Administrative or Admin shares have been available on most Windows client Operating systems for a long time. It is a hidden share on the computers, mainly used for remote file management by the administrators. As we are talking about the ‘Network Shares’, you have the working network setup. Follow the below steps if you face the issue of admin share not working on Windows 10, 11 or Windows 7 computers.
By default, all the local drives (Partitions) are shared for administrators to access over the network. These types of shares are called admin or administrative shares in Windows OS. It usually can be accessed by typing the Computer IP address or name with a partition letter and dollar ($) sign at the end, as shown below.
Prerequisites for Working Administrative Shares
Before further troubleshooting the administrative shares not working issue in Windows 10/11, let us understand the requirements.
- Working network: Make sure the computers are on the LAN network where they can communicate with each other. Simply try the ping command and confirm the network connectivity.
- Same Domain or Workgroup: As we are talking about a workgroup network typically applicable for home or small office (where no domain and Active Directory network exist), both computers should be in the same workgroup. If you have not changed it manually, then mostly all PCs will be on the default workgroup as below. If not, you need to change and reboot the computer. The same condition is applicable in the domain environment.
- Administrative access on the destination: You must have administrative access (Admin username and password) on the destination computer. As it is called ‘Administrative Shares’ only the administrators (or the users who are part of the administrator group) can access them over the network. It doesn’t matter if you are the admin of your (source) computer; you must have admin access on other remote computers.
- Status of Administrative Shares: It is shared by default, but the administrator can remove it for security purposes. If C$ or other admin shares are disabled manually, then it will not work. So, check and confirm that the admin shares are active. We can see them under Computer Management in Windows 10/11 and others.
- Check Firewall and Security Softwares: Some of the 3rd party security software and personal firewalls may disable the admin shares to improve the computer’s data security. Also, if any firewall or network policies block the file sharing TCP/IP protocols, it will impact the Administrative share access over the network.
If the above requirements are checked and met, follow the steps below.
It is a modification in the Windows OS registry which worked straightaway in my example. Take extra precautions while modifying the registry; take a backup before proceeding further.
How to Fix When you Can’t Access C$?
Check Admin Share on Local PC:
As described earlier, the Computer Management -> Shared Folders -> Shares will show the active shares of the local PC.
Also, we can use the below command to find out from the command prompt or PowerShell.
Find Administrative Share on Remote PC
If you have appropriate access on the remote computer, the below command will output the admin shares on the remote computer.
net view \\computername /all
You can use the IP address instead of computer name as well.
Follow the steps if you can’t access C$ or other admin shares on the remote computer (after checking the above 5 prerequisites)
1) Open registry on the remote Windows 10/11 computer – Open the Run dialogue box and type ‘regedit’
2) Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
3) Add a new value DWORD (32 Bit or 64 Bit, depending on OS version), name it LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy and give value 1.
Restart the computer and check the admin share now. It must work.
Example of registry
With the above 5 prerequisites and this registry modification, you should be able to fix the administrative shares not working in Windows 10/11 and even Windows 7.
Check the below video for more information: