Fix: SMB not Working on Windows 11

August 22, 2023

Server Message Block (SMB) is a critical protocol for file and printer sharing in Windows environments. However, some users have reported challenges with SMB post the Windows 11 update. This guide is designed to help you navigate and resolve these SMB-related issues, ensuring seamless file and printer sharing.

Understanding the Issue

  • Protocol Changes: Windows 11 might have introduced changes or updates to the SMB protocol that affect its functionality.
  • Network Settings: Incorrect network configurations can hinder SMB operations.
  • Firewall Restrictions: Firewalls can sometimes block SMB traffic, leading to issues.

Step-by-Step Solutions

1. Ensure SMB is Enabled

Why it’s Crucial: SMB needs to be active for file and printer sharing.

  • Press the ‘Windows’ key on your keyboard.
  • Type ‘Windows Features’ and press ‘Enter’.
  • In the resulting window, ensure ‘SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support’ is checked.
  • Click ‘OK’ and restart your computer.

2. Check Network Profile Settings

Why it’s Crucial: The network profile determines the level of network access and security.

  • Press the ‘Windows’ key.
  • Type ‘Network status’ and press ‘Enter’.
  • Ensure your network is set to ‘Private’. If it’s ‘Public’, change it to ‘Private’.

3. Adjust Firewall Settings

Why it’s Crucial: Firewalls can block SMB traffic if not configured correctly.

  • Press the ‘Windows’ key.
  • Type ‘Firewall’ and select ‘Windows Defender Firewall’.
  • Click on ‘Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall’.
  • Ensure ‘File and Printer Sharing’ is allowed for both private and public networks.

4. Update Network Drivers

Why it’s Crucial: Outdated network drivers can cause compatibility issues with SMB.

  • Right-click on the ‘Start’ button and select ‘Device Manager’.
  • Expand the ‘Network adapters’ section.
  • Right-click on your network adapter and select ‘Update driver’.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions.

5. Restart SMB Service

Why it’s Crucial: Restarting the SMB service can resolve minor glitches.

  • Press ‘Windows’ key + ‘R’ to open the Run dialog.
  • Type ‘services.msc’ and press ‘Enter’.
  • Locate ‘Server’ in the list, right-click, and select ‘Restart’.

By following the steps outlined above, users should be able to troubleshoot and potentially resolve the issue of SMB not working on Windows 11. Proper functioning ensures efficient file and printer sharing, enhancing the overall network experience.

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