Network discovery is a network setting that affects whether your computer can find other computers and devices on the network and whether other computers on the network can find your computer.

There are three network discovery states:

  • On

    This state allows your computer to see other network computers and devices and allows people on other network computers to see your computer. This makes it easier to share files and printers.

  • Off

    This state prevents your computer from seeing other network computers and devices and prevents people on other network computers from seeing your computer.

  • Custom

    This is a mixed state in which some settings related to network discovery are enabled, but not all of them. For example, network discovery could be turned on, but you or your system administrator might have changed firewall settings that affect network discovery.

    Network discovery requires that the DNS Client, Function Discovery Resource Publication, SSDP Discovery, and UPnP Device Host services are started, that network discovery is allowed to communicate through Windows Firewall, and that other firewalls are not interfering with network discovery. If some but not all of these are true, the network discovery state will be shown as Custom.

To turn on network discovery

  1. Open Advanced sharing settings by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type network, click Network and Sharing Center, and then, in the left pane, click Change advanced sharing settings.

  2. Click the chevron Picture of the chevron icon to expand the current network profile.
  3. Click Turn on network discovery, and then click Save changes. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Network locations

When you connect to a network, you must choose a network location. There are four network locations: Home, Work, Public, and Domain. Based on the network location you choose, Windows assigns a network discovery state to the network and opens the appropriate Windows Firewall ports for that state. For more information about network locations, see Choosing a network location.



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