This is how you can enable remote access to administrative shares in Windows 10.
(This guide applies to Windows 8.x, 7 and Vista too – only the screenshots are a bit different.)
Adminstrative shares are default shares of all the disk drives on a Windows computer. These allow access to the root disks remotely.
If you try to connect to adminstrative shares (for instance C$ or D$) on a remote computer running a newer version of Windows than Windows XP, you will not be able to.
First, you need to have a local account with administrative rights on the computer you want to connect to running Windows 10 or older.
You may need to enable Advanced Sharing. Right-click any disk drive using File Explorer and click “Properties”. Then click “Advanced Sharing” and turn on file sharing when it asks if you want to enable it. (Don’t share the disk drive, just close the dialog box.)
Now, at this point, you can connect to a remote share (i.e \\SERVERNAME\c$) but get prompted to enter a username and password.
If you enter the username and password of the local account on the server, (i.e \\SERVERNAME\MyAdminUser), you still get an error message.
This is because of a default security policy that disables access to adminstrative shares.
Thankfully, a small registry hack is all it takes to get around the issue by creating a policy manually that overrides the default setting. Do this on the server that has the shares you want to access remotely:
- Click the Windows Start icon and search for “regedit”. Right-click and select “run as administrator”.
- Expand the tree to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft\ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ policies \ system.
- Create a new key (Right click -> New -> choose “DWORD Value (32bit)”).
- Name the key “LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy” and give it the value of “1”. Click OK.
- Reboot the server to enable the setting to take effect.
- Now when you try to access the administrative shares on the remote computer, it should magically work.