Network Computers No Longer Present in File Explorer on Windows 10 Version 1909

Posted: January 15, 2020 in Windows 10
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How to enable/re-enable network computer appearance and access in File Explorer on Windows 10 Version 1909


  1. This blog article provides the an overview of how to ensure connectivity, functionality, visibility and view-ability across across all networked devices/computers in Windows 10 Version 1909’s File Explorer’s Navigation pane ‘Network’ folder by configuring specific Windows 10 ‘Services when using standard and acceptable network sharing methods in Windows 10. (Editor Note: This article is also applicable to earlier versions of Windows 10 e.g. 1903, 1809, 1803, etc.)
  2. Changes made by Microsoft Updates(Feature or Monthly Cumulative or Optional or Out-of-Band) may prevent an end-users ability to view and access shared devices(computers) in File Explorer’s Navigation Pane ‘Network’ folder option.
  3. This article assumes that Windows 10 is already configured for standard network sharing. If not, see the section immediately below titled ‘Basic Guidelines for Standard Network Sharing’. If already configured for standard network sharing skip to the ‘How To’ section for configuring Windows 10 Services.


Guidelines for Standard Network Sharing:

  • All devices should have the exact same/common Windows logon user profiles. As an example if John has two devices(of any type – desktop and tablet or two desktops…) then John should configure each device with exact same Windows logon profile using the exact same username and password(The Windows logon profile can be a Microsoft Account or a Local Account).
        • The same commonality would also apply in more than one user per device across those same two or more devices (e.g. John and Mary Windows logon profiles with same username/password on each device)
  • Change the Workgroup name on each device from the Windows default name ‘Workgroup’ to a name of your choice(Editor note: This is optional, but since everyone on the planet for at least the last three decades knows the default Windows workgroup name, imo it’s always a good idea to personalize it with your own workgroup name.  Also consider, for ease of use, change/personalize the device’s Computer Name to something that makes sense to you(Many pre-built OEM devices prename the device using an unrecognizable/cryptic name or the purchase order number or model number or an odd unrecognizable alphanumeric name)
  • Configure Network Discovery Sharing profiles identically in each and every Windows logon profile on each and every device.
      • Network Discovery has three separate network sharing profiles(Private, Guest or Public and All network)
        • Private => Network Discovery(On), Automatic Setup(On), File and Printer Sharing(On)
        • Guest or Public => Network Discovery(Off), File and Printer Sharing(Off) – If needed for some specific reason, it can be turned on but for most home networking ‘Off’ is recommended.
        • All Network => Public folder sharing(On), 128 bit encryption(On), Password Protected Sharing(On)
            • Note: In a home networking situation, if the current network sharing profile is shown as ‘Public’ then file and printer sharing is not possible. Changing the network sharing profile to ‘Private’ can be accomplished via Windows 10 Settings for your type of connection(Ethernet or WIFI; if using both, change both to Private)
                    • ==>  Settings/Network & Internet/Status/Change connection Properties
  • Create and share a designated folder on each device in each windows profile in addition to the Windows 10 provided ‘Public folders’ for sharing and accessing. Creating and sharing your own designated folder on each device provides a common, unique and additional location for saving and copying files across networked devices.  Other user profiles specific folders that might be considered for sharing(e.g. Documents, Downloads, Pictures).
  • Configure your router to assign the same(Static) IP address to each device on the network
  • Create and configure a Windows Credential with each device’s ‘computername’ in each Windows logon profile with the same identical Windows logon profile(username and password)
  • Editor Note: Some application software and hardware(e.g. Printers, Scanners, Routers, etc.) may still be using an older and deprecated file sharing protocol called SMBv1. SMBv1 was deprecated for security reasons related to Ransomware malware which spread using vulnerability in the SMBv1 protocol.  Windows 10 provides support for SMBv2 and SMBv3 – the current, secure and safer protocols, but in some cases SMBv1 is still necessary(even though not recommended) for some software/hardware.  Unless absolutely necessary SMBv1 should be disabled in Windows features.
          • Microsoft maintains web page on software and hardware still using SMBv1 and can be found using the following url  => SMB1 Product Clearinghouse


How To:

  • Configuring Windows Services
    • The steps to re-enable the ability to view and access shared devices/computers are shown below and requires changing Windows 10 Services settings items called ‘Function Discovery Resource Publication’ ‘Function Discovery Provider Host’, SSDP and UnPnP to Automatic and Starting the service (Note The last two SSDP and UnPnP_are optional but on many devices enabling these two additional Services can be a benefit)
  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(Click/Tap the Windows Start Menu icon and enter ‘Services’  then click or tap on Services(Desktop 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’ the service name assigned by Windows) 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 (If the service is already started skip this step).  A picture/graphic is shown below  of  the service being enabled and started.
  6. Once the ‘Service status’ indicator shows ‘Running’ Click ‘OK’ to close the Properties dialog box
  7. Repeat Step 3 through 6 for the other services – ‘Function Discovery Provider Host’, SSDP and ‘UnPnP’    (See Footnote [A])
  8. Close the Services window.  Close all open windows and Restart the device.



Footnote:  [A]

  • Other articles on the internet suggest  Removing shared locations(e.g. C:\Users) and re-adding shared locations;  or other more under-the hood measures such as editing the Windows ‘hosts’ file and adding each respective IP addresses for each shared device on the network in the ‘hosts’ file.
      • Editor Notes:
        • Removing shared locations(folder) and re-adding may help in certain cases
        • Sharing the entire C:\Users folder is not recommended since many subfolders in C:/Users are by design intent classified by Windows as ‘Hidden files and folders’ an solely unique to the Windows 10 logged on user
        • Likewise, adding assigned router ip addresses for each device in the Windows ‘hosts’ file may be another wasted effort. 
          • In general =>  It’s a good idea to avoid tampering with settings and/or files that are not necessary.



Jan 10, 2020: Initial Draft

Jan 15 2020: Original Publish Date

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