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How to access files on network devices using SMBv1 on Windows 10

Server Message Block (SMB) is a networking file share protocol included in Windows 10 that provides the ability to read and write files and perform other service requests to network devices. Usually, you'll be using SMB to connect to devices that don't run Windows, such as a router with file sharing capabilities, Network-Attached Storage (NAS), or other computers running Linux.

Although there have been three major releases of the protocol, there is a chance that you may still have devices running the original version, such as SMB version 1 (v1) which is old and insecure, and Windows 10 no longer installs it by default starting with the Fall Creators Update and April 2018 Update. As a result, you'll get error messages like "You can't connect to the file share because it's not secure;" "The specified network name is no longer available;" and "Unspecified error 0x80004005" when trying to access your files.

However, if you have a networking device that you can no longer access because of this issue, you can still temporarily enable the protocol to retrieve files.

In this Windows 10 guide, we walk you through the steps to temporarily enable the SMB protocol to regain access to files stored in the network. Then, we'll also explain the process to disable it to keep your computer protected.

How to temporarily re-enable the SMBv1 protocol on Windows 10

If you don't have direct access to the device running the SMB service, you can temporarily enable the SMBv1 protocol for the purpose of retrieving your files using these steps:

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Click on Programs.
  3. Click on Turn Windows features on or off link.

  1. Expand the SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support option.
  2. Check the SMB 1.0/CIFS Client option.

  1. Click the OK button.
  2. Click the Restart now button.

After completing these steps, you'll once again be able to see and connect to network devices running the old protocol on your local network from your Windows 10 computer.

Of course, you should only use these steps as a temporary solution to regain access to your files stored on the network. Ideally, if you're saving your data on a drive connected to a router with file sharing capabilities or NAS, you should contact the device manufacturer for specific instructions to update the device to a version that supports SMBv2.02 or later.

If the manufacturer can't provide an update, you should consider getting a network device that includes support for the more secure version of the network protocol.

After you've either migrated your data off the network or you updated the software that supports the more secure version of the protocol, we recommend disabling SMBv1 on your computer. You can easily do this following the same steps mentioned above, but on Step No. 5, make sure to clear the SMB 1.0/CIFS Client option.

How to find out if SMBv2 is enabled on your PC

SMB version 2 should be enabled by default on your Windows 10 installation, but you can check using these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for PowerShell, right-click the top result, and select Run as administrator.
  3. Type the following command to check if SMBv2 is enabled and press Enter:Get-SmbServerConfiguration | Select EnableSMB2ProtocolIf the output returns True, then SMBv2 is enabled. If the output is False, use this command to enable it and press Enter:Set-SmbServerConfiguration –EnableSMB2Protocol $true

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

11 Comments
  • SMBv1 is quite a dangerous thing to enable considering WannaCry used it to jump to machines and networks shares. I wouldn't recommend enabling it unless you know EXACTLY what you are doing and what the risks of enabling it are.
  • I agree. Author should have added the risks into the article.
  • so what happens if someone have an old NAs like I do? Mine stopped working a few weeks back, I did not link it with the update for some reason. It was only in another forum about NAs and someone said about Windows 10 now disables SMBv1. Be nice if MS told people.
    Well i am not going to chuck a working a NAS, no matter how old it is.
  • maybe enable ftp and then you can still acces the nas . you can even mound an ftp folder so maybe that is a solution if the nas doesnt support smb2 or higher
  • We had massive amounts of LAG (upwards of over 2-5 minutes) when opening a file shared using SMB version 2.1.2. We switched it to resort back to SMBv1 and the files open immediately. Anything 3+ was fine, not sure if there is a "problem" with 1803 and SMBv2.
  • You misconfigured something somewhere.
  • Step 1: Don't
    Step 2: There is no step 2.
  • I have an old HP Mediavault on which I backup photos and store some of my movies. It only supports SMBv1. I'm not really concerned with security for this device (I don't even require a password to connect and write to the movies share). I didn't really want to re-enable SMBv1 on my Windows 10 laptop, so I did a bit of a workaround by sharing the pre-existing mount to the Mediavault movies share on my Linux Mint Plex server (also requiring no authentication for the Samba share). I did have to enable "Enable insecure guest logons" in Windows' local group policy editor to get Windows 10 to stop requiring a name and password. I don't see any slower performance copying files to the NAS through another machine, since the Mediavault is pretty slow to begin with. Obviously, I wouldn't do this anywhere but in my home environment, but I didn't want to get rid of a device that's still fine for storing non-sensitive data.
  • This is exactly why I haven't bought into the whole NAS thing. Talk about crappy patching and updating. They're huge security risks.
  • Anyone who's still running SMBv1 for anything needs their head examined. Do NOT enable it on machines.
  • People panic too much