Find files and folders on other computers on a network

The Network folder provides handy access to the computers on your network. From there, you can see the contents of network computers and find shared files and folders.

  1. Open Network by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Network.

    You should see all the computers and devices that are on your network. If you don’t see computers that you expect to see, network discovery on your computer or another computer might be turned off.

    To turn on network discovery

    1. Open Network and Sharing Center by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Network and Internet, and then clicking Network and Sharing Center.

    2. If network discovery is off, click the arrow button Picture of the arrow button‌ to expand the section.
    3. Click Turn on network discovery, and then click Apply. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

    For more information, see What is network discovery?

    Note

    • If other computers on your network are running Windows XP and you don't see them in the Network folder, you might need to change the workgroup name on those computers (for more information, see Troubleshoot problems finding computers on a home network) and turn on file and printer sharing (for more information, on a computer running Windows XP, search for "Sharing files and folders overview" in Help and Support).

  2. Double-click a computer's icon to see the files and folders that you have access to.

    Notes

    • If your user name and password for the computer you are currently logged on to are different from those for the computer that you are trying to access, you might be prompted to enter your logon information. You can automatically connect to another computer on the network by storing your password. For more information, see Store passwords for automatic logon.

    • If the other computer is set up to allow access to anyone on the network, you will be automatically connected to it but you will only have guest access. This means that you will only have access to files in the Public folder. You can automatically connect to another computer on the network by storing your password.

To find files on a mapped drive

A mapped drive is a shared folder or computer on a network that you create a shortcut to on your computer. Each mapped drive has a drive letter (such as D) assigned to it.

  1. Open Computer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Computer.

    All mapped drives are listed under Network Location.

  2. Double-click the mapped drive's icon to see the files and folders that you have access to.