Windows 10 can’t see other computers on network

The Windows File Explorer has been included and shipped with every generation of the Windows Operating System and has gone through a lot of changes. The File Explorer that comes in with Windows 10 is not just to browse the local hard drive partitions. It can be used to browse files and folders in a local or even a remote network. This makes is one of the most important components for Windows for regular as well as power users.

windows file explorer

Can’t see other computers on network

Unfortunately, some users tend to report that File Explorer gets some issues while connecting to other devices on the Local Network. This is due to the fact that, the Windows Service that supports this feature gets issues in triggering up. The name of this service is fdPHost and is called as Function Discovery Provider HostIt is not to be confused with a similar service called as Function Discovery Provider which has a similar functionality.

About this service, Microsoft describes it as,

The FDPHOST service hosts the Function Discovery (FD) network discovery providers. These FD providers supply network discovery services for the Simple Services Discovery Protocol (SSDP) and Web Services – Discovery (WS-D) protocol. Stopping or disabling the FDPHOST service will disable network discovery for these protocols when using FD. When this service is unavailable, network services using FD and relying on these discovery protocols will be unable to find network devices or resources.

Explorer cannot connect to other devices on the local network

First of all, you need to local this service in the pool of services.

Hit the WINKEY + R button combination or search for Services in the Cortana search box. This will launch the Services window.

Windows 10 can't see other computers on network

Now locate the service named Function Discovery Provider Host.

Right click on it and click on Properties.

If the service is already running, stop it.

Then change the Startup Type to Automatic (Delayed Start) and then Start the service.

Click on Apply and then click on OK to save the changes.

Reboot the computer for the changes to take an effect.

Now check if your issue is solved.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Ayush has been a Windows enthusiast since the day he got his first PC with Windows 98SE. He is an active Windows Insider since Day 1 and is now a Windows Insider MVP. He has been testing pre-release services on his Windows 10 PC, Lumia, and Android devices.

7 Comments

  1. Saint.e

    Sorry, that did not work. My Windows 10 machines and NAS do not appear as computers with available shares. The NAS is only seen as Other Device.

  2. Bernie4201

    Thanks. It worked!!!!!

  3. Ayush Vij

    Maybe your other devices need to be configured again? Did you try that?

  4. Saint.e

    I used to be able to see all the computers, but an Update must have changed something. Anyway, I checked the machines which even with SMB 1/CIFS enabled did not see all the computers, and then I enabled SMB Direct and BAM!!, all the machines now appear on the network. SMB Direct is an additional Windows feature which can be turned on through Control Panel’s Programs and Features.

  5. Farmers (Mansfield)

    Another thing that doesn’t help with this is that Windows 10 seems to turn on password-protected sharing with every feature update, regardless of how the User had it set previously. This then breaks any network sharing that doesn’t use a password. This happens EVERY time a feature update is installed. As an Insider, it also happens every time a new build is released. Obviously this is on a machine actually sharing folders.

  6. Wendell

    It works for me. Thanks.

  7. Dave Chapman

    Hey folks. In case it helps the ton of people this doesn’t work for … here’s an answer.

    First my environment – pretty simple – just a Win10 enterprise PC which is basically a server for the house – wanted a couple of laptops and a couple of desktop machines to have full access to read/write from shared folders. One of the laptops was on wifi – the other and all desktop machines hardwired ethernet.

    All was just fine till I refreshed (reset) the server as it was running poorly. Suddenly, all my shares went out. I tried everything suggested everywhere – reset my NICs and equipment, autostarted FDPH and a number of other related services. Set sharing on both drives and individual folders to ‘everyone’ rather than defined users to see if that helped. Confirmed sharing and set up credentials on every machine for every user. Updated the windows Hosts files to explicitly authorise the machines in question. You get the picture – If you can blog it, I tried it. Nothing worked EXCEPT on the wifi connected laptop – that suddenly started seeing the server shares when I disabled SMB1 on that specific machine. Go figure.

    So – I tried the same thing on the other laptop, which is exactly the same model of machine running exactly the same (win10pro) version of Windows but it still couldn’t see the shares. I went through every friggin’ setting with the machines side by side right down to what was autostart vs autostart (delayed) and there was absolutely no difference. Then it occurred to me after hours of doing this and just being stumped – the only difference was one was on wifi, one was on ethernet. I then simply unplugged that laptop from the dock, rebooted it on wifi without changing anything else and hey presto – all my shares were there and fully accessible.

    With that revelation, I went to my garage, rummaged through a few boxes and found an old USB N wireless dongle I haven’t used for years, plugged it into one of my desktop machines and pulled the ethernet cable from the back and guess what – everything suddenly comes perfectly.

    From there, I went onto ebay, bought a couple of decent (and cheap) USB3 AC wifi dongles, plugged them into all my desktop computers and everything just works again at last.

    Anyone reading this from Microsoft – firstly shame on you for making this so hard for people – secondly shame on you for not testing your product properly for such a basic feature – thirdly shame on you for trashing homegroups without giving decent notice or advice to everyone at the time and lastly should you be trying to fix this issue – the problem is with ethernet connections – wifi doesn’t have this issue on any of the machines I have.

    Hope this helps everyone … Regards, Dave

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