Why isn't Windows finding my device?

If Windows isn't finding your wireless device or devices connected to a network, here are a few things you can try. If you’re having problems with a wired device, see What if a device isn't installed properly?

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Make sure sharing is turned on

To connect devices or PCs on a network, make sure sharing is turned on for the network you’re connected to. For more info, see Turn sharing on or off.

You can also turn sharing on by joining a homegroup, which lets you share pictures, music, videos, documents, and printers with other people in your homegroup.

Use Advanced printer setup

If you're adding a printer, you can try using Advanced printer setup.

To add a printer in Advanced printer setup

  1. Tap or click to open Add Printer.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose a printer in the list.

    • Tap or click The printer that I want isn’t listed, and either enter the printer name or choose one of the other options.

  3. Tap or click Next, and then follow the instructions.

Make sure Bluetooth is on

If your PC can connect to wireless devices, check that Bluetooth is turned on. Open PC settings by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, and tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search). Enter Bluetooth in the search box, tap or click Settings, and then tap or click Turn wireless communication on or off. Under Wireless devices, tap or click the Bluetooth control to turn it on.

Make sure Bluetooth enabled and other wireless devices are on and discoverable

Turn on the device, and then make it discoverable. To learn how to make a device discoverable, check the info that came with your device or go to the manufacturer’s website. Methods for making a device discoverable can vary widely depending on the device.

If your device has a wireless switch, make sure it’s turned on. The switch could be on the front or side, and it could be small and unmarked. Check the info that came with your device to see if a picture shows where it’s located. Also, make sure that wireless communication is turned on and airplane mode is turned off. For more info, see Why can’t I connect to a network?

If you’re still having problems connecting your device, try using the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter to fix common problems.

For more info about adding devices, see Add, view, and manage your devices and printers.

Make sure network devices are turned on

Before you try to connect to a network device, such as a printer or other PC, make sure it's turned on. For more info about network connection problems, see Why can’t I connect to a network?

Try using a troubleshooter

For wireless device or devices connected to Homegroup, you can try running a troubleshooter to fix some common problems.

Check with your device manufacturer

See if the info that came with your device includes troubleshooting tips. You can also check the support pages on the manufacturer’s website for info and new drivers.

Check for answers in the Windows community

If none of these suggestions solve the problem you’re experiencing, check out the hardware and drivers community page in the Windows forum for solutions to problems with specific devices that other people have found.

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