How to turn your PC into a DLNA media server on Windows 10

Windows 10 includes a DLNA-compliant media streaming feature to send videos, pictures, and photos to your TV and other DLNA-enabled devices, and here's how to set it up.

Windows 10 DLNA media server
Windows 10 DLNA media server

Almost every device you connect to a TV (for example, Xbox Series X, S, One, PlayStation, Roku, Chromecast, Android TV, or an Apple TV) has DLNA support to stream media over the network. Of course, as long as you configure the device storing the content as a Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) server.

DLNA is a set of guidelines that makes it easy to set up a device to stream videos, photos, and music with other DLNA-supported devices on the network.

On Windows 10, similar to previous versions, you don’t need a third-party DLNA media server software to send media to other devices. The only caveat is that Microsoft hasn’t migrated its DLNA-compliant feature to the Settings app, so you’ll need to use Control Panel.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to turn on the media streaming feature on Windows 10 to send your music, pictures, and videos to other devices in your network.

Enable media streaming on Windows 10

To turn on media streaming, do the following:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for “Media Streaming Options” and click the result to open Control Panel in that section.

    Quick note: If the search doesn’t show the result, you can also access the settings from Control Panel > Network and internet > Network and Sharing Center > Media streaming options.
  3. Click the “Turn on media streaming” button to enable DLNA on Windows 10.

    Turn on media streaming on Windows 10

  4. Click the OK button.

    Windows 10 DLNA media server options

You’ll also notice that after turning on media streaming, you have several available options, including the ability to enter a custom name for your library to identify the content being accessed.

“Show devices on” is set by default to “Local Network,” which you don’t want to modify unless there is a good reason. Then you’ll also see a list of the DLNA-enabled devices currently on the network with access to your content. However, you can always uncheck the “Allowed” option to block the device.

It’s worth noting that that content won’t be available to other devices when your computer is sleeping or completely powered off. To change this behavior, you need to click the “Choose power options” option and configure your device to stay awake.

Once you complete the steps, your account libraries (Music, Pictures, and Videos) will automatically become available to any streaming device to access your media.

There are several other options, but for the most part, you won’t need to configure anything else, as all the default settings are good enough.

Access DLNA media on Windows 10 from another device

Streaming media to another device is straightforward, but it will depend on your device. If you have an Xbox console, you can open the Media Player app and wait a few moments until you see the name of your library popping up. Then browse and play your pictures, music, and videos as needed.

Xbox One Media Player app with DLNA support
Xbox One Media Player app with DLNA support

Although Windows 10 doesn’t include any DLNA references for its media streaming feature, it actually meets all the requirements to be a DLNA media server.

It’s also worth pointing out that even though most of the time you won’t have any issues streaming content, every device has its limitation on supported content. Always check your device manufacturer’s support website for file formats and supported codecs.

While this guide mainly focuses on Windows 10, you can enable media streaming on Windows 8.1 and 7.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].