Why can't I access my NAS device from my Windows 8.1 computer?

Make sure your network connection is set up to see other network devices

A lot of us have network attached storage (NAS) devices on which we store all our music, videos, photos, and other personal files. It's a central storage location that's accessible to all computers and compatible media streamers on a network if it's set up correctly, and the theory is that you should be able to see your files without any problems from all of your computers.

With Windows 8.1, this sometimes isn't the case. Oftentimes, you will click on the Network item Windows' File Explorer to access the NAS and its shared folders, only to find that it's not showing up. The reason for this could be that your network connection (either wired or wireless) is not set up to see shared content from other devices. Here's how to solve that.

Step 1: Click on the wireless or wired networking icon at the bottom-right corner of your screen, which will bring up the list of your networks along the right edge of the screen. At the top of the list there is an entry called 'View Connection Settings'. Click this to get to Windows 8.1's Network settings screen.

Step 2: From here, it's a matter of clicking on your connected network ('LAN of the giants', in our example) to delve deeper into its settings.

Step 3: Here you can see that the very first entry pertains to the computer's ability to find other computers and devices through this network connection. If it's set to 'off', then your NAS device won't show up when you go looking for it in Windows' File Explorer. Set this to 'on' and your NAS device should now show up with all your shared folders and content.

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