Fix: File and Print Sharing Resource is Online But isn’t Responding to Connection Attempts

Several users are encountering the “file and print sharing resource is online but isn’t responding to connection attempts” error when running the Windows Network Diagnostics tool after being unable to access one or multiple shared folders over the local network. In most cases, affected users report that they are able to see the files over the network but they can’t access any of them. The issue is mostly reported to occur on Windows 7, but there are other reports of it occurring on Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

File and print sharing resource is online but isn’t responding to connection attempts

What is causing the “file and print sharing resource is online but isn’t responding to connection attempts” error?

We investigated this particular error message by looking at various user reports and the repair strategies that they used to get resolve the issue. From what we gathered, there are several common scenarios that are known to trigger this particular error:

  • The PC is not discoverable by the network – If the connection didn’t suddenly stop working, you might be encountering this issue because one of the computers involved is not discoverable by the network.
  • PeerBlock is blocking the local area connection – As some users have pointed out, the connection can also be blocked by PeerBlock or similar software. In this case, the solution is to make some allowances for your network or uninstall the software altogether.
  • Windows 10 bug – There is a well-known bug with Windows 10 build 1703. If you’re using this particular Windows version, you should be able to resolve the issue by installing every pending Windows update.
  • 3rd party firewall is blocking the connection – Based on various user reports, the issue can also be caused by an overprotective firewall suite. Most users in a similar situation have managed to get around this issue by uninstalling the security suite.
  • Windows is forgetting the machine’s credentials – This issue is quite common on Windows 7 and Windows 10. As it turns out, the system can suddenly forget the log-in credentials. In this case, a permanent solution would be to manually insert the involved machine’s credential into the Credential Manager.
  • One or more services required by the file and print sharing resource are not running – There are several different processes that need to be running in order to ensure that the connection can be reached by all involved parties.

Method 1: Making sure that all computers are discoverable

If you’re encountering this issue on Windows 10 or Windows 8.1, you should ensure that all the computers involved in the operation are set to discoverable. Several users encountering the “file and print sharing resource is online but isn’t responding to connection attempts” error reported that the issue was resolved entirely after ensuring that network discovery is configured correctly.

Follow the instructions below to ensure that your devices are discoverable in your network environment via the Settings app. Keep in mind that the steps will be slightly different depending on if you’re using an Ethernet or Wi-Fi adapter. Follow the instructions appropriate to the connection method that you’re using

Connecting via Ethernet adapter

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “ms-settings:network-ethernet” and press Enter to open the Ethernet tab of the Settings app.
    Run dialog: ms-settings:network-ethernet
  2. In the Ethernet tab, go over to the right side and click on the adapter that you want to make discoverable.
    Selecting the adapter that you want to make discoverable
  3. Then, under Network profile, make sure that the network is set to Private.
    Setting the network profile to Private

    Note: This might seem counter-intuitive, but if you set your network profile to public, your system will automatically stop printer & file sharing over the network.

  4. Repeat the procedure above with every computer that is connected to this particular network.

Connecting via Wi-Fi adapter

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “ms-settings:network-wifi” and press Enter to open up the Wi-Fi tab of the Settings app.
    Running dialog: ms-settings:network-wifi
  2. Next, go over to the right-hand menu and click on the Wi-Fi network that you want to use for network sharing (your computer needs to be connected to it).
    Accessing the Wi-FI connection from the Settings menu
  3. Same as before, under Network profile, set the network to Private to ensure that it’s discoverable by your other devices.
    Setting Wi-Fi connection to Private
  4. Repeat the procedure above with every computer that is connected to this particular network.

After following the instructions above, your computers are configured to be discoverable over your local network connection. You can verify if you are using a Private network profile by visiting the Status tab. To do this, press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then type “ms-settings:network-status” and press Enter to open the Status tab of the Settings app.

Verifying if you’re connected to a Private network

If you see that you’re using a Private network profile under Network status, and all your PCs involved in the operation are configured to be discoverable, you are ready to go.

Now, repeat the procedure that was previously showing the “file and print sharing resource is online but isn’t responding to connection attempts” error and see if the issue has been resolved.

If you’re still encountering the same error message, move down to the next method below.

Method 2: Installing every pending Windows update 

If you’re seeing this Network Diagnostic error on a Windows 10 computer, there’s a possibility that you’re dealing with a well-known bug that plagues builds 1703 and older.

Microsoft has been quick to supposedly released a hotfix (through a Windows Update) for this particular issue, but some affected users report that the same behavior persists even after the update is installed.

To ensure that the hotfix is installed, you’ll need to install every pending Windows Update. Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type “ms-settings:windowsupdate” and press Enter to open the Windows Update tab of the Settings app.
    Run dialog: ms-settings:windowsupdate
  2. In the Windows Update screen, click on Check for Updates, then follow the on-screen prompts to install every pending Windows Update.
    Checking for latest Windows updates – Settings
  3. Once every pending update has been installed, restart your computer and see if the issue has been resolved.

If you’re still getting the “file and print sharing resource is online but isn’t responding to connection attempts” error, move down to the next method below.

Method 3: Determining if the firewall is interfering with the connection (if applicable)

There are a couple of 3rd party firewall solutions (particularly Kaspersky Firewall) that are known to cause this particular error. As it turns out, the reason why you’re seeing the  “file and print sharing resource is online but isn’t responding to connection attempts” error can be an overprotective firewall.

Some users encountering the same error message have reported that the issue was resolved after they uninstalled the 3rd party firewall. You can follow this article (here) to uninstall your third-party firewall completely and ensure that you don’t leave behind any leftover files.

If the issue no longer occurs while the firewall is removed,  Windows Firewall will automatically be enabled. But if you were fond of your 3rd party firewall, you can search for specific steps on how to creating firewall rules that will prevent your local connection from being blocked.

If this method wasn’t applicable to your particular situation, move down to the next method below.

Method 4: Ensuring that PeerBlock (or similar software) isn’t blocking the connection

Some users have discovered that in their case, Peerblock (or similar software that blocks packets coming from or going to) ended up being responsible for the error message.

As it turns out, a software of this kind can also end up blocking legitimate connections, which interferes with the file and print sharing resource. Based on what other affected users have reported, this particular issue can be resolved with two approaches:

  • By creating allowances to the network, allowing the involved computers to communicate with each other.
  • By uninstalling the software that is blocking the connections.

If you decide to go with the first route, keep in mind that the steps will be different according to the software that you’re using. On PeerBlock, you can create allowances by going to List Manager and clicking on Create List.

Creating a custom list with PeerBlock

If you decide to get rid of the blocking software completely, follow the steps below:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “appwiz.cpl” and press Enter to open up the Programs and Features wizard.
    Run dialog: appwiz.cpl
  2. Inside Programs and Features, scroll down through the list of installed applications and locate PeerBlock (or another similar application that you suspect is causing interference).
  3. Right-click on it and choose Uninstall, then follow the on-screen prompts to remove the software from your system.
    Uninstalling PeerBlock or similar software
  4. Restart your computer to eliminate any previously enforced rules and see if the issue is resolved at the next startup.

If you’re still encountering the “file and print sharing resource is online but isn’t responding to connection attempts” error, move down to the next method below.

Method 5: Adding every involved machine to the Credential Manager

Some affected users have reported that they managed to resolve the issue by opening the Credential Manager and adding the username and password of each machine. Users that tried this fix reported that the shared files and folders popped up at the next startup after the fix was performed.

Note: This issue is mainly confirmed to work on Windows 7, but the steps below can also be recreated for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “control” and press Enter to open up Control Panel.
    Opening Control Panel via a Run dialog box
  2. Inside Control Panel, use the search function in the top-right corner to search for “credential manager“. Then, click on Credential Manager to open the wizard.
    Opening the Credential Manager
  3. Next, select Windows Credentials and click on Add a Windows credential.
    Adding a new Windows credential
  4. Then, type the Adress, Username, and Password of each machine on the network and hit Ok.
    Adding each involved machine inside the Windows Credentials manager
  5. Restart your computer. At the next startup, the shared files and folders should become visible.

If this method didn’t resolve the “file and print sharing resource is online but isn’t responding to connection attempts” error, move down to the next method below.

Method 6: Making sure that the required services are running

There are several different services that need to be running in order to ensure that the file and printing sharing resource can be reached successfully. If one of these services are turned off manually or by another involved 3rd party, you’ll end up receiving the “file and print sharing resource is online but isn’t responding to connection attempts” error when running the Network Diagnostics utility.

Here’s a quick guide on ensuring that all required services are running:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “services.msc” and press Enter to open up the Services screen.
    Running Services from the Run dialog box
  2. Inside the Services screen, scroll down through the list and ensure that each of the following services is enabled:
    DCHP Client
    Homegroup Listener 
    Homegroup Provider
    Link-Layer Topology Discovery Mapper
    NetTcp Port Sharing Service
    Network Connections
    Network List Service
    Network Location Awareness
    TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
    Note:
    Verify each service manually by right-clicking its entry. If you find any service that is not running, simply click on Start.

    Starting each involved service manually
  3. Once you ensure that every involved service is running, run the Network Diagnostics tool again and see if the issue has been resolved.

If you’re still seeing the “file and print sharing resource is online but isn’t responding to connection attempts” error, move down to the final method below.

Method 7: Performing a repair install

If you’ve come this far without a result, there are two procedures that will most likely resolve the issue and allow you to exchange data via your network connection without receiving the “file and print sharing resource is online but isn’t responding to connection attempts” error.

Several users have reported that in their case, the issue was only resolved after they performed a clean install. But keep in mind that this procedure will erase all your personal data including photos, videos, personal files, and applications. If you decide to go through with a clean install, you can follow the instructions given in this article (here).

However, if the issue is not caused by a third party application, you can probably get away with it by performing a repair install. This procedure will reinitiate all Windows-related components without touching your personal files, photos, videos, and applications. You can follow the instructions in this article (here) for steps on performing a repair install.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Fix: File and Print Sharing Resource is Online But isn’t Responding to Connection Attempts

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