
    Nov 25 at 12:04
  • It all worked from XP to Windows 10. But on Windows 10 Pro - NET USE T: \\Windows11\folder does not even see the machine. I have been working at this for a while without success. Windows 11 NET USE T: \\Windows10\folder is fine.
    – John
    Nov 25 at 12:06
  • "Doesn't see the machine" goes beyond accounts. If it cannot resolve the hostname, that's either a LLMNR or DNS problem. If it can resolve the hostname but not connect (or cannot negotiate a common SMB version), that's probably SMB being turned off in general. Accounts don't factor into that. (Either way, it's a separate thread.)
    – user1686
    Nov 25 at 12:10
  • Hi again. i tried and it doesn't seem to work properly. i did make local user account with same name and password as on local user machine but it doesn't apply the permissions i'm setting for that user. maybe the problem is in windows server 2012 os while all machines run win 10?. the folder is sharing is working only for built in group(everyone,users and other groups). yesterday

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