How to Enable a WINS Proxy

A Windows Internet Names Service (WINS) is a component on a Microsoft network used to resolve name queries. A WINS proxy is a server machine that resolves names of computers to the location on the network, similar to pinging an IP address. WINS has mainly been replaced by TCP/IP networks, but it's still a viable option for older, small networks that have only a few computers connected. You can enable a WINS server using the registry editor.

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Step 1

Click the Windows Start button and select "Run." In the text box displayed, enter "regedit" and press the "Ok" button.

Step 2

Navigate to the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\ Netbt\Parameters" directory. This holds the WINS proxy settings.

Step 3

Right-click the "EnableProxy" key and select "Modify." In the popup box, enter "1" and click the "Ok" button.

Step 4

Close the Windows registry and reboot the machine. Changes made to the registry don't take effect until you reboot the Windows machine.


Changes to the Windows registry should be made with caution. Make a backup of the registry before making major changes to the operating system settings.