According to Microsoft, every Windows 8.1 computer, whether it’s the only computer on the network or not, its HomeGroup option is automatically created. With HomeGroup, file and folder sharing becomes easier; allowing you to share photos, music files, videos, documents, and printer(s) with other users in the network. However, the HomeGroup settings apply only to two or more networked computers, not for computers that have multiple user accounts.

Enabling the Stop sharing option from File Explorer won’t be able to assure you that your personal folders will be kept private because it can still be accessible from an administrator user account. The administrator, when trying to access another user’s personal folder while Stop sharing is on, will get a warning similar to the one below:

When the administrator clicks the Continue button, he was able to override the Stop sharing function, therefore gaining access to the personal folder. If you just want to restrict access of your personal folder(s) from another standard user account, you can go ahead and enable the Stop sharing option the normal way. Here’s how you can do it:

Open File Explorer, then right-click on the folder you want to enable Stop sharing with, then select the Share with option, and then Stop sharing. So when that standard user attempts to access the folder, the same warning message will appear, however, the user will be prompted to enter the administrator password before access to the folder is granted.

Now if you want to restrict other administrator accounts to gain access to your personal folder, open File Explorer, right-click on the folder you want to secure, and then select Properties. Go to the Security tab, then select the account(s) you want to block from accessing your personal folder, and then click the Edit button. Next, check the Deny box on Full control, then click Apply and then OK.

The next time that unauthorized admin user tries to access your folder and tries to bypass the warning message, he will be directed to open the Security tab of the folder’s Properties dialog window. From this dialog window, the user is prompted to open the Advanced Security Settings dialog, where he will be given a chance to take ownership of the object and permission to view its properties by clicking the Change option next to the owner field.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 9:00:19 PM and is filed under Computer Security & Data Protection.

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