How can I share my external hard drive with friends as a read-only drive?

Lucas Adam May 29, 2013

I want to share my external hard drive data with friends but don’t want them to be able to delete or modify files. I only want them to be able to copy files off of it. I also only want my computer to be able to add/modify files.

I’ve tried modifying the permissions but I still can’t figure it out. Any help would be much appreciated!


  1. Oron Joffe
    May 29, 2013 at 9:14 am

    There are various ways to do this, depending on the exact combination of operating systems. However, why not use BiTorrent Sync, which was reviewed in MUO recently and has just the setting for that purpose?

  2. ha14
    May 29, 2013 at 8:38 am

    if your friends are techy they can remove that restriction

  3. Edem Dzameshie
    May 29, 2013 at 8:36 am

    You didn't indicate which Operating system you are using! Anyway, the concept is the same.
    First your friends need to be on the same network as you, whether wireless or cabled.
    Right click on the drive you want to share and select properties (some versions of windows will have a shortcut to share right there in that drop down menu), there will a tab at the top of the new window (pop up) that says sharing. Select it and choose your sharing details (for read only access only don't check anything other than read).
    When done, click apply and ok.
    Now when your friends connect to your machine over the network, they will be able to see and access your drive.

  4. Alan Wade
    May 29, 2013 at 6:36 am

    Click on computer then right click on the drive icon.
    Select Properties and under the Security tab you will see the various levels of user types and their permissions.
    Set it to Read and click OK.

    • Rajaa Chowdhury
      May 29, 2013 at 6:56 am

      Correct method mentioned by Alan.