How to make my Windows 11 PC visible on the network

In this guide we explain what are the necessary settings to make a PC visible on the network with Windows.

Making a Windows 11 PC visible on the network  is easier than you think. In this article we explain to you what are all the steps you must take so that  other computers recognize your computer . We show you how to do it if it is the first time you carry out this action.



In addition to telling you  how to make a PC visible on the network , we show you the appropriate instructions to change the configuration of each  Wi- Fi or Ethernet network to which you have connected. Similarly, we explain how to use the Windows 11 sharing center. If you want to interact with your computer from your LAN , don’t miss what we tell you here.

Index of contents

  • How to make my Windows 11 PC visible on the network for the first time
  • Hide and make visible a PC on the network from settings
    • Changing the type of network
    • From the sharing center
  • When you should make a PC visible on the network and when not
    • Dangers of making a PC visible on the network in public places

How to make my Windows 11 PC visible on the network for the first time

Making a PC visible on the network is useful for many things. You may have in mind to use it as a file server . Or maybe your intention is to access photos, videos and music from a media player. In any case, if you haven’t made changes to the configuration yet, a good way to start is to visit the  Network section  in the file explorer.

If this is the first time you do it, the following message will appear:

Network discovery is disabled. Network computers and devices are not visible. Turn on automatic discovery in the Network and Sharing Center.

Click  OK  to continue. The network section will load, but no connected device will be displayed. At the top of the file browser you will see a message. Click on it and then click on  Turn on network discovery and file sharing .

If your current network is configured as public (even if it is your home network), the system will send you a notice in which you have two options.

Select the most appropriate in each case:

  • No, make the network I am connected to a private network. Change the public network to a private network. Watch out! Click here only if your network really is private. This is the case of the LAN connection at home or at the office. Do not check this option if you are connected to a public network.
  • Yes, allow network discovery and file sharing for all public networks. It is not a recommended parameter, since it makes your computer visible on any network. As we will see later, doing it in certain circumstances is very dangerous.

Whether you select one or the other, your computer will become visible on the network you’re connected to and all other connected devices will appear.

Hide and make visible a PC on the network from settings

You can hide and make a PC visible on the network by applying different settings from the system settings or Control Panel.

Changing the type of network

You can change the type of network your PC is connected to at any time from  Settings > Network & Internet > Network name . The Public Network option   prevents others from seeing your PC, while the  Private Network option  makes it visible.

From the sharing center

We recommend you visit the  sharing center  to see all the settings related to the networks your PC is connected to. You get to it from  Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center . From there, modify your adapter, network, or streaming media settings.

When you should make a PC visible on the network and when not

The fact that a PC is visible on the network can pose serious security risks. Obviously, everything will depend on the type of connection you have established, whether it is public or private. In what cases should you allow other computers to see your PC on the network? Let’s see:

  • On your home network. When your computer is connected to a trusted connection, like your home Wi-Fi, it’s a good idea to make it visible so you can link it to other devices. For example, maybe you have created a media server or want your PC to act like one. In that case, for the different devices to communicate with each other, they will need to be visible on the network. Of course, since it is a private network, it is normal that there are no malicious users connected and your computer will not suffer external attacks. Of course, make sure you have  strengthened your Wi-Fi password  to prevent unauthorized access to the network.
  • At work. If you work in an office, making your computer discoverable is crucial if you want to access shared resources, such as servers, network storage, or printers. Although these networks are supposed to be secure, everything remains in the hands of the company. Unless strictly necessary, it is best not to connect your computer to the work network or make it visible, especially if it is a personal computer.
  • Public spaces. Connecting to a public Wi-Fi network and making your PC visible on the network is a serious mistake. By doing so, you will be opening the doors of your computer to any user, which includes your files and other crucial resources. We can’t think of any reason to allow remote access to your computer over a Wi-Fi network in a public space, like a park or the airport.

Dangers of making a PC visible on the network in public places

Before we close this section for good, we do well to review some of the dangers of making a PC visible on the network over a public connection.



  • Shares such as files or devices can be accessed byany user  . This poses a significant privacy issue.
  • Exploiting system vulnerabilitiesis easier if a computer is visible on the network.
  • Malware or virus injection. Network-deployed malicious programs could be very dangerous.

Knowing these risks is the way to become aware of how necessary it is to determine if a network is public or private.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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