Turn on network discovery & file sharing in Windows 11

Network Discovery in Windows OS is a feature which allows Windows computers to find and discover other computers and devices on a network. Basically it enables computers on the same network to find each other. File sharing feature in Windows operating system will allow other computers or devices to access the files, folders you shared from this particular computer.

There are a few ways to turn on network discovery and file sharing on Windows 11. The easiest way however would be enabling them from the File Explorer. Open File Explorer on your Windows 11 computer, then click on Network from the left pane. If network discovery is currently disabled, you will get the error message saying network discovery is turned off, network computers and devices are not visible, you can turn it on from network and sharing center.

network discovery is turned off error message windows 11 file explorer

Click the OK button. You will then see the banner that notifies you that network discovery and file sharing are turned Off and you can click on the banner to change the settings. Just click the banner and then select Turn on network discovery and file sharing.

turn on network discovery and file sharing from file explorer in windows 11

By default, Windows will turn on discoverability only for networks that are marked ‘private’. But if you’re connected to a network that is set as ‘public’, then you will get an additional prompt.

turn on network discovery and file sharing for public or private networks from file explorer in windows 11

You can either make the network a private network and keep the default settings unchanged. Or let it remain a public network and turn on network discovery for all public networks. It’s better to choose the former due to security reasons and make the network private rather than turn on discoverability for all public networks.

Now you know how to turn on Network Discovery and File Sharing options in Windows 11.