How to Turn on Network Discovery in Windows 11

Want to make your Windows 11 PC see other devices and visible to other network computers? You can simply turn on Network Discovery – a feature that allows you to find other computers under the same network. 

By default, this feature is turned on automatically if you are already connected to private Wi-Fi networks such as the ones in your office or home, but when you are connected to a publish Wi-Fi, network discovery will be switched off for security reasons. 

However, it’s easy to turn it on manually and there are two ways to get it done. In this step-by-step guide, I’ll show you how. 

Note: this tutorial below apply to all types of PCs, laptops, desktops or tablets as long as they are running the Windows 11 operating system.

Method 1: Turn on Network Discovery via Control Panel

Note that if your goal is to share files over a local network, you need to turn on both network discovery as well as the file sharing feature. You can use this method no matter you are using Windows 11 Home or Windows 11 Pro.

Step 1: Press the Windows key and type “Control Panel” in the search bar. Hit the Enter key or click on Open.

Step 2: Click Network and Internet.

Step 3: Click Network and Sharing Center on the right-side pane.

Step 4: Find Change advanced sharing settings in the left-side menu and click it.

Step 5: Select Turn on network discovery and Turn on file and printer sharing options.

Done. Now you can share files with other computers over this local network.

Method 2: Turn on Network Discovery via Settings App

Note that this method has a limitation for Windows 11 Home users, you can only turn on Network Discovery but can’t find a file-sharing switch. 

Step 1: Press the Windows + I keys and click Network & internet on the left side. Find Wi-Fi on the right-side pane. Don’t click the toggle if it is on, you only need to click on Wi-Fi.

Step 2: Click and enter the (network name) properties you are connected to. For example, I’m using the WeWork network, so you can see my network is shown as “WeWork properties”.

Step 3: Under Network profile type, select the Private option. Your device will be visible and available to be connected to other computers over your local network; and won’t be visible if set as Public.

That’s it. If you have any questions or problems during the process, please leave a comment below.

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