How to Enable Client for Microsoft Networks

Every network adapter can have this component enabled

Client for Microsoft Networks is an essential networking software component for the Microsoft Windows family of operating systems. A Windows computer must run Client for Microsoft Networks to remotely access files, printers, and other shared network resources on a Windows server.

Windows enables Client for Microsoft Networks by default, but it can be turned off. You can enable Client for Microsoft Networks from the Properties menu of the network adapter you use to access the network.

How to Enable the Client in Windows 10

Windows 10 users can enable Client for Microsoft Networks from the Settings window.

  1. Press Win+I then select Network & Internet.

    A screenshot of Windows settings with the Network & Internet section highlighted
  2. Choose Ethernet from the left column.

    A screenshot of Windows Network & Internet settings with the Ethernet heading highlighted
  3. Click Change adapter options from the right column.

    A screenshot of Windows Ethernet settings with the
  4. Right-click Ethernet then click Properties.

    Although it's rare, if you use a different Ethernet adapter or yours isn't called Ethernet, select the correct one. If you don't see Ethernet, you probably have one called something similar like Ethernet0 or Ethernet 2.

    A screenshot of Windows' Network Connections screen with the Ethernet port highlighted
  5. Click the box next to Client for Microsoft Networks.

    A screenshot of ethernet properties in Windows with the
  6. Click OK.

    A screenshot of Ethernet properties in Windows with the OK button highlighted

How to Enable the Client in Windows 8 or 7

Control Panel is the easiest way to access network adapters in Windows 8.

  1. The fastest way to do this is with the Power User Menu. Use the Win+X keyboard shortcut to get there, or right-click the Start button.

  2. Click Network and Internet.

  3. Click Network and Sharing Center.

  4. Click Change adapter settings from the left column.

  5. Right-click Ethernet, Local Area Connection, or whichever network adapter Client for Microsoft Networks should be enabled on.

  6. Click Properties.

  7. Click the box next to Client for Microsoft Networks.

  8. Click OK.

How to Enable the Client in Older Versions of Windows

Similar instructions apply to older versions of Windows, but you get to the Properties menu in a slightly different way depending on your operating system. For example, if your computer runs Windows 2000 or Windows XP, the network adapter is found in Network Connections.

  1. Open Control Panel from the Start menu.

  2. Click Connect To and then Show all connections.

  3. Right-click Local Area Connection.

  4. Click Properties.

  5. Click the box next to Client for Microsoft Windows.

  6. Click OK.