In this article, I’m going to show you how to create a shared folder in Windows Server 2016, using Server Manager.
This is an easy step by step tutorial you can follow to quickly create a shared folder on your file server, assign the access permissions, and define users’ quotas.
Create A Shared Folder With Server Manager
There are other simple ways to create a shared folder, but I’m going to use the Server Manager because it allows me to tackle all the shared folder aspects (Share name, Data encryption, access permissions, Quotas…) in a single place.
In the File Server Open Server Manager. Click On “File and Storage Services” => Click on “Shares“
On the “SHARES” panel, click on the tasks menu, then click on “New Shares“, to launch the New Share Wizard.
NB: If you don’t see the “Shares” option, that means that the file server role is not installed!
Select the profile
On the first page of the wizard, you need to select the profile for this share. There are mainly five profiles;
- SMB Share – Quick: This profile represents the fastest way to create a file share and it’s suitable for general file sharing. You can always configure advanced options, like quotas later on.
- SMB Share – Advanced: Select this profile if you want to configure advanced options for your share; like Quotas and type of files stored in the share (General files, Backup, and archive files, Hyper-v files …etc.).
- SMB Share – Applications: This profile creates an SMB file share with settings appropriate for Hyper-V, certain databases, and other server applications.
- NFS Share – Quick: Use this profile to share files with UNIX-based computers.
- NFS Share – Advanced: To create shares with UNIX-based computers, using advanced options.
Select the “SMB Share – Advanced” profile to be able to configure advanced options.
Select the server and path for the share.
On this page, select the server on which you want to create the shared folder. If you are managing only the local server on the Server Manager dashboard you’ll only see the local server on the server list.
Next, you have to specify the share location, either by selecting a volume or by typing a custom path.
If you choose a volume for your share location, Windows Server will create a folder under the root folder of the selected volume and name it “Shares“. You can’t change this name.
If you want to custom the path location, you need to select “Type a Custom path” option, then you can browse and select or create the appropriate path.
Best Practices: Create a top-level folder under which you’ll organize all the shares (Ex: E:\Shares). Under this folder create sub-folders and organize them according to job roles and security requirements.
Configure share settings;
On this page, you can configure additional settings for your share, like enabling caching, which makes the contents of the share available to offline users.
You can also encrypt data access; this secures the data against unauthorized access while the data is transferred to and from the share through the network. However, this option will not encrypt the share contents on the disk.
Specify permissions to control access
At this step, you need to attribute access permissions to the share.
Click on the “Customize permissions” => then click on the “Share” panel.
In the “permission entries,” by default, the Everyone group has full access rights to the share.
Remove the Everyone group, click on the “Add” button and add the users or group of users you want to allow access to this share.
Best practices: Give access permissions rights to groups instead of to individual users.
In the permission Entry for the group you choose, select “Allow” in the permission type.
In the permissions checkbox list, select the appropriate permissions (Read, change, or full control) you want to give to the users’ group.
Specify folder management properties
On the “Specify folder management properties” page, you can specify the purpose of the folder and type of files stored in it.
This will allow you to set up rules that automatically classify files based on their content. Then you can perform specific actions on them, such as moving the files tagged as a backup to a specific folder or encrypting user files
To create a user share, select “Group Files“, then click Next.
Apply a quota to the shared folder
You can apply a quota to the shared folder, this allows you to control the disk space.
If you set small quota and you notice later that you need more space you can always change it later.
Confirm your selections and create the share
Review your selections, and if there is something wrong, you can step back, by clicking on the previous button and make changes.
Finally, click on the Create button to create the share.
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