What is Network Discovery and How to Enable in Windows 10?
What is Network Discovery?
“Network” is an interconnection of different devices and “Discoverability” is an ability of being found out. Thus, in simplest term network discovery is the “property of being visible to other devices and being able to discover other devices on the network”.
In order to form a network, devices need to find other devices on the same network and connect with each other. Network discovery function exactly does this. It is useful in certain occasions while not in some situations. For example, you should turn off network discovery when in a public network. Since, at public places you can’t trust the networks and allow unknown people to trace your visibility. Whereas when you’re working on a private network like your home or workplace you can turn on the network discovery.
How Does Network Discovery Work?
When you turn on your device network discovery, it sends messages over the network and finds the devices that are discoverable. On Microsoft computers, browser service performs the network discovery function. You can discover a network device that you want to connect and share network resources.
The issue with keeping the network discovery on is that it drains the battery very quickly. If your device is discoverable this means it is continuously searching for other devices to connect. Another point is that enabling it opens many ports on Windows firewall for the connection. Therefore, it can lead to security issues and affect your PC.
How to Disable Network Discovery in Windows 10?
Fortunately, you can easily turn on or off network discovery in Windows 10. Follow the below step-by-step procedure to turn network discovery on or off.
- Type “Control Panel” on Windows Search box and open Control Panel. Arrange the view by “Category” and open “Network and Internet” option.
- Click on “Network and Sharing Center” and then click on “Change advanced sharing settings”.
- Now, you will see the “Change sharing option for different network profiles”.
For Private Networks
- Click “Private” to expand.
- Turn network discovery on or off as per your requirement. In case you want to turn it on, then you have an extra option. Click “Turn on automatic setup of network connected devices”. This will automatically enable network discovery on the connected devices like printer or hard drive on the same network.
For Public Networks:
- Click “Guest or Public (Current Profile)”.
- Similar to private network, turn network discovery on or off according to your requirements.
- Hit “Save Settings”, to save the changes.
Using Command Prompt to Disable Network Discovery
You can also turn network discoverability on and off through Command Prompt.
Follow the following steps:
- Type “CMD” on your Windows Search box. Right click on the Command Prompt option and select “Run as Administrator” option.
- Alternatively, press “Win + R” keys to “Run” prompt. Type “CMD” and press “Ctrl + Shift +Enter” to run the command prompt in admin mode.
- Type the following command in order to turn network discovery off.
netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group=”Network Discovery” new enable=No
- Type the following command in order to turn network discovery on.
netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group=”Network Discovery” new enable=Yes
Troubleshooting Network Discoverability Issues
If your device is invisible to other devices after enabling one of the above methods then use the below options to troubleshoot.
Windows Firewall Restriction on Network discovery
In order to solve the firewall problem, you must do the following:
- Go to “Control Panel” and open “System and Security” option.
- Click “Windows Defender Firewall”.
- On the left panel click “Allow and app or feature through Windows Defender Wall”.
- Scroll down to find network discovery and enable the checkbox if you’re looking to turn it on.
- On the left panel click “Windows Defender Firewall On or Off”. You can turn off or turn on Windows Defender Firewall setting for both private and public networks.
Problem with Network Discovery Dependency Services
Follow the below instructions to solve this network dependency problems.
- Press “Win + R” keys and open Run prompt. Type “services.msc” and hit enter key. This will open the Services pop-up.
- Check and make sure that the following services are in the status “Running”:
- DNS Client
- UPnP Device Host
- Function Discovery Resource Publication
- SSDP Discovery
For example, search for “D” to check status of the “DNS Client” and check that it is “Running”.
Network discovery allows communication of a device with the outside world. For example, you can connect your computer to a network printer using this function. Though you can enable or disable the network discovery function easily, there are lots of things going on behind the scene. It depends on many services to work properly and the services should be in a running status. Also, it makes the device vulnerable to hackers when enabled in public network. Therefore, ensure to enable this feature only when you are in home or private network and know what you are doing.