10 Ways to Fix “Network discovery is turned off” Error

Network Solved issue

Question asked by:

Murphy Y.

Issue:

I keep getting: Network discovery is turned off error

Hello fellas! I got this error saying "Network discovery is turned off" on my Windows 11 PC and I don't know how to fix it.
Can you share how?
Thank you.
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Does your Windows always keep saying “network discovery is turned off”? And you don’t know how to approach it and restore connections? Don’t worry! This article will help you understand the problem, and walk you through various methods to get rid of this error. So let’s dive in.

TL;DR: Quick Ways to Solve the Error “Network discovery is turned off”

  • Restart PC: Restart your PC to fix the minor errors and glitches.
  • Reboot the router and modem: Unplug your Router and Modem and reconnect after a few minutes.
  • Run the Network and Internet Troubleshooter: Utilize Windows’ built-in troubleshooter to automatically identify and fix common network-related issues.
  • Enable the Network Discovery Feature: Ensure that network discovery is enabled in your system settings.
  • Allow Network Discovery From Windows Defender: Configure Windows Defender Firewall to allow network discovery, preventing it from being blocked.

We’ll discuss these solutions in detail with step-by-step instructions later on. Firstly, let’s begin by understanding the error.

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Fix Network discovery is turned off Error

Understanding the
“Network discovery is turned off” Error in Windows

Network discovery refers to a feature in Windows that allows devices on the same network to discover each other, connect, and share resources. When network discovery is disabled, computers and other devices cannot recognize each other, making it impossible to share files, printers, or network resources. Users encounter this error as an error message stating, “Network discovery is turned off”.

This error can occur due to various reasons, including incorrect network settings, firewall restrictions, outdated network drivers, or issues with network services. Fortunately, we have several methods to address this issue for both Windows 10 and Windows 11. 

6 User-Friendly Solutions to Fix
“Network discovery is turned off” Error

(Time to Complete: ~10-15 mins)

Begin with these easy solutions one by one and check if the error is resolved. If none of these methods work, just move on to the advanced solutions in the next section.

Solution 1. Restart PC 

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A simple restart can often resolve minor network issues. Save your work and restart your computer to see if it helps.

  • Press the “Start” button.
  • Tap the “Power” icon and select “Restart”.
Click Restart
  • Await the complete reboot of your system.

Solution 2. Reboot the Router and Modem

A simple yet effective troubleshooting step is to reboot your router and modem.
If your laptop keeps disconnecting from the router — see our guide here.
Follow these steps:

Restart Router
  • Disconnect both your router and modem from the power source to power them off.
  • Wait for a minute or two.
  • Plug in the modem first and wait for all lights to stabilize.
  • Plug in the router and wait for it to be fully operational.
  • Once both devices are booted up, check if the “Network discovery is turned off” error is resolved. If not, proceed to the next solution.

Solution 3. Run the Network and Internet Troubleshooter

Windows comes with a built-in troubleshooter that can detect and resolve network-related issues. Follow the steps below:

  • Press ‘Windows Key + I’ to open “Windows Settings”.
  • Click on “System”.
  • Select “Troubleshoot” and then click on “Other Troubleshooters”.
  • Now, run the “Network and Internet” troubleshooter and follow the on-screen instructions.
Other Troubleshooters then Network and Internet

Solution 4. Enable the Network Discovery Feature in your System

Ensure that network discovery is enabled in your system settings, allowing your device to identify and connect with other devices on the network. Here’s what to do:

  • Press ‘Windows Key + I’ to open “Windows Settings”.
  • Click on the “Network and Internet” tab, then open “Advanced Network settings”.
Click Advanced network settings
  • Now, select “Advanced sharing settings” and expand the “Private and Public” network menus.
  • If the “Network discovery” toggle is off, enable it and check the box for option “Set up network connected devices automatically”.
  • Additionally, switch on the toggle for “File and printer sharing”.
Enable Network discovery

Solution 5. Allow Network Discovery From Windows Defender

Windows Defender can sometimes block connections or certain apps causing such errors. You can use the below steps to rule out this possibility:

  • Press ‘Windows Key + I’ to open “Windows Settings” and click on “Update & Security”.
  • Now, open “Windows Security” and click on “Firewall & Network Protection”
Open Firewall & Network Protection
  • Next, select the “Allow an app through the firewall” option.
  • Locate “Network Discovery”. Ensure that the boxes under the Public and Private Network profiles are also checked.
Allow Network Discovery From Windows Defender

Solution 6. Update Network Adapter Drivers

Outdated network drivers can sometimes cause issues with network discovery. You can follow the below steps:

  • Press Windows Key + X’ and select “Device Manager” from the menu.
  • Expand the “Network adapters” category in the “Device Manager” window. 
  • Right-click on your network adapter and select “Update driver”
Update Driver for WiFi adapter
  • To find and install the latest Driver, follow the on-screen instructions.

After updating the network drivers, check if the error is resolved. If not, we have a couple more solutions to try.

4 Advanced Solutions to Resolve
“Network discovery is turned off” Error

(Time to Complete: ~5-15 mins)

If you have attempted all the Easy Solutions but none worked for you, try the below Advanced Solutions:

Adv. Solution 1. Disable Antivirus and Firewall Temporarily

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Antivirus or firewall software can sometimes block certain important apps and updates. By temporarily turning off these security features, you can avoid the interference. Follow these steps to temporarily disable your security software:

  • Open your antivirus/firewall software.
  • Temporarily disable real-time protection, firewall, or any feature that actively scans for threats.
Toggle Off Real-time protection
  • Restart the computer.
  • Re-enable the antivirus/firewall once the troubleshooting steps are complete.

Adv. Solution 2. Activate Network Discovery’s Dependency Services

Network discovery relies on some network-related services. These services need to be enabled for Network Discovery to function correctly. Below are the steps to enable these services:

  • Press ‘Windows Key + R’ to open the “Run” dialog box, type “services.msc”, and hit ‘Enter’.
Type services.msc
  • Now, look for the services mentioned below:
    • DNS Client
    • Function Discovery Resource Publication
    • SSDP Discovery
    • UPnP Device Host
    • Function Discovery Provider Host
  • Right-click on it and select “Properties” from the menu.
DNS Client Properties
  • From the options in the “Startup Type” dropdown menu, select “Automatic”.
  • Click on “Start”.
DNS Client Start
  • Complete this process for all 5 services. 

Adv. Solution 3. Reset the Windows Defender Firewall Settings

Resetting firewall settings can eliminate potential misconfigurations that hinder network discovery, restoring proper functionality.

  • Press ‘Windows Key + I’ to open “Windows Settings” and click on “Update & Security”.
  • Now, open “Windows Security” and click on “Firewall & Network Protection”.
Open Firewall & Network Protection
  • Click on “Restore firewalls to default” under “Windows Defender Firewall”, and confirm the action. Afterward, check if the error is resolved.
Restore firewalls to default

Adv. Solution 4. Reset Network Settings

Resetting network settings can help resolve complex network-related issues, including the “Network discovery is turned off” error. Follow these steps:

  • Press ‘Windows Key + I’ to open “Windows Settings”
  • Click on “Network & Internet”.
  • Scroll down and click on “Network Reset”.
  • Select “Reset now” and then confirm. 
Reset Network Setting to Default State

Windows will restart and reset all network settings to their default values. After the reset, re-enable any disabled network adapters and check if the error persists.

Final Words

By now, you should have successfully resolved the “Network discovery is turned off” error on your Windows system. We discussed various solutions, starting from easy solutions such as enabling network discovery, and updating network drivers, and advanced solutions like resetting network configurations. Each solution addressed different potential causes of the error.

We genuinely hope that by following our guide you fixed the error.

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About the author
Iggy Shells
Iggy Shells - IT & PC repair expert

Iggy is the founder of WindowsGuided.com. He’s been involved in custom IT and security solutions for more than a decade.

Now he and his team are sharing their knowledge with the world by helping casual users solve a myriad of different computer issues, system errors, and virus/malware infections.