Network Computers No Longer Present in File Explorer on Windows 10 1803

Posted: March 27, 2018 in Windows 10, Windows Insider Program
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Summary:

How to enable network computer appearance and access in File Explorer on Windows 10 Version 1803

Comments:

  1. This blog article provides the work-around details(How To) to return the functionality of viewing networked devices/computers in Windows 10 Version 1803 File Explorer’s Navigation pane ‘Network’ folder option (Editor Note: Windows Insider Build 17133[released Mar 27, 2018] is listed as ‘Feature update for Windows 10, version 1803’, thus this article may also have applicability to installed Insider Builds 17133 and later.  Windows 1803’s final version bits were released on April 30, 2018 and this work-around may still be necessary on some devices.)
  2. Changes made by Microsoft may prevent an end-users ability to view shared devices(computers) in File Explorer’s Navigation Pane ‘Network’ folder option.
  3. The inability to view networked devices/computers in File Explorers Navigation Pane ‘Network’ option appears to be related to deprecation of the HomeGroup feature. While not all end-users have or had previously used the Homegroup preferring standard network sharing methods, the end result of HomeGroup removal and/or under-the-hood feature and/or security changes may still be one of the underlying causes.

How To:

The steps to re-enable the ability to view and access shared devices/computers are shown below and requires changing a Windows 10 1803 Services settings items called ‘Function Discovery Resource Publication’ and ‘Function Discovery Provider Host’

  1. Access the Windows 10 Run dialog box via the Start Menu/Windows System/Run option or by pressing the Win + R keys on the keyboard.   Note: One can skip Step 1 and 2 and proceed to Step 3 if accessing the Services settings via search(Cllick/Tap the Windows Start Menu icon and enter ‘Services’  then click or tap on Services(Dekstop app)
  2. If using the Run dialog box – enter services.msc in the Run dialog box then press Return to load the Services dialog box window
  3. Scroll down in the Services window and select and double click/tap on ‘Function Discovery Resource Publication’ item(aka FDResPub) to access the service’s properties
  4. Change the ‘Startup type’ field entry from ‘Manual’ to ‘Automatic’ or ‘Automatic Delayed Start’
  5. In the same properties dialog box ‘Service status’ section click on Start (to start the FDResPub service) – see pic below
  6. Once the status indicator shows ‘Running’ Click ‘OK’ to close the Properties dialog box
  7. Repeat Step 3 through 6 for the item called ‘Function Discovery Provider Host’  (See Footnote [A])
  8. Close the Services window.  Close all open windows and Restart the device.

FDResPub_01

Footnote:  [A]

  •  Other articles on the internet suggest setting a few other ‘Services’ to Automatic or Automatic Delayed Start(SSDP Discovery and UPnP Device Host);  Removing shared locations(e.g. C:\Users) and re-adding shared locations;  Editing the Windows ‘hosts’ file by adding respective IP addresses for each shared device on the network.
    • Editor Note: Sharing the C:\Users folder especially with multiple users on the same device imo may be a privacy concern and should be avoided. Also the need to modify the service action from Windows 10 default setting for the SSDP Discovery and UPnP Device Host services is not an absolute requirement.  Likewise, adding assigned router ip addresses for each device in the Windows ‘hosts’ file[few network gurus recommend this method when setting up Windows Networking] may be another wasted effort.  
      • Bottom line => Don’t tamper with settings that aren’t necessary.

Revisions:

Mar 2, 2018: Initial Draft – Titled and written initially for Windows Insider Build 17112

Mar 8, 2018: Note added in ‘How To’ section Step 1, re-saved as 2nd Draft version

Mar 27, 2018:  Initial Publish Date; Added graphic in How To section

Mar 30, 2018: Retitled/Republished for Windows 10 Version 1803; Added Editor Note in Step 1.

May  1 2018:  Updated with additional detail and steps for clarity.

May 11 2018:  Added Footnote [A]

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