Computer Browser


Enables the computer to participate in the election for maintaining the browser list.

The browser list contains all computers, that have announced themselves on the network through the Server service- Home Network: This service only need to be activated on a single computer. It is convenient to activate this service on all computers to avoid single point of failure.

  • Corporate Network: The Active Directory should be used instead.

Note even if no computer is maintaining the browser list, then it is still possible to access remote shares by creating direct shortcuts or mapping network shares (\\computername\sharename).

Note the Computer Browser service will fail to start if the services it depends on are not available (Disable the Computer Browser if not using File Sharing):

Event ID: 7003
The Computer Browser service depends on the following nonexistent service: LanmanServer, LMHOSTS

Note if the Computer Browser cannot be reached (either because no computer is running the service, or because of a firewall), then it will give the following error message when trying to browse My Network Places:

MShome is not accessible. You might not have permission to use this network resource. Contact the administrator of this server to find out if you have access permissions.

More Info MS KB318030
More Info MS KB913619

More Info Microsoft Technet
More Info MS KB188001
More Info MS KB188305
More Info MS KB262694
More Info MS KB875362

  • Automatic, if on a network and there is no dedicated master browser.
  • Disabled, if not using network shares or shared printers on the network.
Default State:
  • Win8: Manual (Trigger Start - FIREWALL PORT EVENT)
  • Win7: Manual
  • Vista: Automatic (Not Started)
  • WinXP/Win2k/WinNT4: Automatic
Process Name:
  • None