How to Determine What Machine a User Is Logged Into


Administrators of a network are able to find a specific user's computer using tools provided with the Windows operating system. Computers typically are identified by an IP address when accessed on a network. Finding a logged-in user's machine requires determining the computer's IP address. To do this, view the WINS Database or use the NetBIOS command from a DOS window.

WINS Database

  • Double-click the icon for WINS Manager to open the program.

  • Click the "Mappings" menu and select the option for "Show Database."

  • Click the option for "Set Filter." Type the name of the user for the "Computer Name" criteria.

  • Click the "OK" button to display the mappings list. Scroll through the list to find the name of the user.

  • Locate the "03h" identifier, which maps to a specific IP address. This IP address is the machine a user is logged into.


  • Click the "Start" button and type "cmd" into the search box. Press "Enter" to open a DOS window.

  • Type "cd.." and press the "Enter" key. Repeat this step to go to the root of the "C" drive.

  • Type "net send <name of user> "text message"" and press the "Enter" key.

  • Type "nbstat -c" and press the "Enter" key. Verify the user name with the "03h" identifier, and the IP address associated with the user is the machine or workstation.

Tips & Warnings

  • The <name of user> is the user name or log-in name of a user on the network.
  • You need to log onto the network as an administrator to run the WINS Manager.


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