How to Monitor Access to your Shared Windows Folders/Files

Ashish Mundhra

While talking about how to access shared Windows folder on Android the other day, I also gave a brief insight into how you can share a folder on Windows and make your sharing password protected when connected to a public, unsecured network.

We also saw the way to see a list of all the shared resources under a single roof to manage shared content or data. This feature is quite helpful, but I think what’s missing is the inability to monitor those shared folders and who’s trying to tamper with the data in them.

This is where this simple tool called NetShareMonitor fills in. This nifty application can tell you pretty much everything that’s going on with your shared resources on Windows. So let’s see how it works.

NetShareMonitor is a tiny utility that’s easy to master. Just extract the executable file from the archive, run the application with admin privileges and minimize the tool to the tray. That’s all. The program will now run in the background and monitor all your shared resources.

NetShare Monitor

If anyone tries to access your files on the network, the program will immediately warn you with a siren notification sound and a red blinking icon on the system tray, clicking on which will open up the program. On the program, you can see the details of all the devices that are connected to your computer under the Active Sessions tab. Moving on to the Accessed Files tab, you can see the files that are being accessed in real time.

net share monitor active sessions;

net share monitor accessed files

The Shared Resources tab shows all the folders you have shared on Windows but that’s about it because you can only see that how and when your stuff is getting accessed and can’t do anything about it from within the tool’s interface.

shared resources

As the name of the tool indicates, the tool just monitors the shared resources, sees the time of the active sessions and leaves the rest for you to figure out.  If you see any intruder ( active session without a username in this context) trying to access your files or folders, you can alter the folder’s share property or unshare it.

Note: The tool may give false alarms, like in my case, even though my friend was not trying to access any files on my computer but was only scanning the network, the tool warned me about an intrusion. So, proceed with caution.

If you don’t like the program’s annoying siren notification sound and would want to run it at startup along with the Windows, hit the settings button and make the necessary changes.

program settings

So that’s what you can (and can’t) do with this tool. My advice is to install a free firewall security like Comodo and use it in parallel with this tool. Firewalls generally provide details on all the active connections but it’s tough for a normal user to decrypt the geeky jargons they use. NetShareMonitor simplifies it for the common man.

So try out the tool if you are connected to networks where you suspect people will try to intrude. Want an example? The intranet in your college. Don’t ever trust your buddy in the next dorm. For all you know, he might be browsing your ‘movies’ folder on his system. 😉

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Ashish Mundhra

Written By

Ashish Mundhra

Ashish is a staff writer and video editor at Guiding Tech. He loves all things tech and has a soft corner for Android. Apart from contributing articles here, he also takes care of our YouTube Channel.