How to Fix It When the Specified Network Name Is No Longer Available

Try these proven troubleshooting tips

The Specified Name Is No Longer Available error may appear in one of several different ways when:

  • Trying to access a network shared location on a Windows 10 PC from an older Windows computer.
  • Attempting to access any network share using SMB (Server Message Blog) file-sharing protocol.
  • Accessing any network device that supports SMB protocol.

The error usually occurs when attempting to access the share from a client. The access attempt usually takes a long time before the error shows up.

This error usually occurs when the client attempting to access the network share or device doesn't support SMB protocol. It can also happen when accessing the network share is blocked or interrupted by antivirus software or a firewall.

Cause of Specified Network Name Is No Longer Available Error

Server Message Block (SMB) is a file transfer protocol used on Windows systems for many years. Its primary use is to allow client computers to access remote files on another computer system. The computer storing the file needs to have SMB protocol enabled, and the client accessing the file needs to support SMB protocol.

However, if the system hosting the file uses a newer version of SMB unsupported by the client, it can lead to errors. Antivirus software, firewalls, and other network issues can also interfere with the SMB file transfer process.

How Do I Fix the Specified Network Name Is No Longer Available Error?

This issue applies to Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista, including both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of these operating systems.

  1. Disable your antivirus software. It's the easiest fix to try first and often fixes this error. Most major antivirus apps like Norton, Avast, and McAfee provide the ability to disable protection temporarily.

  2. Disable Windows Firewall and Windows Defender. Windows embedded security tools can also block SMB protocol and cause the Specified Network Name Is No Longer Available error. Disable these tools to test if it resolves the error.

  3. Ensure you've enabled file sharing on the system you're using. There might be slight differences in setting up this form of file sharing depending on the OS you're using. Make sure you've correctly set up file sharing on your Mac or file sharing on your Linux system. There are also specific steps to set up file sharing correctly on your Windows system.

  4. SMB protocol requires additional configuration to work on both the server and the client computers. On Windows, you'll need to open Administrative Tools to access Windows Features and make sure SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support is enabled. Make sure to restart your Windows system to make sure the changes take effect.

  5. One workaround to map network shares directly is mapping to the server hosting the files via IP address rather than the network name. Doing this will bypass the need to resolve the network name and help get your file share to work properly.

    This should be a last resort since IP addresses on most networks, such as a home network, are not usually static IP addresses. Routers typically assign dynamic, changing IP addresses to devices. So even if using the server or computer's IP address works initially, it may not continue working.

  6. Since SMB is a somewhat outdated file-sharing technology, you may want to consider sharing files over a network by using P2P or FTP protocol instead. You might also consider using cloud storage solutions to share files across computer systems instead.

Is SMB Enabled by Default in Windows 11?

Windows 11 supports SMB in terms of accessing shared folders on other systems. However, if you want to share folders and files in Windows 11, you'll need to enable file and printer sharing in the Network and Sharing Center. By default, this setting is on, but it's possible you disabled it or that the Windows Firewall may be blocking it.

If you do decide to enable file and printer sharing in Windows 11, make sure to enable password protection so anyone connecting to your shared folder will still have to authenticate.

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    If you see "Network error, please try again" on an Android device, go to Settings > Applications > Google Drive. Next, tap Storage > Clear Data to reset Google Drive and clear up the network error.

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    This error usually means Windows can't access shared files from File Explorer. To solve the issue, try to access the shared folder via the Command Prompt using the net use <DeviceName>: \\<ServerName>\<ShareName> command. Or, go to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Advanced sharing settings > Turn on Network Discovery > Turn on file and printer sharing. Click Save to save your changes.

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