Enable NetBIOS Over TCP/IP (NetBT)

Windows peer-to-peer networks use the NetBIOS (Network Basic Input/Output System) applications programming interface for File and Printer Sharing.  NetBIOS  names identify computers on the network.  NetBIOS broadcasts locate computers and shared disks and folders on the network and allow them to appear in My Network Places and Network Neighborhood.

NetBIOS is not the same thing as NetBEUI (NetBIOS Extended User Interface):

  • NetBIOS is an applications programming interface (API).
  • NetBEUI is a transport protocol.
  • File and Printer Sharing requires NetBIOS.
  • Nothing in Windows networking requires NetBEUI.

The NetBIOS API must be enabled over one of the transport protocols: NetBEUI, TCP/IP, or NWLink IPX/SPX.  Networks that use TCP/IP for File and Printer Sharing require NetBIOS Over TCP/IP, also known as NetBT.

To enable NetBIOS Over TCP/IP on Windows XP and Windows 2000:


  1. Open the Network Connections folder.
  2. Right click the local area network connection and click Properties.
  3. Double click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP).
  4. Click Advanced.
  5. Click WINS.
  6. Click the Enable NetBIOS Over TCP/IP button.

To enable NetBIOS Over TCP/IP on Windows 95/98/Me:


  1. Click Start | Settings | Control Panel | Network.
  2. Double click the TCP/IP->adapter entry for the local area network.
  3. Click NetBIOS.
  4. The I want to enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP box is normally checked and grayed out.  If it’s un-checked, click the box to put in a check mark.