Connect Two Windows 7 Computers On LAN Using Ethernet Cable

There are times when you want to transfer your important files and documents from one computer to another. Especially, if you are to manage multiple computers on your home network or a workgroup, transferring files between them becomes tedious. Though you can use the following alternatives to transfer data.

Tip: Create Wireless Home Network Without Router in Windows 7/Vista.

1. The mostly used media to transfer files or documents is removable disk (USB drive). But the drawback of the removable media is that if you want to transfer a large amount of data, you need to divide that in various part as the total data would not fit in the limited space of your USB drive. It is also slow comparatively with the hard disk.

2. You can use Dropbox to sync files across multiple computers. Dropbox is a great tool but it is useless with out an internet connection.

Hence, you should use a fast, reliable and all time available way. One of the best choice to transfer files between two Windows computers is connecting them with an Ethernet cable.

The Ethernet cable is nothing but a simple cable connected with RJ45 clips at both ends. Bu it comes with two different configuration.

1. Straight-through cable.

2. Crossover cable.

You can see the configuration diagram of both types from the following image.

(image credit)

Where the crossover cable can be used only for file transferring, the straight-through cable can be used in various purposes.

Here I will discuss how to connect two Windows computers on LAN though an Ethernet crossover cable and how to transfer files, folders, videos, pictures, images etc. between them.

Create a Home network using an Ethernet crossover cable

Things that you’ll need:

1. A crossover or straight-through cable. This time I am using the crossover cable.

2. Supported network card in both computer.

3. Both of the computers should have the Ethernet driver installed in it.

Configuring the computers

Below are the steps involved in configuring your computer to connect them on a LAN using Ethernet cable.

Step 1. In order to start the connection, you’ll have to assign different IP address for both computers. To change the IP address of your computers for the LAN connection, you should make changes in the LAN adapter settings.

  • Open Control panel from the start menu and click on Network and Internet and click on Network and Sharing center.
  • From the left sidebar, click on Change adapter settings.

  • Under the Network connections window select the appropriate icon for your LAN adapter and right-click on it, then choose Properties.

  • A Local Area Connection Properties box appears.

  • Under the Network tab select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click on the Properties button.
  • Now set the addresses as mentioned below in each computer and click OK.

At the first computer ( say, Computer 1):

IP address:

Subnet mask:

At the second computer ( say, Computer 2):

IP address:

Subnet mask:

Step 2. Now, connect one end of the cable into the Ethernet port of Computer 1 and the other end with the same of the Computer 2 and apply the following steps in both the computers.

  • Right-click on Computer from the start menu and select Properties.
  • The system properties Control Panel window opens as shown below.

  • Click on Change settings and the System properties dialog box appears. under the Computer Name tab, click on on the Change button to assign a WORKGROUP. Assign the same workgroup name for both computers otherwise it won’t work.

Restart each computer. It does not matter which computer you restart first. After starting both the computer, double-click on the Computer icon at the start menu and then click on Network from the left side of the explorer window.

In the computer 1, you should see an icon denoting your second computer’s name under the Network window. Similarly, you can see that the first computer has been appeared under the Network window of your second computer.

If they do not appear, you should get a message prompting to turn on Network Discovery and file Sharing. Click that security pop-up and select “make the network a private network”. In case, you may have to restart your computers.

Once you see the other computer in your Network computer window, just double click on it. If the other computer is password protected, you will have to enter the exact user name and password of that computer to get access of the shared folder.

If you want to share some files or folder of a computer with the other computer on the network, right-click on that and select Share with > Homegroup. Even you can share a total drive by right-clicking on it.

Let me know if you face any problem when sharing files between two computers on LAN.

Also check out how to share Internet connection using an Ethernet cable.

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  1. Determine :

    I cannot access the drives a message is displayed “Drive access not granted. Contact your network administrator.” Please help.

  2. Tanmay :

    Are you the administrator in your both computer?

    • rocky :

      How to cs source 13 on pc with lan connection….how to create server?

  3. Determine :

    Yes, and I have turned off network password.

  4. Tanmay :

    Hmm..I can’t understand the problem. Turn on Network password and try to access your remote computer by giving the user name and password.

  5. Determine :

    Its working now without making any changes. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Nurul Islam :

    Yah Its working. in previously I wasn’t connect two pc’s. thanks a lot for this help……….

  7. WONG :

    I have follow the steps as you mentioned but I could not proceed even though I have provided with the correct username and password of the other computer which i’m trying to connect.It said ‘logon failure, unknown username or bad password’.
    Please advise.

  8. wolniq1 :

    Thanks a lot … its really a valuable information and also the most precious ones for most networking people or networking students ……

  9. john :

    if my laptop is configured for the office network and i do the above, won’t i destroy the work network configuration, after which i probably need the system admin to add me back to the work network.

  10. Sumudu :

    how i can share Internet using this network ????

  11. Arif :

    After following this process, Under networks I can see both computer but when I doubble click on other PC then wants permission but there is no password on any PC.

  12. Mehmood :

    hey dude after d last step, der was a window showing….”detecting problems and at las problem not solved”….:(

  13. Akshit :

    When i tried using this option to transfer data btwn 2 laptops the approx speed was around 1mbps, is there a way to increase the speed of the rate of transfer? thanks for ur help :)

  14. Joe :

    This was soo easy, it took me 7 yrs to figure out how to network 2 pcs directly. Noob proof directions. I would expand on what a straight through cable can do vs file transfer only for crossover. Thnxs a lot.


    when i tried to home Network on both pc. but when i am restart our pc’s , my computer automatic jump to public network , please solve my problem

  16. jeevan :

    thks for sharing..

  17. Alfred :

    I want to network two system using win 7 . I want the easiest way to network it. Also which of the following cable will be suitable for pairing two it twisted pair cable or unshielded twisted pair cable.

  18. Peter :

    PC 1 = (wifi) – multiple win 7 devices
    IP device = – single device (crossover cable), has no windows OS – used for data control.
    How do I route between the 2 networks?

  19. Gul :

    Not successful

  20. Darab Imteyaz :

    Thank You so Much! it’s really awesome!
    . . . it’s help me alot. :)
    Good work buddy! (^_^) keep it up! :)

  21. Sean :

    i would like to find out as whats da difference between a network cable and a crossover cable.

  22. Bhupinder :

    cant ping the two pc’s..can access data frm network

  23. harvinder :

    I tried to connect two window 7 computers using lan by giving them same work group name ip addresses all that.they both ping each other but when i went to network icon it is not showing other compute.y?

  24. Raymond :

    HELP.. i followed the steps but i can’t see both my computer and the other computer in network but when i try to ping the other computer’s IP it works (0% Loss)

    and on the other computer it show it’s computer name only (just 1 / it self)

  25. Wealth Promise :

    How to share files and document between two computer system connected through cross over and straight lan networking.

  26. David :

    After reading your article “Connect Two Windows 7 Computers On LAN Using Ethernet Cable” I found something for you to test. I have an Imac with windows7 installed using Parallels 7 trying to network with my HP Pavillion. Both are running window7 home premium 64 bit. I followed your instructions to the letter, but they won’t connect. They both show themselves as connected to the network, but they won’t communicate or recognize each other. I have called every suppot tech I can think of, and they are all stumped, and of course, they are all looking for the router. I connect to the internet via USB modems, one for each computer as this is my only option out here. No cable or dsl, and I won’t use satellite. I’d welcome any help I could get

  27. Wealth Promise :

    Please i want to locally connect 10 system to be able to share file, document, music etc. How do i go about it?

  28. eagle :

    thanks for your experience note, can i share more than two computers at same time. pls give me more information about computers

  29. STEVEN :


  30. Harborbreeze ceiling fans :

    Yup!! it’s a interesting task I have done work on Ethernet cables, When I was a lecturer of engineering college, that was my work to connect system to internet by LAN cables.

  31. Hampton Bay Fan Company fans :

    Hey its really very nice and useful article. using Ethernet cable for connecting systems are so typical process and tough process but this article makes it easy.

  32. cfa 1 exam :

    Thanks for giving me this kind of information. Iam very much interested in networking so for me this topic is really great to discuss.

  33. Dhanaji :

    Thanks for provide this info,for using this i have connected two laptops.Thanks

  34. Dhanaji :

    I want information for secure the PC from external hard drives.Plese kindly provide detail information for secure the USB drives.

  35. mayur pande :

    hi great tutorial, only problem im having is the same as WONG did previously. Every time i type in my user name and password it says they are wrong which cannot be. please help!

  36. rutash :

    for my case it says time out .i have tried many times but invain .please reply in mail.

  37. Paa Kwesi :

    Thanks very much for your help. I’ve really learnt a lot and I hope to get more tutorials like this from you.

  38. Adhitya AIW :

    what should i do if it required security password??

  39. mahesh yada :

    With lan connection I can transfer only in one laptop but in other laptop it show the user name and password dailog box I fill the user name n password it would not connect it
    show //mahesh-pc/ rajesh

  40. subhash :

    problem find .when i double click on second computer
    “window cannot access//subhash”
    check the speling of the name.otherwise,there might be a problem with your network. to try to identify and resolve network problem,click dignostics.
    my first pc is an laptop (win7) and my second pc is an dekstop (win xp).so please tell me this connection is possible or not

  41. subhash :

    enter your name and password to connect subhash
    username and password me kya enter karu
    pls reply fast

  42. john :

    Not a very comprehensive tutorial.

    ” If they do not appear, you should get a message prompting to turn on Network Discovery and file Sharing. Click that security pop-up and select “make the network a private network”. In case, you may have to restart your computers. ”

    ” you should get a message” ? – problem, right there.

    Had to enter advanced sharing settings and turn it on from there.
    Still , no luck. The other PC isn’t showing on the network . I restarted them both , again, and the problem persists.

  43. Johndee :

    Am I doing the right thing?

    I have a cable with straight configuration in one side, and crossover in other. Is it the problem that one of the PC has exclamation mark on its “Unidentified network”? Should I make a home group first? I want to access all files from it with my first PC. Other PC doesn’t appear in the network. I don’t have any log-on password in both, should I have it? Need advise.

  44. Tanmay :

    @Johndee: Try changing the IP address of any one. For example, if you keep one IP address as then try for the another one. Let me know if this solves your problem.

  45. Sandeep Singh :

    Hello Tanmay,
    Another shared computer does not appear on my network. Even my computer does not appear on my network. Please help us, thanks in advance.

  46. Ontheway :

    hi Tanmay.
    We followed your all guidelines, but problem still occurring. Another computer does not showing on my network. Actually we tried to connect PC(desktop) and Laptop. We have turned on the password too. Please help us, Its really urgent.

    • Tanmay :

      Double check whether the Ethernet port is working in both computers. Try these two combination of IP: & .

  47. Ashish :

    I can see shared drives of both laptops I connected but I can’t access them. It asks for Username & Password. I entered both but says invalid username/password. Then I removed the password of both laptops and restarted them but the problem still persisted. I’m sure about hitting the correct login password but I’m a bit confused about username. Is it my laptop’s name I just changed in System Properties dialog box or anything else? Please reply ASAP.

    • Tanmay Ahmed :

      The Computer name should appear on the System Property dialogue box under the ‘Computer Name’ tab. make sure to assign same Work group name in both computer. Turn off any anti-virus program or Firewall if you are running in any of them.

      Feel free to ask further questions.

  48. Sam :

    No luck! 1st of all the network is stuck on unidentified public network no matter what I do. Then the workgroup resets after restarting the PCs. Tried all combination of ips including the method n ips in this tutorial still exclamation mark on the icon and no connectivity, When xp connects immediately!!

  49. Happy :

    I have shared only drive G: but other drives do not open on other computers.

  50. Echo Bravo :

    I found an alternative that finally worked for me, first off I disabled all other network adapters just to be sure Windows didn’t decide to mess up worse than it already did.

    I edited the IPv4 settings on both computers as follows,

    PC #1: IP:,
    Subnet: do not modify it, windows will add it automatically.
    Default Gateway: Set it to the IP of PC #2

    PC 2:
    Subnet: Do not modify it, windows will add it automatically.
    Default Gateway: Set it to the IP of PC #1

    Apply settings, and then reboot both computers for good measure. Make sure network discovery is turned on and that you remove any passwords you may have for either computer, but don’t forget to add the password back once you are done. Once you do the above, you should be able to change the Network Location to HOME. Disable both adapters, and re-enable them again, by this point you should have both systems able to cross-talk to each other and ready to create a home group, in which then you create a simple password. Then connect both of the computers to each other with different Homegroups. Hope it helps, I know it’s not the most friendly of instructions but basically combine what I wrote with the article above and you should have a functional cross-over network.

  51. John :

    You can also use Ammyy Admin for that. Small and simple tool.

  52. Neeloville :

    I tried connecting but am having problem with the password and user name

  53. Kevin :

    Hi,I’m having a problem with the password and username…it says that it’s invalid? What do I do now?

  54. Mohamud :

    the cable I want to use as to connect two laptops are straight instead of cross over and it does not work what is problem?

  55. Mike :

    Good advices, thank you, I was able to establish a 2-PC connection.
    However, the pure Ethernet Cable Solution will show some flaws in Windows 7, except if you have the Professional version. So, Windows will ask you everytime to put the network to “Private”, also you will have everytime to unplug/plug the cable on both machines in order to make the network visible in the Explorer.
    Also it seems to me that you cannot even setup a homegroup in Win7 Home Premium (in Professional yes), the reason is that “unidentified networks” cannot be changed to private and you won’t get rid of the warning message that allows you to setup a homegroup.

  56. Pradeep Kumar :

    For connecting two computers need IPV4 cable and connect to each other.
    then go to network setting and click on network adapter and then right click on ethernet connection if there are not avilable then create ethernet connection and check property and then choose ipv4 and choose property :
    give IP of any class but in same series.
    and the click on subnet mask.
    subnet mask will be come automatically.
    when it comes then click ok your LAN network established.
    If wanna share a network such as internet then u need a DNS and put DNS. and Gateway.
    Gateway used in some case if u have a series :
    and have internet connection and wanna share on every system then Gateway of every system will be only.

    I’m handling all network and servers of Maruti suzuki.

  57. rocky :

    Hey I want to play Counter Stike source 13 on pc with lan cable without internet connect..
    .Can u tel how to connect and play.
    Plz tel

  58. rajat :

    Am getting a pop-up saying enter Windows credentials.
    But the other laptop can access my files

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