How to Guides, Windows Home Server

Get Started: Add a Shared Folder to Windows Home Server


In our last Get Started feature, we set up and configured user accounts for family and friends.

Once you have all of your family members set-up with user accounts you can go ahead and add whatever additional shared folders you need, on top of Windows Home Server’s defaults.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Windows Home Server is pre-configured with a number shared folders; Videos, Music, Software, Recorded TV, Photos and Public. HP add the additional Converted Videos and Mac folders to their home servers. You can configure an individual user’s access rights to these folders when initially setting up that user’s account. But what if you want to create a completely new shared folder? Let’s take a look at how we do this.

Let’s say you’re in the process of moving house, and there’s all sorts of emails, documents and most importantly, spreadsheets sitting on various PCs in the house. (Anyone who has moved house will know the sheer volume of documents that go between you, your estate agent and solicitor!). I’m going to set-up a new shared folder, called “House Move” in which I can store all of my important documents about the move.

Step 1: Login to the Windows Home Server Console from One of your Home Computers

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Step 2: Click on the Shared Folders Icon at the Top of the Screen


The Shared folders screen will appear. This lists all of the shared folders you have set up on your home server with the following information:

  • Name – funnily enough, the name of your folder.
  • Description – a description of the folder contents.
  • Used Space – the space currently taken up by that folder on your home server
  • Duplication – Windows Home Server allows additional protection for your shared folders, by duplicating the contents to a second hard drive on your home server, if one is installed. This means that if one hard drive physically fails, your folders are safe on the second drive. It’s well worth investing in a second hard drive for this added protection. Duplication shows whether each folder is being duplicated or not.
  • Status – Windows Home Server keeps a check on the condition of your hard drive. This should usually be Healthy, if you get a status showing Unhealthy, it’s time to act!

Step 3: Select +Add From the Command Bar Underneath the Main Tabs

This will start the Add a Shared Folder wizard.


Step 4: Type in the Name and a Description for your Shared Folder.
If there’s going to be a specific role for this folder, then make sure it’s named clearly – remember, it may not just be you who has access to the folder, so a clear name and description will ensure that all of your family know what the folder is to be used for. I’ve gone for the folder name “House Move” and the description “Shared folder for house moving documents”. It’s not the most original, but it’ll do the job!


Step 5: Check the Enable Folder Duplication Checkbox
Decide whether you want Folder Duplication enabled for this folder – my personal view is that as storage is becoming cheaper all the time, there’s no reason not to duplicate your folders, as long as you have the space. You can turn folder duplication on or off at any time, so it makes good sense to use the protection that’s available. I certainly need to protect these house moving documents, so I’ve enabled folder duplication. If you want to know more about folder duplication, click “What is Folder Duplication?” and you’ll get verse and gospel. With everything in place, click Next.


Step 6: Decide Who Can Access the Shared Folder


Okay, you just need to tell Home Server who can access the new folder, and whether they’re allowed to just read files from it, or also save files to it (the Full option). Just click the radio button underneath one option (Full, Read or None) for each user and then click Next. I decided that both my wife and I need to read files from the folder, and save files to it, so we both get Full Access. I don’t want guests accessing these documents, so they get None.


Step 7: Your Folder is Set-up

With all the information Windows Home Server needs to setup the folder, the wizard churns away and completes the folder setup, configuring access and enabling folder duplication if required. You’re given a direct link to the new folder, if you want to start adding files immediately. Click Done to end the wizard.

complete explorer

Repeat the steps above for any new folders you want to set-up.

In our next Get Started guide, we’ll take a look a configuring back-ups of your home computers.

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Terry Walsh is the founder of We Got Served. He started the community in February 2007 with a mission to help families, tech enthusiasts everywhere figure out the technology needed to run the modern home and small business. He's the author of a number of guides to Windows, Windows Server and OS X Server and runs his own successful publishing business. Born and raised in Liverpool, England, Terry has been awarded Microsoft's prestigious Most Valuable Professional Award each year since 2008 for his work on We Got Served.
  • Steve

    Is there any way to limit the size of a share? For example, if I want to cap the amount of data a share can have on it at 1TB?

  • How can you share a sub-folder under the Video's folder share on WHS ?

    I want to share my movie folders directly that are currently under the Videos folder share, DVD, DIVX, HD etc so I can point Media Browser Configuration wizard directly to these folders e.g.


    I guess the other option is to move these movie folders out of the Video folder completely and create new root level folder shares.


  • Doh! it seems I don't need to share my movie sub folders that are in the main Video folder on the WHS, as I can just type in paths like the ones below in to the Media Browser Configuration Wizard setup and the movie folders show up fine in Media Browser in Media Center and the movies play.


    Sorry I was having a blonde moment. But it's still not clear if you can actually share sub folders of the main folder shares on WHS.

  • Draeconix

    How do you add an existing folder? It is in my Shares folder on WHS but it does not show up via the WHS Console.

  • Ade

    Can you change the icon for a new added share instead of the plain folder icon?

    • Gary

      Have you had any further progress on this issue?

      • 3iii

        Also looking to change the icon for custom folders…

        • I would also like to be able to change the icon.
          I have created an additional folder named Films so that I can keep a seperation between my personal and family videos and the movies I rip from DVD. I'd like to be able to assign the videos icon to the Films folder still.

  • Kanu

    I have the same problem as 'Draeconix', Can someone tell me how to do this? I have various folders with music and films I'd like to add. No conversion or duplication….

  • Matthew Sisk

    Is there a way to share out a 2TB hard drive that is connected to the Windows Home Server computer?

  • JazJon

    why wont it let me create and share a folder under ServerFolders? i want Software in the same nest the default folders are kept i was forced to create it at the root above ServerFolders

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