Networking / Beginners

Working with Network Explorer

Network Explorer displays a list of discovered computers and devices on the network. You can access Network Explorer by clicking Start and then clicking Network. The computers and devices listed in Network Explorer depend on the network discovery settings of the computer.

If discovery is blocked, you'll see a note about this in Network Explorer's notification area. Clicking the warning message and then selecting Turn On Network Discovery enables network discovery and opens the appropriate Windows Firewall ports so that network discovery is allowed. If no other changes have been made with regard to network discovery, the computer will be in the discovery-only state.

Providing you have appropriate permissions, you can browse any computer or device listed in Network Explorer. Double-click the icon for the computer to access its shared resources. Double-click the icon for a device to access its management interface or browse its resources.

Network Explorer's toolbar provides four options:

  • Search Active Directory When you have access to a corporate domain, you can click Search Active Directory to display the Find Users, Contacts, And Groups dialog box and then use this dialog box to search Active Directory for users, contacts, groups, computers, printers, shared folders, and other objects. Use the Find selection list to choose the type of resource to search for. Use the In selection list to choose where in the directory to search.
  • Network And Sharing Center When you want to view network status or manage network settings, click Network And Sharing Center to open Network And Sharing Center. You can work with Network And Sharing Center as discussed in the "Working with Network And Sharing Center" section of this tutorial.
  • Add A Printer Starts the Add Printer Wizard so you can add a local, network, wireless, or Bluetooth printer.
  • Add A Wireless Device Starts the Add A Wireless Device To The Network Wizard so you can add wireless devices that were detected but not configured.
[Previous] [Contents] [Next]