[Solved] How to Fix Scan to Folder Not Working on Windows 11/10

Struggling to get your “scan to folder” function working correctly on Windows 11 or 10? Don’t worry; you’re not alone! This frustrating issue can disrupt workflows and productivity. As an experienced IT professional with over 22 years in the field, I’ve battled with this issue numerous times and understand how annoying it can be. But don’t give up – in this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through straightforward solutions to restore your scanning efficiency.

What Changed? The Root Cause

Whenever tackling software issues, the first step is pinpointing any recent changes. Did you upgrade your operating system, add new software, change hardware, or adjust network configurations? Often, ‘scan to folder’ issues stem from updates to Windows. In many cases, Windows updates are the culprit, disrupting previously seamless network scanning functionality.

Solution 1: Network Visibility and Shared Folder Access

Before diving deeper, let’s verify network fundamentals. Can you see other computers on your network through File Explorer? If not, review network discovery settings to ensure your computer is visible. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to Fix Network Computers Not Showing in Windows 11/10 File Explorer: Next, try accessing the shared “scan to folder” directly from another computer to isolate the source of the problem.

Solution 2: Addressing Password-Protected Sharing

Windows updates can sometimes unexpectedly turn on password-protected sharing, which interferes with scanning. Let’s disable it:

On Windows 11:

  1. Open Windows Settings Windows 11 settings icon by pressing Windows key + I or right-click on the Start button Windows 11 start button and choose Settings.
  2. Navigate to Network & Internet and click on Advanced network settings.
  3. Under Network adapters, select Ethernet or Wi-Fi based on your network connection.
  4. Click Advanced sharing settings under More settings.
  5. Under All networks, ensure Password protected sharing is Off.
Turn off password protected sharing on windows 11 to fix network scan to folder issues.
Password protected sharing on Windows 11

On Windows 10:

  1. Open the Windows Settings Windows 10 settings app icon app by pressing the Windows key + I or right-click on the Start button Windows 10 start button and choose Settings.
  2. Navigate to Network & Internet > Ethernet (or Wi-Fi if you’re on a wireless network).
  3. Click Change advanced sharing options.
  4. Expand All Networks, and ensure Turn off password protected sharing is selected.
Turn off password protected sharing on windows 10 to fix network scan to folder issues.
Password protected sharing on Windows 10

Solution 3: Create a Dedicated Scan User Account

Most ‘scan to folder’ setups use a dedicated user account with permission to access the shared folder. Let’s optimize the settings:

  1. Right-click on the Start button and select Computer Management.
  2. In the Computer Management Console, expand Local Users and Groups, select Users, and locate the Scan user account.
  3. If there is no Scan account, follow these steps to create one:
    • Right-click on an empty area under the account list, select New User,
    • Fill in the User name and Description, and set the password.
    • Deselect User must change password at next logon and select Password never expires.
    • Note: that the Scan user account can be named anything else. But there should be a description explaining that the account is for scanning. Unfortunately, many people neglect to enter a proper description when creating user accounts.
    • Click the Create button to create the account.
Create scan to network account
Create a dedicated network scan account
  1. Double-click on the Scan user account to open its properties.
  2. On the account Properties dialog, go to the Member Of tab. Look for Administrators in the list. If you can’t find it, click Add.
  3. On the Select Groups dialog, in the “Enter the object names to select” type Administrators. press Check Names and if you spelled it correctly, it will add your computer name followed by a backslash before Administrators. This lets you know that it found the Administrators group on your computer.
  4. Press OK and then Apply on the account Properties dialog.
Add Scan user account to Administrators group
  1. If the Scan account is not new, on the account Properties dialog, Go to the General tab. Make sure of the following; User must change password at next logon is NOT selected, User cannot change password is selected, Password never expires is selected and Account is disabled should also NOT be selected.
  2. Press Apply to save the configuration.
  3. Back on the Computer Management Console, right-click on the Scan user account, select Set Password, and choose Proceed on the warning message box.
  4. On the Set Password dialog, fill in the New password, confirm it, and press OK.
  5. Lastly, configure your printer/scanner with the new password.

Security Note: Since we’ve added the ‘Scan’ user account to the powerful Administrators group, it’s crucial to protect it with a strong password. Hackers frequently target these types of accounts to gain access to systems. Create a robust password using uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Aim for at least 12 characters in length, and remember, “Password1” is definitely not secure!

Solution 4: Configure Sharing and permissions

If the issue persists, let’s check share settings and permissions:

  1. Right-click on the scan folder and select Properties (On Windows 11, click you might need to select Show more options first).
  2. On the folder Properties dialog, go to the Sharing tab and click Advanced Sharing. Select Share this folder and click Permissions.
  3. On the Permissions dialog, click Add if you do not see the Scan user in the list.
  4. On the Select Users or Groups dialog, type your Scan account user name (Scan in my case) and click Check Names. If it finds the user account, it will add your computer name followed by a backslash to the username. For example, WIN11-PC\Scan.
  5. Click OK to add the Scan user account to the list.
  6. Select the Scan user account and set permissions to Full Control.
  7. Click Apply to save the permissions.
Network scan folder permissions
Network Scan folder Permissions

Solution 5: Install SMB 1.0 (Proceed with Caution)

Older network scanners may require the SMB 1.0 protocol, which is disabled by default in later Windows versions due to security risks. Use this as a last resort after exhausting other options. If you understand the risks and still need SMB 1.0, here’s how to install it:

  1. Press the Windows Key + R or Right click on the Start button Windows 11 start button and choose Run.
  2. Type optionalfeatures in the Run box and press Enter.
  3. Expand SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support, select SMB 1.0/CIFS Client, and deselect SMB 1.0/CIFS Server.
  4. Click OK, wait for the installation to finish, and click Restart now to restart your computer.
Install smb version 1. 0
Install SMB version 10

Conclusion

I hope these solutions helped you fix the ‘scan to folder not working’ on Windows 11/10. Remember, it’s sometimes a process of elimination. If you’re still facing issues, consider checking for firewall interference, outdated scanner drivers, or, for advanced users, the Windows Event Viewer for specific error messages. With persistence and these steps, you’ll get your scanning functions back on track! Have another solution that worked for you? Did I miss something? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

author avatar
Derick Payne
My name is Derick Payne. With a deep-seated passion for programming and an unwavering commitment to innovation, I've spent the past 23 years pushing the envelope of what's possible. As the founder of Rizonetech and Rizonesoft, I've had the unique opportunity to channel my love for technology into creating solutions that make a difference.

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