Tech Tip: Hide a server from network browsers

In some cases, you may have a server on the network whose existence you don't want to broadcast to the network browse list. By using the registry or a command-line program, you can hide your server from the network browsing service. Here's how:

The registry method
  1. Start the Registry Editor (Regedit or Regedt32).
  2. Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters.
  3. Create a DWORD value named Hidden with a value of 1.
  4. Exit the Registry Editor, and reboot the server.

Note: Editing the registry is risky, so be sure you have a verified backup before making any changes.

The command-line method

From a command prompt, type the following command:

net config server /hidden : yes

When you're done, reboot the server. It may take 20 or 30 minutes for your machine to disappear from the browse lists on other systems. However, it will still be accessible using the UNC path name. Note: Only use the command-line option if you have to, because it can introduce other problems down the line due to automatic changes it makes to the registry.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox