What is Bonjour and do you need it?.
Apple products work well with other Apple products, but worse with Windows or Linux. It is not easy for a Windows PC to share files with a Mac, and for products like printers (usually designed with Windows in mind) it is not easy to connect to a Mac. This is where Bonjour for Windows 10 comes in.
Bonjour, which means hello in French, allows zero network configuration between different types of devices. It can be used to search for other Apple services on the network, connect to devices such as printers (which provide Bonjour support), access shared drives, and more. Here's everything you need to know about Apple's Bonjour service.
What is the Bonjour Service?
Apple devices can easily find each other, interact with each other, and tend to work with a huge number of interconnections. This is in contrast to Windows and Mac, two systems that cannot easily exchange data or services.
To help solve this problem and make it easier to set up a network between devices, Apple created Bonjour, a combination of a number of network services that allows other devices to find and interact with Apple products.
Bonjour is integrated with Apple devices such as Macbooks and iPads, so you don't need to install anything extra on them to use Bonjour services. However, for Windows devices, you'll need to install certain Apple software (such as an older version of iTunes) to get Bonjour support.
However, Bonjour is not an application. Installing Bonjour on Windows 10 allows Apple software (and some third-party applications) to find and interact with other Apple products and services on your network.
Bonjour supports discovery of Apple network services (such as file sharing), device sharing (such as network printers connected to a Mac), and network configuration (to properly set up a network with other Apple devices).
This support depends on applications that support these features, as Bonjour is simply the technology that enables it.
Do You Need the Bonjour Service on Windows 10?
The Bonjour service (mdnsresponder.exe on Windows) is integrated with some Apple Windows software. If you want to make it easier to connect to services and connected devices that are related to Apple products, you may need to install and enable Bonjour in Windows 10 for this to work.
However, Bonjour is optional. If you don't have Apple products on your network, you probably won't need them. Turning it off may interfere with some Apple programs or features, but it won't affect your computer in any way. It is not as important a system service as ntoskrnl.exe, so you can disable it.
You can also remove it completely. Removing Bonjour may cause some Apple software to stop working, but only older software. Bonjour is no longer included in the latest version of iTunes available, and other Apple software that required it, such as Safari, is no longer supported on Windows.
Using the Bonjour Service on Windows 10
The Bonjour service (displayed as mDNSresponder.exe on Windows) is not something you can interact with directly. Instead, Bonjour is a service that runs in the background, allowing other applications and software to communicate with other devices and services (including Apple products) on the network.
To use it, you must have Bonjour-enabled software installed on your PC. This is harder to find because while iTunes for Windows used to include Bonjour support, it is no longer available in the Microsoft Store version (the latest available version). To do this, you need to install an older version of iTunes.
You can also install other legacy Apple software like Safari, but this is not recommended. Old software is usually associated with bugs and security issues that can expose your computer to malware.
Apple made part of Bonjour (mDNSresponder.exe) open source, so you can find support for it integrated into other third-party applications, hardware, and services. This is why Bonjour support has become more integrated in products such as printers in recent years.
Disabling or Removing Bonjour on Windows 10
Like all running services, the Bonjour service can use your system resources in Windows Task Manager. This usually only happens when the service is being used to connect to other devices or services using Bonjour-supported software.
However, if you don't want Bonjour to do this, you can disable it or uninstall it entirely. If you want to stop or remove Bonjour (mDNSresponder.exe) from your Windows PC, you need to follow these steps.
- To temporarily stop the Bonjour service, right-click the taskbar. at the bottom, then select the Task Manager option.
- On the Services tab in the Task Manager window, find the Bonjour service. Right-click it and select the Stop option. Bonjour will automatically restart the next time you restart your computer (or manually restart the service).
- To completely disable Bonjour, click the Open Services button at the bottom of the Services tab in the Task Manager window.
- In the Services window, find the Bonjour service in the list on the right. Right-click the entry and select the Properties option.
- In the Bonjour Properties window, change the Startup Type from the drop-down menu from Automatic to Disabled. If Bonjour is still active, click the Stop button below the service status information to stop it immediately. Click OK to save the settings.
- To completely uninstall Bonjour, you must use the Windows Settings menu. To do this, right-click the Start menu and select the Settings option.
- In the Settings window, select Applications> Applications & Features. Search for Bonjour using the search bar, or scroll through the list until you find Bonjour listed. Click the Remove> Remove buttons to begin the removal process.
After removing Bonjour, you may need to uninstall other Apple software, such as iTunes, to ensure that all traces of Bonjour technology have been removed from your PC. However, the Bonjour service itself should be removed at this point.
Interacting with Apple Devices on Windows 10
With Bonjour in Windows 10, you don't have to worry about trying to access music, photos, and other files stored on Apple devices. Bonjour should help you make it easier to access Apple services on your local network, but with the improved networking features in Windows 10, you might find it unnecessary.
Bonjour isn't the only thing you'll need to exchange data between Windows and Mac devices. If you cannot see other computers on a network containing more than one type of operating system, you may need to further troubleshoot the issue by checking that your firewall on both devices is not blocking the connection.