Access and share files with other computers connected to the same network as yours.
Windows 11 allows you to see other computers and devices that are connected to the same network. If more than one computer or device like a printer is connected to the same local network, you can exchange files and perform other actions remotely. This is a very handy feature and can be very helpful in increasing productivity or workflow.
If you open up the file explorer and try to find other computers that are connected to the same network that you are connected to, you might not see them initially. This is because the ‘Network Discovery’ feature, which lets you see other computers and devices, can sometimes be turned off by default.
Without further ado, let’s move on to the methods that you can use to see other computers that are on your network.
See Other Computers on Network Using Command Prompt
If you just want to see which computers or devices are connected to your network then it can be easily done using Command Prompt with administrative privileges.
Start by typing Command Prompt in Windows Search. Then, right-click on it from the search results and select ‘Run as administrator’ option.
After the Command Prompt window comes up, type the following command inside the command line and press Enter.
If any other computers are connected to your network their names will appear in the following command lines. If it says ‘The list of servers for this workgroup is not currently available’ that means Network Discovery might be disabled or there are no other devices connected to the same local network.
Enable Network Discovery in File Explorer
You can only see other devices from File Explorer if the Network Discovery is turned on. If Network Discovery isn’t turned on, you can enable it from the File Explorer.
To check if Network Discovery is turned on, first, open up the File Explorer by pressing Windows+E or by searching for it in Windows Search.
On the File Explorer Window, click on Network from the left side menu.
If Network Discovery is turned on by default, you will see the list of deceives. Otherwise, you will receive a dialog box containing a warning about the Network discovery being turned off.
Now that we know Network Discovery is turned off, you can see a new line of text has appeared below the address bar saying ‘Network discovery and file sharing are turned off. Network computers…..’. Click on the text.
After clicking on the text, select ‘Turn on network discovery and file sharing’.
A new dialog box called ‘Network discovery and file sharing’ will appear. From there select the first option that says ‘No, make the network that I am connected to a private network’.
After that, the file explorer will refresh and load for a few minutes. When the loading finishes, it will show all the connected devices that are on your network.
Enable Network Discovery from Control Panel
If you cannot see any connected computers of other printers even after enabling Network Discovery via File Explorer, you can use the Control Panel to enable Network Discovery on your computer. To do that, first, launch Control Panel by searching for it in the Start Menu search and selecting it from the search results.
Once the Control Panel window opens up, select ‘Network and Internet’.
You will be taken to a new menu. From there, click on ‘Network and Sharing Center’.
After that, select ‘Change advanced sharing settings’ from the list of options located on the left side of the window.
Now, under the Private (current profile) section, select ‘Turn on network discovery’ below the Network discover section and tick the box that says ‘Turn on automatic setup of network connected devices’. After that, in the File and printer sharing section, select ‘Turn on file and printer sharing’. Lastly, click on ‘Save changes’.
Allow Network Discovery through Windows Security Firewall
The Firewall on your computer monitors the network traffic and if it can block Network Discovery. To make sure Network Discovery is allowed through the firewall, first, open up Settings by pressing Windows+i on your keyboard or by searching for it in Windows search.
On the Settings Window, select ‘Privacy & security’ from the left panel then select ‘Windows Security’ from the right panel.
After that, scroll down and click on ‘Firewall & network protection’.
After that, a new window will come up. From there, click on ‘Allow an app through the firewall’.
Now another window labeled ‘Allowed apps’ will appear. From here you can check if Network Discovery is allowed through a firewall. Click on the ‘Change settings’ button to allow changing Firewall permissions.
Scroll down until you find ‘Network Discovery’, tick both boxes in the Public and Private column, and click on ‘OK’.