How to Find Other Computers on a Network in Windows 11

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This post shows students and new users how to find or view other computers on a network or Windows Workgroup or domain. Windows 11 allows you to quickly find devices and other computers on a network inside a shared workgroup.

A network is group of devices connected to the same domain or workgroup at home or office that can share things, such as your internet connection, file and folder resources, or a printer. When you’re home or at the office, Windows should be put in a private network. Outside of your home and business, make sure to use the public network profile in Windows 11.

In a Private network, devices on the same network can see each other and can also share files and printers. A private network is a trusted network and should be used at home or work.

In a Public network, devices can not see or communicate with each other, and should mostly be used on public networks like at the airport, coffee shops with public Wi-Fi hotspots.

One thing to remember is you can only find devices or computers connected to the same network switch or router, and have file sharing and network discovery enabled. We’ll show you how to do that below.

To get started with seeing other computers on your network in Windows 11, follow the steps below.

How to enable private network in Windows 11

Based on your network profile, Windows 11 will determine whether you can see other computers on your network or deny access to them. If you’re at home or in a business environment, you can switch Windows 11 network profile to Private.

Doing that will allow you to see other computers, and the steps below show you how to do that.

Windows 11 has a centralized location for majority of its settings. From system configurations to creating new users and updating Windows, all can be done from the System Settings pane.

To get to System Settings, you can use the Windows key + i shortcut or click on Start ==> Settings as shown in the image below:

windows 11 start settings

Alternatively, you can use the search box on the taskbar and search for Settings. Then select to open it.

Windows Settings pane should look similar to the image below. In Windows Settings, click Network & internet, and select Wi-Fi or Ethernet on the right pane of your screen shown in the image below.

windows 11 select network device to configure

Each adapter can be set to either public or private. Click either Wi-Fi or Ethernet (Wired), then select a profile which fits it.

The default is Public (Recommended). As we mentioned above, Public profile is suitable at public spaces and not intended at home or work.

Select Private profile for your home and business network.

windows 11 private network profile option

The profile you select for the adapter will automatically go into effect. In some cases, you’ll have to reboot for the settings to fully apply.

Do the same for the Wi-Fi connection if you want to configure that as well. When you’re done, exit the setting pane.

How to enable file sharing and network discovery in Windows 11

File sharing and network discovery must be enabled in order to view other computers. You can do that using the steps below.

Windows 11 has a centralized location for majority of its settings. From system configurations to creating new users and updating Windows, all can be done from its System Settings pane.

However, change account username is still done in the old Control Panel. To get to Control Panel, you can click on Start and start typing Control Panel as shown in the image below:

windows 11 control panel

In the Control Panel, select Network and Internet as highlighted in the image below.

windows 11 control panel network and internet

On the next pane, select Network and Sharing Center as highlighted below.

windows 11 network and sharing center

Next, select Change advanced sharing settings as highlighted below.

windows 11 change advanced sharing settings

In the Advanced sharing center, select the Private (current profile) and Turn on file and printer sharing.

windows 11 advanced sharing center 1

Save your changes and exit.

On the same Advance sharing options page, scroll down All networks.

There you should see settings for Public folder sharing, Media streaming, File sharing connections and Password protected sharing. Windows should automatically turn on file and printer sharing in private networks. However, in some instances, this will not be enabled.

If you can not automatically find printers and shared resources in your private network, then File sharing option may be disabled.

If you enable password protected sharing, only people who have accounts on the local computer or in domain environment will be able to access shared files and printers.

windows turn off password protected sharing

Make your changes and save, then exit.

Turn on file sharing and network discovery from command line

The settings above can easily be done using the commands below when run as administrator.

netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="File and Printer Sharing" new enable=Yes
netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="Network Discovery" new enable=Yes

You must open the command prompt as administrator to run the commands above.

How to view other computers in Windows 11

Now that your computer is in set up with Private network profile, and file sharing and network discovery are enabled, go to File Explorer and click the Network link on the left menu as highlighted below.

You should then see other computers that are connected to your network.

windows 11 find other computers on network

That should do it!

Update:

A commenter mentioned below to enable SMB 1.0 / CIFS File Sharing support in the Control Panel, under Programs and Features ==> Turn Windows features on or off.

Below is how to enable additional features in Windows 11.

Turn Windows features On or Off in Windows 11

Conclusion:

This post showed you how to find other computers in Windows 11. If you find any error above, please use the form below to report.

15 Comments

  1. I did exactly what you reccomended. But still can not connect.
    Thankyou

    1. The steps in this post will also have to be done on all the computers to see each other, and not just one.

      1. WE DID this to ALL computers and still the computer with win 11 can not see any other computer that has win 10.
        The other computers with win 10 can SEE the computer with win 11

        1. I’m having this exact same issue, dies anyone have a solution?

  2. updated laptop to windows 11 and can no longer see desktop on network. The desktop’s settings were not changed & should be seen

  3. Can confirm as others said, my updated windows 11 computer does NOT see any of the other computers on the network even tho all settings are correct..
    Before upgrading to windows 11 everything was fine..

  4. Tried “everything”, but then I changed from “Use 128-bit encryption …” to 40- or 56-bit encryption in “All Networks” and I could in to other network computer with ordinary Windows login user and password. Maybe something to do with that I don’t have Bit-locker encryption?

  5. Did all the steps in this post on all the computers (all were already properly configured but I did them anyway). They can all see eachother BUT the Windows 11 machine can not see them. It’s a Windows 11 issue.

  6. I wish Microsoft would acknowledge these issues when they arise. On a support chat, a rep told me that there were issues with Windows 11 and local networks. On a phone call, the representative was totally unaware of such a problem. Apparently, there is a problem, as tier 2 support takes over 3 days to call you back. My call is scheduled for Saturday at 8 PM. I hold out little hope for a solution, it seems to be an issue in Windows 11. What I don’t understand is why Microsoft cannot get local networking right? How long have they been in this business? Should no longer be an issue. I could get local networks online in Windows XP with ease. What is the problem?

  7. I have the same issue….I cannot see other systems from Windows 11, vice versa everything is fine. GRRRR!!!!

  8. I too am extremely frustrated. Cant see other pcs on same net. Tried everything.

  9. OK, on each Windows 10 PC and on the Windows 11 PC you MUST go to Control Panel / Programs and Features / Turn Windows features on or off. Enable SMB 1.0 / CIFS File Sharing Support. Boom, your Windows 10 PC’s will automagically reappear on your Windows 11 PC. Don’t ask me why this works, it just does. 😀

    Cheers!

    1. Two things… I use W11 and have no problem seeing the other computers on the network. The settings shown in the article are correct, but experience has shown me that it sometimes takes a while for settings/security changes on two machines to “shake hands” before sharing will work.

      MOST IMPORTANTLY, DO NOT USE SMB1 !! Microsoft says so:
      https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/storage-at-microsoft/stop-using-smb1/ba-p/425858

  10. Been trying for hours. Tried all “solutions” on all machines, still cannot see windows 10 machines from windows 11 machine. Vice versa works, windows 10 machines can see windows 11 machine. Why MS eliminated the workgroup is beyond me.

    1. I finally solved it! It’s all to do with whether the PC you want to use to see the other PCs is the, wait for it, “MASTER BROWSER”.
      Download lanscan.exe from
      https://scottiestech.info/downloads/

      Then learn how to make sure the PC you want to use is set to be the master.

      Figure it out. 😀

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