Change Network from Public to Private in Windows

In Windows, whenever you guys connect to a wireless network, it will then either register it as a Public network or a Private network actually. Private networks are basically home and work whereas public networks are anywhere else, that you guys don’t trust. We are going to discuss Change Network from Public to Private in Windows.

Most of the time Windows detects a private network as a public one and vice versa. You guys can manually make some changes to make sure. That you are not accidentally sharing either too much on a public network or blocking all of the sharing on a private network as well.

Change Network from Public to Private in Windows

Well, in Windows 10, there are basically two sets of default security and sharing settings as well. Whenever you guys connect to a wired or wireless network: public and private. The names of these two settings are really straightforward. Private networks are basically in your home or office. However, public networks are everywhere else—coffee shops, airports, libraries, as well.

Set Your Network Profile in Windows 10 to Private or Public

Whenever you first connect to a network, Windows will then ask you what kind of network it is and what settings you guys actually want to use. If you guys do not remember to do this, or you changed your mind about how you actually want to treat a network, then you can just switch it as well.

How can you Change a Wireless Network to Private or Public

In order to change from a public network to a private network for vice versa. Start thorugh connecting to your network actually. You can do this through opening the available Network icon in the Notification area actually. Choose the network, and then connect to it. After you connect, then select it then press Properties.

Well there you guys can change your Network profile to Public or Private. Select the one that best suits your environment actually.

How can you Change a Wired Network to Public or Private

Well, if you guys want to change the network profile for a wired network. Then just open Start > Settings > Network & Internet > Ethernet then tap on your network adapter. Then select the profile you want.

change network from public to private

Customize Public and Private Network Settings

You guys can also change the settings for your public or private networks. Such as, if you wanted to make your computer discoverable on public networks (not recommended). Or also turn off file or printer sharing on a private network, that you could.

First, you need to pen Start > Settings > Network & Internet, under Change your network settings. Then tap on Sharing options.

Expand Private or public, then select the radio box for the wished options. Like turning off network discovery, file and printer sharing or also accessing homegroup connections as well.

Windows 8.1

Well, in Windows 8.1, in order to change the network profile. We actually have to go into the PC Settings screen. If you want to do that, just open the Charms bar and tap on Change PC Settings at the bottom.

change network from public to private

Now tap on Network and you guys will then see the list of connections, i.e Ethernet, Wireless, etc. Now all you guys have to do is just turn on the Find devices and content option. It’s automatically turned off for public networks, so that whenever you turn it on, it actually changes the network to a private network as well.

Windows 8

For Windows 8, you have to follow the following procedure. First, right-tap on the network icon in the Windows 8 system tray and then tap on Open Network and Sharing Center.

There you will see the network you are connected to and also what type of network Windows 8 has identified it as.

change network from public to private

As you guys can see above, my network is considered as a Private network. That is correct because I’m at home and connected through Ethernet. If this is incorrect, then there are a couple of things that you can do. First, you can tap on Change advanced sharing settings in the left-hand pane actually.

Just tap on Private and then make sure you have these options turn on:


  • You have to turn on network discovery
  • Then enable file and printer sharing as well
  • Allow Windows in order to manage homegroup connections

Then collapse Private and expand Guest or Public and also make sure that you have these options set:

  • You need to turn off network discovery
  • Then disable file and printer sharing as well

network discovery

When you guys do this, you then have to go to the Windows 8 desktop and also open the Charms bar. Tap on Settings and then just press the Network icon as well. You guys will see Network and then Connected. Go ahead and right-tap on that and then select Turn sharing on or off.

Now select Yes if you guys want your network to be treated just like a private network and No if you want it to be treated like a public network as well. Keep in mind that the label Private or Public may remain the same in Network and Sharing Center as well. However, when you select the sharing settings manually, the network will then have the appropriate settings applied.

Windows 7

Well, in Windows 7, the process is a bit different actually. You guys still have to tap on the network icon in your taskbar. However, this time just tap on the Open Network & Sharing Center link.

There, you will alo see an overview of your network connection. Now under View your active networks, you will see the name of the Ethernet or WiFi network. And also it should have a link underneath called Home network, Work network or Public network actually.

change network from public to private

Tap on that link and you will be able to change between the three different network types as well. There is also an option in Windows 7 in order to treat all future networks as public networks automatically. Although I do not really think most folks would find that useful.

Manually Force a Network Location

As a last resort, if you guys can’t really change the network location via the methods above. Then you can manually change the network location via a tool called secpol.msc. This will actually not work on the Home, Student or Starter editions of Windows. In Windows, you have to tap on the Windows Key + R, that will bring up the Run dialog box. Just type in secpol.msc into the run dialog box.

Then tap on Network List Manager Policies at the left and on the right-hand side. You will see a couple of items along with descriptions and then something called Network, that is the current network you are connected to actually. It may also be called something else, however, it does not have a description actually. If you guys are connected to a WiFi network, then it will be the name of your WiFi network actually.

manually force

Double-tap on it and then tap on the Network Location tab. There you guys can manually change the network location from Private to Public and vice versa as well.

Well, that’s about it! Not the easiest thing in the world, however, it’s Microsoft! If you guys are having problems with changing these network locations in Windows, post a comment here and we will help you.

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