Unauthenticated Guest Access

My laptop was having issues last week so I reinstalled Windows 10 1809. Everything was good but I started to notice I could not connect to shares on some NAS servers. Even little stand alone devices like the WD My Cloud device would not connect. I messed with settings on the server and in windows. I was thinking it was some kind of network issue but nothing helped.

Windows 10 shares not working

No matter what I did I could not get into my network shares. Then I decided to try to map the share to a drive letter. That is when I seen my first useful error message.

Security policies block unauthenticated guest access error
Security policies block unauthenticated guest access.

Now I had something to work with. With a few web searches for unauthenticated guest access it looked like I had my answer!

Microsoft has started blocking this kind of connection by default but it looked like all I had to do was turn on a group policy option by running gpedit.msc then going to:

Computer configuration\administrative templates\network\Lanman Workstation "Enable insecure guest logons"

Enable insecure guest logons not working.

But for me, that did not work. Maybe because I am on Windows 10 1809. I am not sure. I rebooted a few times but nothing worked.

But I ended up finding a registry key that did work for me!

The fix!

All you have to do is open the registry and go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanWorkstation\Parameters

and set AllowInsecureGuestAuth to 1.

My shares started working right away without a reboot but it may be possible you have to reboot first.

Do you have an alternative way to do unauthenticated guest access?

I am not sure why the GPO option is not working. Based on forum post it used to. Maybe it is just a bug that will be fixed later on but for now, the registry fix is doing the trick.

The sad news is I am going to have to rethink the way I do shares in the future. If this is going to be Windows 10 default setting from now on then the old way is not going to work.

It is not really feasible to set up extra stuff for a public local share in a construction trailer on the side of the road. But I am not sure what I am going to do about it yet.

Has anyone else ran into this issue and found a solution?


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