Windows computers can’t ‘see’ each other on a local network – possible fix


What can you do when two Windows computers can’t ‘see’ each other for file sharing on a local network?  It’s an old, old Windows problem with too many possible faults, but a smart Office Watch reader found one possible fix.

File sharing is necessary to let you share documents and files between local computers.  Microsoft is pushing us to save everything in their precious OneDrive but that’s not always the best or most private option.

Assuming both computers can connect to the same modem/router and to the Internet but the computers don’t appear to each other in the Network explorer pane.  Here’s a typical example, showing just the computer we’re on ‘Twist2’ but nothing else on the local network.

Make sure Network Discovery and file sharing is ON.  That lets other computers see your machine and vice-versa.

Function Discovery Resource Publication

Alan Mc, one of our loyal readers, hunted around for a fix.  For him the problem seemed to happen after each Windows update from Microsoft.  We’ll let Alan take up the story ….

” The problem seems to occur when one computer on the network is running a wireless adaptor and the other an Ethernet adapter.  In my case the problem was the desktop computer on the Ethernet.

If I reset the Function Discovery Resource Publication in Services the desktop computer appeared and came up again on closing and starting but would not appear after a restart. This solution appeared on OS Hub and works in my case for normal start and restarts.

According to some people this problem has been reported to Microsoft a number of times over the past couple of years.  “

Enable the network auto-discovery in Windows 10 like this.

  1. Open the Windows Services Management Console (services.msc). Control Panel | Administrative Tools | Services.
  2. In the long list of services, look for the Function Discovery Resource Publication. It’s probably set to disabled or auto-trigger.
    Don’t confuse with the Function Discovery Provider Host service.
  3. Change the service startup type from Manual to Automatic (Delayed Start).

    The service will start when the computer boots but after a short delay.  That lets vital services start first and quickly.

  4. Start the service manually might be enough or restart the computer.

Other computers on the local network should now be able to discover the computer and its resources (printers and shared folders).


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