How to Connect a Desktop to a Laptop

Connecting two computers directly to each other allows you to transfer files faster than any other method, and can also let you share one computer’s internet connection with the other. The process varies depending on whether you are sharing files or an internet connection, as well as what operating system you are using.

Sharing Files (Windows to Windows)

1.Disable the wireless adapters on the computers (optional). If either computer has the wireless network adapter, turn it off when connecting the computers. This will help prevent network conflicts.

  1. Click the Start menu, type ncpa.cpl, and press Enter.
  2. Right-click on your wireless connection and select “Disable”.

2.Connect the two computers using an Ethernet cable. Newer computers can use a standard Ethernet cable, as the network adapter will automatically detect that you are connecting two computers. Older computers may need to use a crossover cable, which is a standard Ethernet cable with the connection reversed on one end.

3.Return to the computer that you want to share something from. While you will be able to share files back and forth between both computers, it is usually easiest to set up sharing on your most modern computer.

4.Right-click on the network connection icon in the System Tray. Select “Open Network and Sharing Center”.

5.Click the “Local Area Connection” link next to “Unidentified network”. This will open the details of the new connection between the two computers.

6.Click .Properties. Select “Internet Protocol Version 4” and click Properties.

7.Select “Use the following IP address”. This will allow you to manually enter an IP address.

8.Enter an IP address. Since you aren’t using the internet, the IP address can actually be anything. For ease of explanation, set the IP address to 192.168.1.10.

9.Press Tab to automatically set the subnet mask. Click OK.

10.Go to the second computer. Open the Network and Sharing Center like you did on the first PC.

11.Click the “Local Area Connection” link next to “Unidentified network”. This will open the details of the new connection between the two computers.

12.Click .Properties. Select “Internet Protocol Version 4” and click Properties.

13.Select “Use the following IP address”. This will allow you to manually enter an IP address for the second computer.

14.Enter in an IP address with a different set of last digits. Since we used 192.168.1.10 for the first computer, enter 192.168.1.11 for the second one.

15.Press Tab to automatically set the subnet mask. Click OK. The two computers are now on a private network between the two of them.

16.Return to the computer you want to share something from. Locate the drive, file, or folder that you want to share with the second computer.

17.Right-click on the object you want to share and click “Properties”. Click the Sharing tab.

18.Click .Advanced Sharing and check the “Share this folder” box.

19.Click the .Permissions button and check the “Allow” box next to “Full Control”. This allows the second computer to read and write to the shared folder. Click Apply.

20.Return to the objects Properties window and select the .Security tab. Ensure that “Everyone” is listed in the list of users. If not, click the Add… button and follow the prompts to add “Everyone”.

21.Click the Start menu on the computer that is accessing the shared folder. In our example this is the second computer.

22.Type .\\IP address and press Enter. Using the IP addresses we entered above, you would type \\192.168.1.10.

23.Navigate the shared files. You will now see all of the folders that you have shared on the first computer. If your permissions were set correctly, you can copy, delete, and add files to these shared folders.

 

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