Computer connected to a wireless network doesn't appear on the network  

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  1. Posts : 75
    Windows 10 Home

    Computer connected to a wireless network doesn't appear on the network

    I had a wireless network, call it NW1, set up for sharing files between a desktop and a laptop, but something has gone wrong. The laptop shows it is connected to the network, and a file listing of "Network" shows the laptop with its "Network Location" shown as NW1, as expected. However the desktop is *not* shown in the listing.

    The desktop shows it is connected to two networks: NW1, shown as a WiFi network, and NW2, shown as an ethernet connection. Under NW1 properties, it shows that it is set to "Connect automatically when in range" and that the network is Private. A file listing of "Network" shows only my wireless router with its "Network location" shown as NW2. It does not show either the desktop or the laptop or anything else with "Network location" of NW1.

    How can I get my desktop to recognize NW1?

    (Windows 10 vers. 1909)
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 264
    Windows 10

    are both networks set as private on the laptop? I am amazed at the amount of networking issues like this lately...
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 7,750
    windows 10

    Can you print it by name or IP it can take time for it to show up
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 168
    Windows 10 Pro 21H1

    In my limited experience, Windows network problems fall into four categories:

    1. Hardware/Connections - is the network properly set up.
    2. Discovery - is each computer set up properly to allow it to find other devices on the network.
    3. Enabling Sharing - is each computer set up to allow sharing.
    4. Permissions - is each computer properly set up to permit other devices to access files on that computer.

    If your wireless router is connected to the internet and both the Desktop and the Laptop can access the internet, your network set up is most likely OK.

    If so, please see the tutorial on this site entitled "How to Share Files and Folders Over a Network in Windows 10."
    Follow the instructions in that tutorial and you should be good to go.

      My Computer

  5. Posts : 75
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for your help. This is extremely confusing!

    At this point, my desktop shows the laptop under Network, but not itself (desktop). The laptop shows itself but not the desktop.

    On the desktop I followed, as best I could, the "How to Share Files and Folders Over a Network in Windows 10" article. I did "Settings > "Turn Windows features on or off" > SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support > and enabled "SMB 1.0/CIFS Client" & "SMB 1.0/CIFS . Server" & rebooted. This didn't help. I followed the other instructions but made no changes as they were already set correctly. However, after an interval of perhaps 20-30 minutes, the desktop now shows itself as well as the laptop. However the laptop still shows only itself.

    Does it really take better than 20 minutes for changes to take effect, even after a reboot?
    Why doesn't the laptop show the desktop?

    - - - Updated - - -

    As I mentioned above, the laptop did not show the desktop on the network. After waiting for about an hour with no change, I rebooted the laptop and now it *does* show the desktop on the network!

    Does this mean that Windows checks for other computers on the network only when the computer boots up? Is there any way to force Windows to check?
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 7,750
    windows 10

    Windows doesnt look for things on the network it asks the master browser whats out there and it can take 20+mins to find new pcs it was assumed all pcs would beon all the time. Run this scanner on all pcs see if it sees the others ok it often kicks it into life note which is master browser
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 168
    Windows 10 Pro 21H1

    Congratulations Coffent,

    It's always good to hear that a problem has been solved to satisfaction.

    Are both your desktop and laptop running the latest version of Windows 10? If so, you may want to read up a bit on SMB1 and consider whether or not you should uninstall the SMB1 services now that the two computers have discovered each other.

      My Computer

  8. Posts : 75
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter

    Unfortunately the problem isn't solved, at least not in a reasonable way. With both computers recognizing each other, my laptop went into "sleep" mode. So, as expected, the Network listing on my desktop didn't show the laptop. I woke the laptop and it showed the desktop. I ran netbscanner on my desktop and it found the laptop, but the desktop did not show it. I had to reboot the desktop to finally get it to show the laptop.

    Surely one should not have to go through this process every time to connect the two computers?
      My Computer

  9. Posts : 168
    Windows 10 Pro 21H1

    Hello Coffent,

    Has time cured all network wounds? In some cases, that's all it takes for the networked machines to get to know each other.

      My Computer

  10. Posts : 5,038
    Windows 10/11 Pro x64, Various Linux Builds, Networking, Storage, Cybersecurity Specialty.

    @coffent -

    Please perform the following on both systems:

    1. Press Windows Key + S, and type Network and Sharing Center.
    2. Click on the top result to open Network and Sharing Center.
    3. Click on Change adapter settings.
    4. Right click on Wireless Network Connection and select Properties.
    5. Click on the Configure button.
    6. Choose the Power Management tab.
    7. Uncheck the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.
    8. Restart your device and check if the issue persists.


      My Computer


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