My Network Places

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In the Microsoft Windows operating systems, My Network Places is the network browser feature in Windows Explorer from Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000, Windows Me, Internet Explorer 6.0, Internet Explorer 5.5 and Internet Explorer 5.0 onwards. It superseded the Network Neighborhood feature from Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98 and Internet Explorer 4.0.

Users are frequently confused by the differences between My Network Places, Workgroup Computers (the former Network Neighborhood) and Network Connections. Windows Vista, released worldwide in 2007, fixed this ambiguity by introducing a redesigned network browser, which was named simply on the desktop as Network.

It shows shortcuts to servers that the user has been to before, which by default is placed in a folder called NetHood, found in the user's user profile. This default location can be changed by modifying the pair of NetHood registry entries found under the registry keys HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders.[1][2]

In a workgroup of fewer than 32 computers,[3] the list of network destinations in My Network Places is generated by one of the computers on the network, which has been designated "browse master" (sometimes called "master browser").[4] The browse-master is elected by system strength. Sometimes when similar systems are connected to a network, there might be a conflict between browse-masters with unexpected consequences, such as the disappearance of the list altogether or some system becoming unreachable. A system can be forced to decline browse-master status by disabling the Computer Browser service and rebooting.

In a workgroup of 32 computers or more, the shortcuts are created automatically when the user opens a shared network resource, such as a printer or shared folder.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ NetHood
  2. ^ Origin of the Shell Folders key
  3. ^ a b Windows XP help file, "My Network Places overview"
  4. ^

External links[edit]