All methods to turn on network discovery in Windows 10

When network discovery is turned off noone can access your shared network folders, download and upload files and even see you PC in the list of network devices. It is okay to restrict access by turning off network discovery when you are connected to the public network at Starbucks, but when you are at home you may want to make your machine accessible by all other trusted devices belonging to you or to your organization. Here is how to turn on network discovery in Windows 10 using different methods. 

How to turn on network discovery using the Windows Explorer

  1. Press Win+E to open the explorer.
  2. Click on Network in the left pane: network in the left pane
  3. Click on the yellow bar saying Network discovery and file sharing are turned off. Network computers and devices are not visible. Click to change…  network discovery and file sharing are turned off
  4. Select Turn on network discovery and file sharingturn on network discovery and file sharing
  5. Now it is advised to select No, make the network that I am connected to a private network: make the network that I am connected to a private networkIf you select the second option (Yes) you will turn on network discovery and file sharing for all public networks you will ever connect your PC to that is quite insecure!

Turn on network discovery in Windows 10 using Settings

This is the most preferrable way to turn on (or off) the network discovery:

  1. Press Win+I to open Windows 10 Settings app.
  2. Select Network and InternetWindows 10 Settings Network & Internet
  3. Head to Ethernet or Wi-Fi depending on what type of connection you are using:
  4. Click on your connection on the right: Settings Ethernet Nearly the same thing when using Wi-Fi: wi-fi connection settings
  5. Toggle it ON or OFFMake this PC discoverable (on)

Now your computer can be discovered in the list of network devices and be accessed over the local area network: your pc on the list of network devices

Turn on network discovery in Windows 10 using Control Panel

Here is how to turn on network discovery in Windows 10 using the deprecated Control Panel. Note that in future Control Panel may disappear from Windows 10.

  1. Right-click the network icon in the Taskbar.
  2. Select Open Network and sharing centerOpen Network and Sharing Center
  3. Click on the Change advanced sharing settings link on the left: change advanced sharing settings windows 10
  4. Turn on Network discovery for network profiles you want. For example you might want to make your PC discoverable for Private networks and turn off discovery for Public ones: sharing options windows 10 to enable network discovery

Enable / disable network discovery in Windows 10 using Command Prompt

  1. Launch the Command Prompt as administratorCommand Prompt (Admin)
  2. Type the corresponding command to turn on or off the network discovery:

Enable discovery:

netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="Network Discovery" new enable=Yes

Disable discovery:

netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="Network Discovery" new enable=No

That’s it.

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