Administrative shares are one of the built-in features of Windows OS that mainly created for remote administration tasks. It allows someone on your network to access the C or D or other local drives fully if they know the admin credentials. The important point is, you do not need to share these drives, it is already shared as administrative shares on Windows computers. This guide shows you how to stop/disable the Administrative shares on your Windows 10, 8.1 or Windows 7 so that nobody can access your hidden shares via the network.
Controlling the admin shares mainly depended on the type of the network connection you are connected. If you are on the domain network, then the domain administrator will have the rights to access the administrative shares on your computer. Also, group policies can be applied to enable or disable the admin shares on domain environment by the domain admin.
When you are on workgroup network (usually the home network), admin shares usually work without any issues on earlier (than Windows 10) Windows Operating Systems. The person has the admin access (who knows the administrator password of your computer) on home/workgroup network would be able to see the entire C or D drive by using the $ end of the drive letter. But with Windows 10, Microsoft has tightened this feature. There is a registry modification should be done to allow administrative share access on Windows 10. Anyhow, here we are discussing how to disable the administrative shares on Windows 10.
How to Access the Admin Shares on Windows 10, 8.1 and 7
Admin shares of a networked computer can be accessed over the network with ‘ $ ‘ at end of the drive letter. For example like below, by typing in search area or Run dialog box in Windows 10 computer will bring the whole C drive of a computer that has IP address 10.10.11.21
How to Disable/Stop Administrative Shares on Windows 10 and 8.1 to Protect your Data
All network shares, including administrative shares in a computer, can be viewed under Computer Management at the following location. Though the screenshot was taken from Windows 10, it is applicable for earlier versions also like Windows 8.1 and 1.
Right Click on ‘This PC’ (My Computer in earlier versions), then select Manage.
Under the “Shared Folders” and “Shares” you can see the shared folders and drives on your computer. The shares ending with the $ sign are the administrative shares we are talking about here.
To disable this default admin share, simply right click on the partition and select stop sharing.
Once you confirmed it, admin shares will disappear from ‘Shared Folders’ of Windows 10, 8.1 and Win 7 computers. Now we have successfully disabled the administrative shares on Windows 10 computer.
How to Bring Back the Deleted Administrative Shares in Windows 10/8.1/7
Let’s assume that you have removed the particular admin share and it disappeared from the computer management shares. Later you need to bring back or enable the admin share for the particular drive, in this case, it is a C drive. Let me show you how to create an admin share for a particular drive (Partition).
The below screenshot shows the missing admin share of C drive.
To create a new admin share, right click on the empty space under shares and select New Share.
Browse the drive you want to share as an admin share, in my case, it is C drive.
The share name is important. Leave the Drive letter and $ sign at the end.
Set the permission correctly. It should have full access to the administrators only.
Once you click Finish, it will appear back as Administrative share on your Windows 10 computer. Here is the screenshot after adding back the deleted administrative share.
Hope this guide is useful in disabling/stopping admin share on a Windows 10/8.1/7 computer, also bring back the deleted/remove admin share.