You can make your computer visible or invisible on a local network, and in this guide, we'll show you how to do it on Windows 10.

Windows 10 allows you to configure different network profiles depending on the type of network you connect to keep your device a little more secure. When you're connected to a less secure network like at a coffee shop or airport, you can set the connection as "public" to hide your computer on the local network while also disabling printer and file sharing.

If you're accessing a network you trust, such as at home or work, you can then set your Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection as "private," which makes your computer discoverable, and you're also able to share files and printers with other devices.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to make your device discoverable or hidden no matter in which type of network you're connected.

How to turn network discovery on or off on Windows 10

Usually, when you connect to a new network for the first time, Windows 10 will prompt you to set a network profile. However, if you haven't received the prompt, or you simply want to change your selection, you can use the Settings app to set a connection as Private or Public using these steps.

Ethernet connection discovery settings

In the case, you're connecting to a local network using an Ethernet adapter, follow these steps to configure network discovery:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & Internet.
  3. Click on Ethernet.
  4. On the right side, click on the adapter you want to configure.

  5. Turn on or off the Make this PC discoverable toggle switch. (When the option is turned off, it means that your PC isn't discoverable.)

Wi-Fi connection discovery settings

If you're using a wireless adapter to connect to a local Wi-Fi network, use these steps to configure network discovery:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click on Wi-Fi.
  4. On the right side, click on the adapter you want to configure.

  5. Turn on or off the Make this PC discoverable toggle switch. (When the option is turned off, it means that your PC isn't discoverable.)

Once you completed the steps, Windows 10 will remember your selection, and your device will be visible or hidden every time you connect to the same network. However, note that disabling network discovery will prevent you from browsing other devices on the network.

More Windows 10 resources

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