Can't see MAC as a Computer in Network on Windows 10 Machine

Hi Experts,

I recently purchased a new MacBook Air for myself so my knowledge of how to configure things in it is pretty elementary, if non-existent.

Hours of scouring the web reading articles and watching YouTube help videos have enabled me to successfully connect my MacBook Air to the shared folders on my Windows 10 Pro machine,

My problem is that I can only access my MAC from the Window 10 machine by the MAC's IP address, which is assigned by DHCP so will eventually change. I don't want to make it a static IP unless there is absolutely no other way around it.

When I go to Networks on my Win 10 Pro machine, the MacBook Air does not appear as a computer to select. Nor does it's IP address. I need to manually access it by \\192.168.1.xxx

I can ping the MAC's IP address, but not its machine name. I can see my own Windows 10 Pro machine appear in Network (File Explorer) though, just not the MAC. I can also access the shared folders on the MAC when I access it using the IP address.

Things tried to resolve so far:
  • Set the "Function Discovery Provider Host" Service to Automatic Start (Delayed) and made sure it is running
  • Set the "Function Discovery Resource Publication" Service to Automatic Start (Delayed) and made sure it is running
  • Temporarily Disabled Firewalls on both MAC and Windows computers - made no difference
  • Have done an "ipconfig /flushdns" on the Windows machine - made no difference
  • Have restarted both machines a couple of times per articles and videos - that did squat
  • Tore a few hairs out of my head and decided to post for help here ;)

MAC OS Specs
  • MacBook Air (13-inch, 2017)
  • macOS High Sierra - Version 10.13.6 (latest version available)

Windows Specs
  • Self built Windows 10 Machine
  • Windows 10 Pro - Version 10.0.17134 Build 17134 (latest available according to Windows Update)

Can someone help out with getting my Windows 10 Pro box to recognize the MAC so it appears as a computer when I look in File Explorer's Network list?

Any suggestions appreciated.

Cheers....
LVL 20
Andrew LeniartSenior EditorAsked:
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Lucas BishopClick TrackerCommented:
Start with enabling file sharing and network discovery. Here's a good path to begin on:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204445
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
A workaround fix (I use this myself) is to put the IP address and Name of the Windows 10 machine on the MAC

http://www.dirigodev.com/blog/web-development-execution/how-to-edit-your-hosts-file-on-mac-and-windows/

And also put the IP address and name of the MAC in the Windows HOSTS file (system32\drivers\etc\hosts
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serialbandCommented:
You'll need a DHCP server that also does DNS for that.  Home systems generally don't have that.  The DHCP address will usually be the same if you log on frequently enough.  Check that the DHCP lease length on your router, or whatever you use to serve DHCP.  Make sure it's set to something sufficiently long living.  If you can reserve the DHCP address, then reserve it so it never changes.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Agree with the above if you wish to go this route.   That is why I use the HOSTS file workaround. This works as well.
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorAuthor Commented:
@Lucas
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204445
Thanks for the link, Lucas. That looked like it could help until I determined everything it suggested for the MAC side had already been tried. It doesn't go much into the Windows side and the Microsoft link it gives just goes to the generic Microsoft Support page which I've already scoured. Also, both SMB and AFP sharing protocols are already enabled on the MAC and the TCP/IP stack is working fine because I can ping both ways.

@John
A workaround fix (I use this myself) is to put the IP address and Name of the Windows 10 machine on the MAC
http://www.dirigodev.com/blog/web-development-execution/how-to-edit-your-hosts-file-on-mac-and-windows/
And also put the IP address and name of the MAC in the Windows HOSTS file (system32\drivers\etc\hosts

That looked quite promising, but I can't seem to get it to work. Please excuse my technical ignorance when it comes to the MAC side. The page gives instructions on editing the hosts file for "Apple OS X Lion, Snow Leopard & Leopard" and "Apple OSX 10.4.X Tiger" - I have a "macOS High Sierra - Version 10.13.6" so the examples don't seem to work? Are you able to give more detailed instructions for my version of the macOS?

Also, assuming my MAC is called AL-MACBOOK-AIR and has an IP of 192.168.1.123 Can you please show examples of what entries in the hosts file on the Windows side you suggest I add?

And assuming my Windows Box has a name of AL-WINDOWS-10 and has an IP 192.168.1.155 - How do I add this information on my MAC?

Finally, will the above suggestion not fail if the IP of either the Windows or MAC box changes dynamically?

@serialband
You'll need a DHCP server that also does DNS for that.  Home systems generally don't have that.  The DHCP address will usually be the same if you log on frequently enough.  Check that the DHCP lease length on your router, or whatever you use to serve DHCP.  Make sure it's set to something sufficiently long living.  If you can reserve the DHCP address, then reserve it so it never changes.

I'm unclear on what you're suggesting here. The DHCP server address never changes, nor do the DNS Servers

  • The DHCP Server is my LinkSys Router and has a static IP address of 192.168.1.1
  • My Router is a Linksys WRT54GS with a Firmware Vertsion: v3.37.1
  • DNS Servers however are provided by my IP and are currently 192.142.152.164 and 198.142.152.165 (optusnet.com.au)

Can you expand on your suggestion with the above information?

Thanks guys.. Looking forward to any further suggestions.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
To get to your Hosts file, find your Notepad shortcut, right click on it, open with Run as Administrator.  Notepad, File, Open and navigate to the c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts  

Put this entry in  and save the file

192.168.1.123       AL-MACBOOK-AIR              # MAC Book Air (e,g.)


Now the entry in MAC should be very similar except

192.168.1.155      AL-WINDOWS-10                  # AL Windows Computer (e.g.)

I do not have a MAC Air here to try this on.
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorAuthor Commented:
Just thought I'd throw this in to show that other computers and devices on my network seem to show up fine.

Network Snap
@John

Thank you very much for your last comment. I'll give it a try and post back soon.
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorAuthor Commented:
@John
Great idea! By adding the sample entry to the Windows hosts file, I am now able to PING the MAC using its name as well as it's IP address. Prior to that hosts entry, I was only able to ping it by IP.

I was also just able to make it appear as a machine in Networks (per screenshot above) by typing \\AL-MACBOOK-AIR

This appears to have solved part of the problem.

One question though - will this solution stop working if the MAC's IP changes?

If so, I may be able to reserve that particular address for the MAC in my Router so that it always gives it the same IP. Not an ideal solution and not sure if my router will enable me to do it yet, but it seems we're half way there.

Please let me know your thoughts.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If the IP address changes, yes, you need to change the HOSTS file.  I keep my Desktop on the same IP (even though DHCP) so I do not need to change it much on my Laptop which needs to connect.
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorAuthor Commented:
Ok thanks. I've not bothered to make a hosts entry in the MAC side as it appears to be working just fine at this stage going to the Windows side. Will take a look at seeing if I can reserve the MAC's IP via my Router settings. If that's possible, then that should solve my problem. Will update again soon. Thanks for your help John.
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorAuthor Commented:
No way to reserve the MAC's IP via my current router - I'm not surprised since it was created in 2002 - I'll be going to NBN soon so will use that opportunity to upgrade my Router to one with more capabilities.

For now, I've partially resolved the issue by extending the Client's Lease Time on the router to its maximum permitted 9999 minutes. That will have to do for now :)

My thanks to everyone who tried to help, but particularly to John for his excellent workaround solution.

Problem solved - Thanks John!

Regards, Andrew
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Thanks
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I was busy trying to upgrade from Adobe Acrobat V2017 to Adobe Acrobat Pro V2018. So I was a bit less attentive.

I am glad all is working for you. I use Folder Sharing all the time and wrote an article about it some months back. I run Sync Back once or twice each day to make sure everything is backed up.
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorAuthor Commented:
John,

Your extended instructions for the hosts entry helped a lot. I rarely (if ever) edit the hosts file these days (not since back in 98SE and XP days if memory serves) so I was making an incorrect entry. Your example solved the problem immediately.

am glad all is working for you. I use Folder Sharing all the time and wrote an article about it some months back. I run Sync Back once or twice each day to make sure everything is backed up.

I would urge you to write a similar article for networking Windows and Macintosh machines when you have some time John. I scoured the web for many hours and looking at many suggestions trying to fix this problem and got nowhere because the articles and videos I viewed were all related to Windows 7 or earlier builds of Windows 10 which didn't work, despite following them to the letter.

Your workaround given here would make a great help article to host on Experts Exchange and point people to and should (so far as I can see) work on future Windows 10 builds as well.

The funny thing about this whole exercise for me was that I thought I'd have the most trouble with the MAC side because of my inexperience with the operating system, but there's a ton of help on the web to connect to a Windows machine. I didn't think I'd have a problem with the Windows side so there ya go. You just never know :)

Thanks again... Andrew
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