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Enable or disable DFS referral

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

To enable or disable DFS referral

  1. Open Distributed File System.

  2. In the console tree, click the DFS link that points to the target for which you would like to change the referral status.

  3. Click the desired target. On the Action menu, select Enable or Disable Referral.


  • In order to make changes to an existing DFS namespace, you must be a member of the Administrators group on the server hosting the namespace. As a security best practice, consider using Run as to perform this procedure. For more information, see Default local groups, Default groups, and Using Run as.

  • To open DFS, click Start, click Control Panel, double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Distributed File System.

  • When you disable DFS referral for a target, DFS will not direct users to the target folder until DFS referral is enabled.

  • If DFS referral is enabled for a target, selecting Enable or Disable Referral will disable it. If DFS referral is disabled, the action will enable it.

  • The DFS Referral column and Status column in the details pane provide information about the referral status of each target. The DFS Referral column indicates if DFS referral is enabled and the Status column indicates if a particular target is available. If a target can not accessed, the Status column will read Offline. To see the current status for a target, click it and select Check Status from the Action menu.

  • When working with shared folders, use NTFS and file sharing permissions to secure the folder and any subfolders so that only authorized users can access them.

Information about functional differences

  • Your server might function differently based on the version and edition of the operating system that is installed, your account permissions, and your menu settings. For more information, see Viewing Help on the Web.

See Also

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