Configure a Network Share Item

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012

Network Share preference items let you create, update, replace, and delete shares. Before you create a Network Share preference item, you should review the behavior of each type of action possible with this extension.

Creating a Network Share item

To create a new Network Share preference item

  1. Open the Group Policy Management Console . Right-click the Group Policy object (GPO) that should contain the new preference item, and then click Edit .

  2. In the console tree under Computer Configuration , expand the Preferences folder, and then expand the Windows Settings folder.

  3. Right-click the Network Shares node, point to New , and select Network Share .

  4. In the New Network Share Properties dialog box, select an Action for Group Policy to perform. (For more information, see "Actions" in this topic.)

  5. Enter network share settings for Group Policy to configure or remove. (For more information, see "Network share settings" in this topic.)

  6. Click the Common tab, configure any options, and then type your comments in the Description box. (For more information, see Configure Common Options.)

  7. Click OK . The new preference item appears in the details pane.


This type of preference item provides a choice of four actions: Create , Replace , Update , and Delete . The behavior of the preference item varies with the action selected and whether the share already exists.


Create a new share for computers.


Remove ("un-share") a share from computers.


Delete and re-create a share. The net result of the Replace action is to overwrite all existing settings associated with the share. If the share does not exist, then the Replace action creates a new share.


Modify settings of a share. This action differs from Replace because it only updates settings that are defined within the preference item. All other settings remain as configured on the share. If the share does not exist, then the Update action creates a new share.

Network share settings


Share name

User limit

Configure the number of users allowed to be simultaneously connected to the share.

  • To restrict the number of users, select Allow this number of users and enter the maximum to allow.

  • To make the number of users unrestricted, select Maximum allowed .

  • To leave the allowed number of users unchanged when updating a share, select No change .


    If creating or replacing a share, selecting No change configures the number of users as the maximum allowed.

These options are available only if the action selected is Create , Replace , or Update .

Access-based Enumeration

Configure the visibility of folders within the share.

  • To make folders within the share visible only to those who have read access, select Enable .

  • To make folders within the share visible to all users, select Disable .

  • To leave the visibility of folders within the share unchanged when you update a share, select No change .

This option is available only if the action selected is Create , Replace , or Update .

Additional considerations

  • Network Share items create, modify, or delete share points, but do not create or delete the folders to which they point. For a share point to be created, the folder to be shared must already exist on computers to which the Group Policy object is applied. When a share is deleted, the share point leading to the folder is removed, but the folder and its contents are not deleted.

  • For information on how to use a Folder preference item to create or delete folders using Group Policy, see Folders Extension.

  • Access-Based Enumeration options take effect only if the computers hosting shared folders have the Windows Server® 2003 Service Pack 1 or later or Windows Server® 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008 operating system installed.

  • You can use item-level targeting to change the scope of preference items.

  • Preference items are available only in domain-based GPOs.

Additional references