How to Get “Shared Folder Icon” Back in Windows Explorer in Windows 7
When you use Windows Explorer to view some shared folders on a computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, the shared type icons for these folders do not appear. Actually shared folders are no longer displayed with a distinctive share overlay icon. All folders are presented with a generic folder icon. Therefore, the shared folders cannot be identified quickly when you view many folders at the same time.
According to Microsoft, one of the goals for the Windows 7 release is to reduce large cognitive loads on users by simplifying the user interface. With the investment in sharing for the Windows 7 release, and especially with HomeGroup in the consumer space, we believe that a majority of users' content will be shared. The previous overlay model would have resulted in the sharing overlay appearing frequently in typical Explorer views, potentially distracting users with information that they might not use or need on a daily basis. A single sharing overlay can't provide details about how an item is shared (for example, who it's shared with, what privileges are assigned, etc.) and this results in a higher cognitive load for the end user. Prior to Windows 7, there were also scenarios in which the sharing overlay was shown inconsistently, which caused user confusion. As a result, based on the above, the sharing overlay was removed from the items view in Explorer.
The sharing state information that the overlay provides isn't gone but rather has been moved to the Details pane in Windows Explorer. This approach is an improvement over the overlay model, as it helps provide more relevant data related to sharing (for example, who the item is shared with). The Details pane is also where all other relevant properties for an item--such as ratings and author--are displayed, making the overall experience more consistent for end users by providing one location in which they can see all relevant state information for an item.
If you share a folder, then click the folder to select it, at the bottom of the screen in the Details pane, you'll see "State:" and "Shared" with the appropriate "people" icon. It also shows "Shared with" and lists the users/groups.
If you want to get the good old "Shared Folder" icon back in Windows 7, here comes our favorite "Classic Shell" to the rescue.
"Classic Shell" is an awesome free utility which provides almost all those good old features back in Windows 7 which have been removed by Microsoft for unknown or you can say weird reasons.
Simply download Classic Shell using following link:
After installing it, click on the "Classic Explorer Settings" button present at last of the toolbar in Explorer. If you don't get the Classic toolbar in Explorer after installing the utility, press "ALT" key to show Menubar, right-click on it and select "Classic Explorer Bar" option.
Now enable "Add icon overlay for shared folders" option present in "File Pane" tab and Apply it.
That's it. You'll need to restart or log off and now Windows 7 will start showing Shared folder icon in Explorer.
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