How to turn on Network Discovery in Windows 11

by Vladimir Popescu
Vladimir Popescu
Vladimir Popescu
Managing Editor
Being an artist his entire life while also playing handball at a professional level, Vladimir has also developed a passion for all things computer-related. With an innate fascination... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • There are two ways in which you can turn on Network Discovery in Windows 11.
  • Inside Control Panel you will find all the Network and Internet settings you need.
  • As a bonus, we have shown how to turn on File Sharing as well.
network-sharing how to turn on network sharing windows 11

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Network Discovery is a function that was first introduced in Windows Vista and that allows Windows PCs to locate and discover other computers and devices through a network. Today, we’ll see how to turn on Network Discovery in Windows 11.

When you’re connected to a private network, such as your home or place of employment, the discovery feature is immediately enabled.

It is deactivated on public networks, such as guest Wi-Fi or networks that are not trusted, in order to prevent other PCs from automatically detecting your devices on those networks.

In some cases, Network Discovery is stopped in private networks as well, and as a result, other computers will not be automatically identified by the operating system. If this is the case, and you desire to enable it, the methods outlined below should be of assistance.

Follow along as we will first see if the feature is safe and then jump into the methods by which you can turn on Network Discovery in Windows 11.

Is Network Discovery safe?

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To put it simply, Network Discovery is crucial and safe because every single MSP or IT team, regardless of the vertical or size of the organization, requires network visibility in order to do its job.

IT teams are unable to grasp the network’s ins and outs unless they have a full understanding of the devices that are connected to it, an awareness of the links between them, and an understanding of how they interact with one another.

windows defender how to turn on network discovery windows 11

Network Discovery may also be a valuable instrument in the field of cybersecurity. For example, an incorrect IP address is frequently a symptom of malicious or rogue devices that are capable of delivering malware to a computer system.

Considering that the feature’s major goal is to locate and map assigned IP addresses, IT teams will have an easier time distinguishing between genuine and invalid device IP addresses.

Its tools enable managed service providers (MSPs) to conduct frequent scans to ensure that there are no threat actors lurking on the other end of a network’s perimeter.

Finally, it may assist MSPs and IT administrators improve digital security by allowing them to determine which ports are open on their connected devices. Any open ports on a device that aren’t required for normal functioning have the potential to pose a security threat.

This being said, let’s now see what you can do if Network Discovery is turned off in Windows 11. As a bonus, you will also see how to turn on File Sharing.

How can I turn on Network Discovery in Windows 11?

1. Use Control Panel

  1. Open the Windows Search function and enter Control Panel then click on the topmost result.control-panel-search how to turn on network discovery windows 11
  2. Now click on Network and Internet.netwrok-internet how to turn on network discovery windows 11
  3. Next, select the Network and Sharing Centre option.network-sharing-centre how to turn on network discovery windows 11
  4. From the left panel choose the Change advanced sharing settings option.advanced-sharing how to turn on network discovery windows 11
  5. Here all you have to do is check the radio button next to the Turn on network discovery option. Also, if you were wondering how to turn on File sharing, you can check the radio button next to Turn on file and printer sharing. That’s it!network-discovery how to turn on network discovery windows 11

If you want to turn off the feature, you can simply follow the same steps as above but check the radio button next to the Turn off network discovery option.

2. Use Settings

  1. Open Settings by pressing Windows and I simultaneously then navigate to Network & Internet followed by Ethernet. Note that if you are connected to WiFi, you will have to click on it instead of Ethernet.network-ethernet how to turn on network discovery windows 11
  2. Now under the WiFi or Ethernet properties, you will have the Network profile type section under which you can choose Private. This option will automatically enable Network Discovery. private-type how to turn on network discovery windows 11

We have shown you the two methods by which you can turn on Network Discovery in Windows 11, but if you still need further assistance, check out our guide on what to do if Network Discovery is not showing all computers.

Alternatively, if Network Discovery is not staying on, take a look at our article in order to see what you can do about it.

Was this guide helpful? Let us know in the comments below as well whether you have more solutions in mind.

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