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Net \windows\system32\net.exe

Display, modify, and troubleshoot your current workgroup settings.

To Open

Command Prompt net


net command [parameters]


Net is a general purpose diagnostic tool used to configure, control, and troubleshoot the networking settings on a Windows XP system. The Net tool is largely obsolete, although it may appeal to more advanced users or those who need to control network settings from the command line.

To use Net, you must specify one of the following 22 commands, followed by any of the applicable parameters. To get more information about any of these commands, use the help command, like this:

net help command

Here are the commands used with Net:


Use net accounts to update the user accounts database and modify password and logon requirements for all accounts. If used without parameters, the current settings for password, logon limitations, and domain information are displayed.


Use net computer to add or delete computers from a domain database; only available on Windows XP Server and Advanced Server.


The net config command displays configuration information about the workstation or server service. See Examples, below.


Type net continue to reactivate a Windows service that has been suspended by net pause.


Closes a shared file and removes any file locks. When used without options, net file lists the open files on a server (see “OpenFiles”, later in this chapter). The listing includes the ID number, location, number of locks, and the user currently accessing the file.


Adds, displays, or modifies global groups on servers. When used without options, net group displays a list of the groups on the server.


Displays more information about any command. When used without options, net help displays all the available commands.


The net helpmsg command displays information about error, warning, and alert messages relating to a Windows network. For example, type net helpmsg 2181 to display an explanation of error #2181 and any possible remedies.


Modifies local groups on computers. When used without options, net localgroup displays a list of the groups on the server.


The net name command adds or deletes a messaging name, an alias to which messages are sent (via net send). When used without options, a list of names accepting messages at the computer is displayed.


Use net pause to temporarily suspend a Windows service or resource and use net continue to reactivate it when you’re ready.


The net print command displays print jobs and shared printer queues.


Sends messages to other users, computers, or messaging names (see net name) on the network. You can use net send to send a message only to a name that is active on the network; if the message is sent to a username, that user must be logged on and running the Messenger service to receive the message.


Net session lists or disconnects sessions between the computer and other computers on the network.


The net share command makes a server’s resources available to network users. When used without options, it lists information about all resources being shared. See also “Create Shared Folder”, earlier in this chapter.


Use net start to start a service. When used without options, it lists services that have already been started.


Displays the statistics log for the local workstation or server service. Used without parameters, net statistics displays the services for which statistics are available.


Use net stop to stop a service that has been started with net start. Note that stopping some services will cause others to be stopped, and some services cannot be stopped at all.


Probably the most interesting command in the bunch, net time is used to synchronize the computer’s clock with that of another computer or domain. You can also use net time to set the NTP timeserver for the computer.


The net use command connects (or disconnects) a computer to a shared resource (shared with net share). When used without options, it lists the computer’s active connections.


Creates and modifies user accounts. When used without options, net user lists the user accounts for the computer. The user account information is stored in the same user accounts database used by Control Panel User Accounts; see “User Accounts”, later in this chapter.


Net view displays a list of resources being shared on a remote computer. When used without options, it displays a list of computers in the current domain or network.


To display your computer’s current workgroup settings:

C:\>net config
Computer name                        \\WHISTLER
Full Computer name                   whistler
User name                            Administrator
Workstation active on
        NetbiosSmb (000000000000)
        NetBT_Tcpip_{50127698-1089-4C0F-A969-96B844756D47} (00105A1E5108)
Software version                     Windows 2002
Workstation domain                   WORKGROUP
Workstation Domain DNS Name          (null)
Logon domain                         WHISTLER
COM Open Timeout (sec)               0
COM Send Count (byte)                16
COM Send Timeout (msec)              250

The command completed successfully.

See Also

“Network Connections”, Chapter 7

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