How to get rid of the Enter Network Credentials Error?

May 15, 2020 |

greater than 15 minutes

In an ideal world, connecting to another system on a private or home network is pretty easy. You simply join the network using the proper credentials, and you are good to go.

Windows 10, despite its many superb features, is, however, not an ideal world. Given the number of bugs reported on a daily basis, it probably never will be. Among recent complaints are those from users clamoring for a way to make the Enter Network Credentials error go away. According to them, each time they try to access shared resources, they are waylaid by this error, which strands them in a no man’s land of denied access.

Generally, the bug appears even though the affected users try to log in using the correct network credentials. The system might return a notification simply telling them to enter network credentials. At other times, they are given additional information that the username or password is incorrect. There are different variants of this error, including, but not limited to, the following:

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  • Enter Network Credentials
  • Enter Network Credentials. The username or password is incorrect
  • Enter Network Credentials. Access is denied.

All of these amount to the same thing: users are unable to access the other computer. This means users with multiple PCs have to resort to transferring files over USB, which is less efficient.

It is a good thing, then, that there are numerous tested solutions for how to get rid of the Enter Network Credentials access error in Windows 10. We have gathered everything together on one page so you can try the solutions out one after the other.

Read on to learn how to remove the Enter Network Credentials, the username or password is incorrect error message.

How to Fix the Enter Network Credentials Access Error on Windows 10

Even after enabling network sharing, you can still have problems with Credential Manager in Windows 10. Imagine you wish to quickly access a particular file or folder from the other computer in the network but you’re stuck at the Enter Network Credentials error, which doesn’t allow you to establish a connection despite possessing the correct network share credentials.

In such a scenario, you can still relax your heart. Below we have gathered twelve solutions that will help you bypass this error message and access files and folders on the other computer.

You should keep in mind that the reason for the high number of potential fixes is because there is no universal solution to this bug. Moreover, network issues like this can be directly or indirectly related to malware, and the solutions here don’t necessarily account for that. Therefore, it is recommended to first run a complete scan with Auslogics Anti-Malware to get rid of internet- and network-based malware and protect your system from further attacks that seek to gain access to or steal important information.

Is your computer running slow or suffering system glitches? If so, it may need maintenance. Try running a dedicated PC optimization tool to check the health of your PC and apply the necessary fixes.
  • Log In with a Microsoft Account

With Windows 10, the role of a Microsoft account became more prominent. It now controls many important things on the system, from digital licenses to syncing and user verification.

It is no longer just a simple sign-in avenue. Your Microsoft account is very powerful and can be used to access other network devices within the LAN. You can use it to sign in to Microsoft apps like Skype, Xbox, Outlook, Microsoft Store, and OneDrive, among others.

In this particular case, some users explained that logging into the system through a Microsoft account helped them to solve the issue. For some reason, they were getting the Enter Network Credentials error when logged in with a local account. We cannot help thinking something is wrong somewhere if the account you choose to log in with is making a difference. Even so, it is a tip worth checking out.

Moreover, when the network credentials field is displayed, entering the username and password of your Microsoft account, rather than of your local account, has worked for quite a number of people. This is one of those solutions that seem pretty random since it worked for some but not for others.

Go ahead and try it out nonetheless. Perhaps, today is your lucky day.

  • Add Network Credentials to Credential Manager

Credential Manager, as the name might have already tipped you off, is the storage in Windows for login information, including, but not limited to, usernames, passwords and addresses. It makes note of every type of credential used systemwide or for specific applications. As long as the information is used consistently on the machine, it should be in Credential Manager.

What is more, this information is made available not just to the host computer but also to the connected machines as well. That means that other computers can gain access to the information as long as they have the necessary authorization by virtue of being part of a network or server system.

Credential Manager instantly updates the information stored in it if anything, such as a password or an address, is modified. But what happens if the other computer’s information is changed but your own Credential Manager somehow isn’t updated with that information? The Enter Network Credentials error is one likely result.

To solve this, you can simply manually enter the other PC’s credentials in Credential Manager on your own. As long as you don’t tamper with any other information, you’ll be fine.

  • Bring up the Start menu and type “Manage Windows Credentials”.
  • Select the top result, which will take you to the Credential Manager section in the Control Panel.
  • On the “Manage your credentials” page, select Windows Credentials.
  • Click the Add a Windows Credential link.
  • In the “Type the address of the website or network location and your credentials” window, ignore the first field and enter the username and password of the computer you’re trying to connect to.
  • Click OK when you’re done.

If this still doesn’t let you access the other PC, go ahead and try one of the other solutions here.

  • Turn Off Password-Protected Sharing

Password-protected sharing is a measure put in place in Windows 10 to protect computers from unauthorized intrusion. With this feature active, other computers on the same network won’t be able to connect to your own without entering a password. This way, your files and folders, not to mention all of the other sensitive information on the computer, are protected from unwarranted access by strangers or hackers.

It is recommended that you leave password-protected sharing on when you’re connected to a public network or bring your laptop to work with you. If anyone wishes to gain access to your files, they will have to ask you for the password.

However, this feature is said to cause some unintended side effects, such as the inability to successfully go past the Credential Manager dialog when trying to connect to another computer. Some users who turned the feature off have stopped getting the Enter Network Credentials error message.

If you wish to try this out, we recommend you do not turn this off unless you’re connected to a safe and private network or using a protection tool like Auslogics Anti-Malware. In any case, the deactivation can be temporary. You can re-enable the feature once you’ve accomplished your task.

  • Open the Control Panel from the Quick Access menu.
  • Change the View by mode to Large icons.
  • Select Network and Internet.
  • Select Network and Sharing Center.
  • Select Change Advanced Sharing Settings on the left menu pane.
  • In the next window, scroll down to All Networks and click the dropdown arrow to reveal additional settings.
  • In the “Password protected sharing” section, tick the checkbox that lets you turn off password-protected sharing.
  • Click the Save Changes button and accept the UAC prompt.

The Enter Network Credentials bug shouldn’t surface again after this.

  • Use the Username and Password of the Other Computer

With every new Windows 10 bug, the user community comes up with more and more ingenious workarounds. This can be considered one of them, especially because it actually worked for some people with the same problem.

This solution is simple: find out the username of the computer you’re trying to connect to and its password. This shouldn’t be an issue if you’re the owner of the other machine. Even if it is owned by a family member or coworker, simply ask them politely and explain why. After obtaining this information, use it as the username and password for the network share.

If that doesn’t work, you can employ a clever twist to this strategy. You need to add the computer name before the username and then enter the password. Your computer name is the name the machine is identified with on a network. If you don’t know the name of the other computer, simply connect to it and check the name. Or you can go to Control Panel > System and Security > System > View basic information about your computer > Computer name, domain and workgroup settings.

Once you’ve obtained the computer name, combine it with the username and enter the combination in the username field of your Network Credentials screen. Use the password of the other PC as the password, like before.

Hopefully, you will be able to successfully connect. If not, there’s always the next fix.

  • Change the Network Connection Type from Public to Private

On Windows, public and private networks have different characteristics and use markedly different security policies. When on a private network, restrictions are less stringent as the OS assumes you’re connected to a safe group of computers, perhaps at home or within a small network of familiar users. Public networks are less safe since presumably anyone can connect to them.

Therefore, if you’re on a public network and getting the Enter Network Credentials error continuously, changing the network type to private, albeit temporarily, can solve the issue. This is because it forces the OS to relax restrictions for connecting to the network. Thus, your computer will provide fewer security and verification hurdles.

Meanwhile, this method isn’t recommended if you don’t trust the network to remain safe while you’re using it. However, if you’re on a secure public network, you can briefly use this step and change the network back to public when you’re done.

  • Find the network icon in the taskbar.
  • Right-click the icon and select Network & Internet Settings.
  • Click the “Change connection properties” link.
  • You will see two options under “Network profile”. Change your profile to Private.

That’s it. Your computer should be able to connect to the other device now.

  • Adjust Date and Time

Windows 10 relies heavily on the automatic date and time mechanism to function well. Since there is a lot of connection going on, the times on all the different computers, both on local networks and the internet, need to be aligned. If not, glitches and other annoyances are bound to occur.

If the time on the machine you’re trying to connect to is different from the time on yours, this might be the cause of the Enter Network Credentials bug you’ve been experiencing. Quickly adjust the time on the machine with the wrong information, and everything should be alright.

There’s a fast way to do it. Simply move the cursor over to the time displayed at the right end of the taskbar. Right-click the time, and select Adjust date/time. Make sure you’re in the Date and Time tab of the Time and Language window in Settings. Next, switch the “Set time automatically” toggle in the right pane to Off, and click the “Change” button under “Change date and time”. Set the correct date and time in the “Change date and time” window and click the Change button when you’re done.

  • Use Another Account

If connecting to another computer on the local network seems impossible despite all your attempts, you can try using another account and see how it goes. Although you can give already created accounts on the machine a go, those who have tried this method and succeeded only did so after using a newly created account.

The account needn’t be an administrator account. It doesn’t have to be a Microsoft account, either. Here’s how to create a new user account in Windows 10:

  • Open the Settings app and select Accounts.
  • Select the “Family & other people” option from the left pane of the Accounts window.
  • On the right, select “Add someone else to this PC”.
  • When prompted to input the person’s login details, select “I don’t have this person’s sign-in information”.
  • Next, select the “Add a user without a Microsoft account” option.
  • Now, go ahead and enter the username and password of your choice.

When you’re done with the setup, sign out of your current account and log in with the new account. Try to connect to the other computer, and it should work now.

Assuming it works, you can upgrade the new user to an administrator account and move your files and settings to the new account.

  • Change the Name of the Computer

Funny as it may sound, changing the name of the computer has worked for a sizable contingent of users who also sought for a fix to the Enter Network Credentials issue in Windows 10. This process involves simply removing the current display name for the PC and using another one in its stead.

To be clear, we are talking about the PC you’re trying to connect to and not the one you’re currently using. This is easy if the other machine belongs to you or is within easy reach. Less so if you aren’t authorized to modify settings on it. In that case, you can always try other fixes.

Changing a computer’s display name is easy as pie. Just follow these steps:

  • Open the Control Panel, make sure the View by mode is set to Large icons, and select System.
  • When the System window is displayed, look for the “Change settings” link under the “Computer name, domain and workgroup settings” section.
  • The System Properties window will be displayed.
  • Select the Computer Name tab.
  • Click the Change… button.
  • Delete the characters in the Computer Name field and enter a new name for the PC.
  • Click OK, then OK once more, and your changes will be saved.

Now, try to connect to the PC. You will see the machine listed with the new display name, and you should be able to connect without further problems.

  • Check Your IP Address

The importance of the correct IP address when it comes to network sharing cannot be overstated. Different types of IP addresses are suitable in different scenarios. Your IP address must match what you are trying to do.

For sharing across a local network, a static IP address is the most popular choice. This is because it is more stable than an automatic IP address. Many people who don’t know this might be unaware that their IP address is actually set to automatic.

Although being so doesn’t necessarily have a negative effect on file transfer over a local network, changing your IP address to static is still the recommended option. Asides the stability it offers in such scenarios, it is also easier to access.

Even if you’re not familiar with the concept of an IP address and don’t know whether yours is static or dynamic, you don’t need to worry. You can easily set your IP address to static.

First, it is recommended to reset your IP address just in case there are separate issues with it. You can do this through a simple ipconfig command in an elevated Command Prompt.

  • Press the Windows Logo and X keys at the same time to bring up the Quick Access menu.
  • Select Command Prompt (Admin).
  • Type “ipconfig/release” (without quotes) in the elevated CMD window and hit the Enter key.
  • Now, type “ipconfig/renew” (without quotes) and hit the Enter key.

After your IP has been reset, you can go ahead and change the address to static. Doing this manually requires Windows PowerShell.

Simply open the PowerShell window through whichever means you are used to and apply the following command:

New-NetIPAddress [-IPAddress] <String> -InterfaceAlias <String> [-AddressFamily <AddressFamily> ] [-AsJob] [-CimSession <CimSession[]> ] [-DefaultGateway <String> ] [-PolicyStore <String> ] [-PreferredLifetime <TimeSpan> ] [-PrefixLength <Byte> ] [-SkipAsSource <Boolean> ] [-ThrottleLimit <Int32> ] [-Type <Type> ] [-ValidLifetime <TimeSpan> ] [-Confirm] [-WhatIf] [ <CommonParameters>]

You can also use the software that came with your router to set a static IP address. If that option isn’t available, you can still set a static IP address through the Control Panel, as long as you have obtained the IP address and DNS server address for your router:

  • Bring up the Quick Access menu, as explained previously, and select Control Panel.
  • Change the View by mode to Small icons.
  • Look for Network and Sharing Center. When you find it, click it to open the Network and Sharing Center window.
  • The window will display your active and inactive networks. Select the connection whose IP address you wish to adjust. It should be the name of your router or its general category, such as Ethernet.
  • When the connection device’s status window opens, select Properties.
  • In the device’s Properties window, click Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv) under the “The connection uses the following items” section.
  • Now, click Properties near the bottom of the window.
  • In the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv) Properties window, tick the “Use the following IP address” option to activate the IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway boxes.
  • Enter the IP address and default gateway for your router. The subnet mask will appear automatically.
  • Next, tick the “Use the following DNS server addresses” option and enter your preferred DNS server and the alternate one, too, if necessary.
  • Click OK.

That’s all. Credential Manager should now accept your attempts to connect to the other computer on the network.

  • Use a Password to Log In

The latest versions of Windows 10 come with multiple user account authentication methods. You can use the good old username and password combination to log in. You can use a fingerprint or mobile authenticator. Face unlock is now a possibility as well. And we haven’t mentioned the personal identification number (PIN) method.

With a PIN code, you can use a sequence of numbers to quickly unlock the machine. PINs are generally four characters long and easily remembered, at least by the user. Unfortunately, using a PIN has been fingered as one of the reasons for the Enter Network Credentials error in Windows 10. Perhaps, a PIN isn’t secure enough to satisfy the parameters of network share in Windows 10. Who knows? Windows is mysterious in its ways.

The basic idea is this: if you use a PIN to unlock your device and a username and password to connect to another network computer, those two details don’t match. So, the Network Credentials input field might not accept what you entered.

You can test this out by logging in with a username and password and see if you’re able to connect to the other computer now. If you’re not so lucky, you might have to completely remove the PIN to get it to work. This is how to do that in Windows 10:

  • Open the Settings app by clicking the Gear icon in the Start menu and selecting Settings.
  • From the main Settings page, select Accounts.
  • Click “Sign-in options” in the left menu pane of the Accounts window.
  • You will see different sign-in options on the right. Disable the option to sign in with a PIN.

Now, reboot the machine and try to connect to the other computer. It should work straight away.

  • Change Local Security Policy

As long as you’re the owner of the PC and logged in with an administrator account, you can solve the Enter Network Credentials issue by adjusting a teeny-weeny setting in Local Group Policy. Don’t worry, it’s nothing that would affect anything in a big way.

  • Press the Windows logo and R keys simultaneously to open the Run box.
  • Type “secpol.msc” (without quotes) and click the OK button.
  • Navigate to Local Policies > Security Options > Accounts: Limit local account use of blank passwords to console logon only.
  • In the “Accounts: Limit local account use of blank passwords to console logon only” window, select Disable.
  • Click Apply.
  • Click OK.

You should now be able to connect to other network computers with a minimum of fuss.

  • Troubleshoot the Credential Manager Service

You can as well go to the root of the problem, the Credential Manager service. It is what runs in the background, constantly monitoring login activities. Perhaps something is wrong with the service or another service is interfering with its work.

Firstly, open Task Manager and check that the background processes related to the Credential Manager service are all working as intended and none is displaying abnormal behaviour such as excessive CPU usage. You might want to restart errant processes and see if that makes any difference.

Provided all seems well in Task Manager, you can work on the service itself from the Windows Services window. You can restart it, disable it, then enable it, or stop it altogether. Perhaps, one of these actions will finally make the Enter Network Credentials error message go away for good.

  • Press the Windows logo and R keys simultaneously to open the Run box.
  • Type “services.msc” (without quotes) and hit the Enter key.
  • When the Services window is displayed, scroll down to Credential Manager.
  • Double-click the service (or right-click it and select Properties).
  • Expand the “Startup type” option and select Disabled. Credential Manager won’t start up automatically on the next Windows login.
  • Now, click the Stop button. This will terminate the service so it doesn’t run in the background anymore.
  • Click Apply.
  • Click OK.

With Credential Manager disabled, you may be able to connect to the other computer successfully.

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