Administrative or Admin shares are available on most of the Windows client Operating system for a long time. It is a hidden share on the computers and mostly used for remote file management by the administrators. As we are talking about the ‘Shares’, so definitely it is in the network, and you have the working network setup in place. Follow the below steps if you face the issue of Administrative shares not working on Windows 10, 8.1 or Windows 7 computer.
While I’m preparing a test scenario in my virtual lab, I noticed that administrative share (admin share of C drive) was not working in my Windows 10 workgroup computer. If I add the same machine to a domain, it started working for domain administrator, but not in the workgroup. After several attempts, the below steps helped me to fix the issue.
By default, all the local drives (Partitions) shared for administrators to access over the network even when they are not shared manually. These type of shares called admin or administrative shares in Windows OS. It usually can be accessed by typing the Computer IP address or name with partition letter and dollar ($) sign at the end, as shown below.
Before continue further and troubleshoot the administrative shares not working issue in Windows 10, let us understand the necessary requirements.
- Check the network: Make sure that the computers are on the network where they can talk to each other. Simply try the ping command and confirm the network connectivity.
- They should be on the same workgroup: As we are talking about workgroup network which typically applicable for home or small office (where no domain and Active Directornetworkok exist), both computers should be on the same workgroup. If you have not changed it manually, then mostly all PCs will be on the default workgroup as below. If not, you need to change and reboot the computer.
- Administrative access on the destination: You must have the administrative access (Admin username and password) on the destination computer. As it is called ‘Administrative Shares”, apparently only the administrators (or the user accounts which are part of the administrator group) can access them over the network. Remember, it doesn’t matter whether you are the administrator of your (source) computer, you must have admin access on other computers.
- Administrative Shares are shared: It is shared by default, but the administrator can remove it for security purpose. If one administrator removed a C$ from the shares, then it is not going to work. So, check and confirm that the admin shares are active. It can be seen under the Computer management in Window 10 and 8.1
- Check Firewall and Security Softwares: Some of the 3rd party security software and personal firewalls disable the admin shares automatically to improve the data security of the computer. Also, if any firewalls and network policies block the file sharing TCP/IP protocols, then it is going impact the Administrative share access over the network
If the above requirements are checked and met, then follow the below steps.
It is a modification in Windows OS registry which worked straight away. Take extra care while modifying the registry, better take a backup before proceeding further.
How to Fix?
1) Open registry on the Windows 10/8.1 which gives the trouble (the destination PC)
2) Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE-Software-Microsoft-Windows-CurrentVersion-Policies-System
3) Add a new value DWORD ( 32 Bit or 64 Bit, depends on OS version), name it LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy and give value 1. Restart the machine and check the share now. It must work.
Example of registry
With the above 5 prerequisites and this registry hack, you should be able to fix the administrative shares not working in Windows 10/8.1 and even Windows 7. Hope this guide is useful.