Windows 10 Network Discovery: Turn On or Off

Are you looking to switch on Network Discovery on a Windows 10 computer? If yes, this article is for you. Sit back and relax as we show you how to turn on network discovery in Windows 10. Under normal circumstances, we recommend that you keep Network Discovery switched off on your computer.

That’s particularly the case on a public network. You don’t want your computer to be visible and accessible to other computers. You never know who is behind them. However, there are times when you need to turn on Windows 10 network discovery.

Turn on Network Discovery Windows 10

Windows 10 Network Discovery
Toggle this feature on or off in Windows 10

Perhaps you wish to share files with other computers. That would normally be the case on a private network. Anyway, here is how to turn network discovery on and off on a Windows 10 computer.

  • Open “Control Panel” on your computer.
  • Click on “Network and Internet.”
  • Click on “Network and Sharing Center.”
  • Click on “Change advanced sharing settings.”
  • Choose on to make your computer discoverable.
  • Choose off to hide your computer on a network.

What happens when Network Discovery is turned off in Windows 10?

As noted, Network Discovery is something that you need to keep turned off, unless you are on a private network. When you turn off Network Discovery on a Windows 10 computer, it means that computer will not be visible to other computers on the network. They will, therefore, not have access to any of your data.

Yes, data can be accessed

If you think this is mere scaremongering, then you need to think again. A while back, I was playing around with my computer. For some reason, I turned on Network Discovery. Lo and behold, my screen got filled with a number of icons representing computers whose owners had not bothered to turn off network discovery. Admittedly, these people were mostly around the same office.

Anyway, after testing, I was able to get into quite a number of these computers. They didn’t even have passwords! That was really surprising. The ones that had passwords were at least protected to some degree. However, the ones that did not have passwords were open to everyone to access.

If you are wondering what I was able to do, well, I was able to do anything on those machines. I was able to access any document. I was able to make any changes. I got quite an eyeful of videos that were obviously private. To cut the long story short, I notified the “authorities,” at my workplace, about the problem, and all these computers were soon secured. But imagine if access had been acquired by somebody with malicious intent?


Anyway, that’s how you switch Network Discovery on and off on a Windows 10 computer. I hope this information will be useful to you. Just to recap, there are instances where you may need to turn this feature on. That would be on private networks. However, in most instances, you need to keep this feature off on your computer to protect yourself from hackers.

Do you know how to set a metered network in Windows 10? Or how to check the type of ram on your computer? Follow the links to find out.

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