How To Enable DLNA Server in Windows 10

Wmp Windows Media Player Play Icon

DLNA is a special software protocol which allows devices such as TVs and media boxes on your network to discover media content stored on your computer. This is quite useful, as it allows you to browse your media collection stored in one place with various devices. With a couple of clicks, you can enable the built-in DLNA server in Windows 10 and start streaming your media files.

DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) is a non-profit collaborative standards organization which is defining interoperability guidelines to enable sharing of digital media between multimedia devices. DLNA uses Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) for media management, discovery and control. UPnP defines the type of device that DLNA supports ("server", "renderer", "controller") and the mechanisms for accessing media over a network. The DLNA guidelines then apply a layer of restrictions over the types of media file format, encodings and resolutions that a device must support.

Windows 10 includes everything you need to utilize DLNA out of the box: a DLNA client, a (good) multimedia player and a DLNA server.

To Enable DLNA Server in Windows 10, do the following.

  1. Open the classic Control Panel.
  2. Navigate to Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network and Sharing Center.
  3. On the left, click on the link 'Change advanced sharing settings'.
  4. On the right, expand the section All Newtorks
  5. Click on the link Choose media streaming options... under Media streaming.
  6. On the next page, click on the button Turn on media streaming
  7. Name your network multimedia library and choose devices which will be able to read it.

You are done. Once finished, your personal folders such as Music, Pictures, and Videos will automatically become visible to any streaming device with UPnP support.

For instance, I can browse and play the files using my Android tablet with the DLNA software for Android installed.

The built-in DLNA server can be disabled at any time. Here is how.

Disable the built-in DLNA server

  1. Press Win + R shortcut keys on the keyboard to open the Run dialog. Type services.msc in the Run box.
  2. The Services console looks as follows.
  3. In the "Services" window, find the service named Windows Media Player Network Sharing Services.
  4. Double click and set the "Startup type" as "Manual".
  5. Stop the service.

For reference, see the following articles:

Tip: You can open the Run dialog from the right-click context menu of the Start button or from the Win + X menu

Also, you might be interested in learning Win key shortcuts.

That's it.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

12 thoughts on “How To Enable DLNA Server in Windows 10”

  1. I don’t have the “Choose Mobile Streaming Options” subsection. Win 10 64 Home, current release version. Do you need Pro or to be an “Insider” to be able to do this?

    1. Hello,
      I noticed that, me too, I didn’t have this subsection in Windows 10 1903 (64 bits), and I found that it was because I disabled Windows Media Player in the Optional features menu. You have to “install” Windows Media Player on your system to install the DLNA server, and show this section in the control panel.
      Search for “optionalfeatures” in the Start menu, and enable “Media Features”. You will need to restart your computer, and then the “Choose media streaming options…” link will appear

  2. It’s ok, I see dlna server on my phone, but nothing in folders.
    Where are the folders where you can put music, movies, photos ? What is their path ?

  3. Hi,
    Thanks for an informative article.
    I noticed that if you have pictures and videos in the same folder then it is not possible to watch both media types.
    My pictures an videos are in the same folder (and subfolders).
    Even if I include the media folder in both the Pictures and Videos libraries, I can only see the pictures in the Picturs library and nothing in the Videos library.
    Any ideas why this is so? Doesn’t the DLNA standard support both media types in the same folder?

    1. This is how it works.
      It filters the content of the folders and doesn’t include pictures from the Videos library.

  4. Is there a way to customize the folder structure it shows on receiving devices? I’ve found this dlna server to be the best option but I hate all those extra folders it shows

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