Admin Shares come to FileBoss

(Note: this post applies to features in version 2.6 and later. Version 2.6 will be released in January 2013.)

072911_1714_AdminShares2.pngStarting with FileBoss version 2.6 FileBoss not only recognizes administrative shares when they are typed into the command bar but will also display them in the folder list on the left and in the contents view on the right. And of course they can be used as targets of any copy operation.

What are administrative shares

Admin shares allow on remote computer to access drives that haven’t been explicitly shared by the remote computer. They are called admin shares because they are typically used by system administrators to configure and maintain remote computers without having to make the shared drives visible to everyone. This allowed them to copy a file directly to a drive on another computer, e.g. \\CorpNet01\J$\backup\accounts, even when drive J hadn’t been shared. (Admin shares are represented by the drive letter followed by the dollar symbol $. )

Note that admin shares are only available to users who are authenticated members of the administrators group on the remote computer. Also when turned on every drive will be shared.

How to make admin shares visible in FileBoss

(Note: Admin shares can always be used as targets of copy operations and can be explicitly navigated to by typing or pasting the complete UNC path into the command bar. This section deals with displaying admin share in the folder listing from within FileBoss.

While extremely useful until now admin shares could only be used if you knew in advance that they existed. But FileBoss V2.6 has changed that by allowing you to see all existing and enabled admin shares on remote computers. (Note that this is an option from within FileBoss that needs to be turned on, see how to do this here.)

When admin share are not visible a listing from drive J on the remote computer might look like this:

But when the visibility of admin shares has been turned the list of folders might be expand to:

How to turn on admin shares in Windows

For admin shares to be visible Windows on the remote computer must be told that it is OK to expose its admin shares to other computers. Sometimes this setting is on by default other times it is not. But always be sure to consider the potential security risks of exposing a computers drives before turning on administrative shares.

For more on how to enable admin shares on Windows see Enabling Admin Shares.

Practical uses

While administrative shares have traditionally be used in enterprise environments by system administrators (mainly because no one else new about then and they aren’t visible is most file managers) they can be quite useful in home and small business environments if the security risks are not an issue.

One great use is that since a machine that has admin shares exposed exposes all its drives you can access a newly plugged in USB drive without expressly sharing it in the normal way. (Unfortunately card readers, such as those used for SD cards, seem not to be considered ‘drives’ so they do not show up as admin shares – at least not as far as I have seen.)

More information

Our main page on how admin shares are used in FileBoss version 2.6 and above
      Administrative Shares.
For how to create and remove admin shares on Windows XP, Windows 2000 and older versions see:
For how to prevent and allow admin shares being visible on Windows 2003 see:
For how to manage administrative shares in general see:


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