Solve network scan to folder not working

If you face scan to folder or network scanning issues, this article can help you solve it. I face scan to folder issues regularly and I know from experience that a solution is hard to find. A client and good friend of mine was fighting a malfunctioning network scanner for over a year. Furthermore, they where told that replacing the multi-function printer/scanner is the only solution.

Unfortunately, replacing the printer would not have magically fixed their scanning woes. Even though the issue was clearly software based, the printer technician simply did not know how to fix it and in their mind, the hardware must be faulty.

After a few days of Googling, phoning and sending smoke signals, I found a solution. Now, I want to share that solution with you. In this article, I will not show you how to setup scan to folder nor how to configure your network scanner. Nevertheless, you will learn the necessary troubleshooting steps to solve this conundrum.

What changed?

When troubleshooting software issues, the first thing you must do first is – determine what changes was made to the system when the issue started. For example, look for software updates or additions, hardware replacements, or configuration changes.

In my client’s case, they upgraded to Windows 10, the same time their network scanning troubles started. You should have a light-bulb moment now. Correct – Windows 10 broke the scan to folder function. But what exactly went wrong?

Can you browse the network and access the share?

Essentially, scan to folder uses a shared folder to scan to. There is normally a scan user account with permission to access a scan folder over the network. The scan folder is shared like any other shared folder and the scan user account is normally set up with administrator privileges. So, check if the scan folder is accessible from another computer on the network.

If you are unable to browse the network, read the, Fix Network Computers Not Visible in File Explorer article and make sure you can see the computer first. Now, browse to the shared scan folder, and see if you can access it, either with the scan user account credentials, or without when shared with Everyone.

If you do not see the shared scan folder, there could be a problem with the share. If you cannot access it, there could be something wrong with the scan account or password protected sharing is turned on. Because I assume that you are experiencing scan to folder issues on a Windows 10 machine, the solutions in this article is for Windows 10. However, it can easily be reproduced in other Windows versions. But Windows 10 is normally the culprit.

Turn password protected sharing off

Sometime, with a new Windows update, Password protected sharing can be turned on without you knowing. But, no matter how it was turned on, for network scanning or scan to folder to work, it must be turned off. Now, let’s take a look at how to do this.

  1. Go to Start, then select Settings.
Network and internet settings
  1. Click on Network & Internet, and then go to Status.
Network and internet settings
  1. Click on Network and Sharing Center, and then in the Network and Sharing Center, click on Change advanced sharing settings in the right pane.
Network and sharing centre
  1. In Advanced sharing settings, expand All Networks, and under Password protected sharing, select Turn off password protected sharing.
Advanced sharing settings
  1. To finish, press Save changes.

Scan account

Most scan to folder setups, use a scan user account to connect to a shared scan folder on a network. Therefore, if turning off password protected sharing did not solve your issue, the scan user account could be configured incorrectly. Here’s how to fix it.

  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. Please 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 entering a proper description when creating user accounts.
Manage scan user 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, press Add…
Scan account member of administrators
  1. 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.
  2. Press OK and then Apply on the account Properties dialog.
  3. Still 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 is not selected, Password never expires is selected and Account is disabled should also not be selected. Or simply, just copy the configuration from the screenshot below.
  1. Press Apply to save the configuration.
  2. Back on the Computer Management Console, right click on the Scan user account, select Set Password… and choose Proceed on the warning message box. On the Set Password dialog, type in a new password into the New password textbox, confirm the password in the Confirm password textbox and press OK to save the password.
  3. Lastly, configure your printer/scanner with the new password.

Because we added the Scan user account to the Administrators group, you need to make sure to use a secure password. Most hackers will target the scan account when trying to break into a computer. So, use uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Furthermore, create a password with a minimum length of 12 characters. And no, Password1 is not a secure password.

Sharing and permissions

If the steps above solve nothing, maybe there is a faulty share or the permissions on the scan folder is not configured correctly. Check the scan folder share and permissions.

  1. Right click on the scan folder and select Properties.
  2. On the folder properties dialog, go to the Sharing tab and press the Advanced Sharing… button. Select Share this folder and press the Permissions button.
  1. On the Permissions dialog, press Add.. if you do not see the scan user in the list.
Scan folder share permissions
  1. On the Select Users or Groups dialog, type your Scan account user name (Scan in my case) and press the Check Names button. Again, if it finds the user account, it will add your computer name followed with a backslash to the username. For example, on my computer it is DROGON-PC\Scan.
Scan to folder select users or groups
  1. Press the OK button to add the selected user account to the Scan folder Permissions, Group or user names list.
Scan to folder set permissions
  1. To finish, select the scan user account and set its permissions to Full Control. Press the Apply button to save the permissions.

Scan to folder should now be working. But, do not worry if it’s not; just jeep on reading.

SMB version 1.0

Because many network scanners still rely on the SMB 1.0 / CIFS File Sharing Support Windows feature. to function, installing it could also solve most scan to folder issues. However, it must only be installed if really necessary – it was removed from Windows 10 for a reason. And for this reason, this should be your last resort when fixing scan to folder issues.

What is SMB?

In computer networking, Server Message Block (SMB), one version of which was also known as Common Internet File System (CIFS), operates as an application-layer network protocol mainly used for providing shared access to files, printers, and serial ports and miscellaneous communications between nodes on a network. It also provides an authenticated inter-process communication mechanism.

Why was SMB version 1.0 Removed from Windows 10?

The Shadow Brokers leaked a set of hacking tools that works by exploiting SMB 1.0 security flaws. As if the situation was not bad enough, someone used one of these exploits to help create a nasty ransomware virus called WannaCry that caused mayhem all over the world. That said, if you have good virus protection installed and you use the internet responsibly you do not need to worry.

Install SMB version 1.0 in Windows 10

Now, let me show you how to install SMB 1.0 in Windows 10.

  1. Press Win + R or Right click on the Start button and choose Run to open the Run dialog.
  2. Type optionalfeatures.exe in the Run box and hit the Enter key to open the Windows Features dialog
Run windows optional features
  1. Scroll down to and expand SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support. Now tick SMB 1.0/CIFS Client and untick SMB 1.0/CIFS Server.
Install smb version 1. 0
  1. Press OK to start the installation, wait for the installation to finish and press the Restart now button to restart your computer.


To conclude, I hope this article was useful and you managed to solve your scan to folder issue. With so many things that can go wrong with a network it is hard to mention all the possible fixes in one article. But, feel free to let me know if you want me to add anything or if I made a mistake somewhere. I am always open to learn from my friends. 😉

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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