Change network type from Public to Private in Windows 10

Updated on 12th January 2016

When you connect to a network for the first time in Windows 10, the network location is automatically set to Public. This is the safest option as it will keep your computer invisible on the network. You should keep this default option whenever you connect your PC to a public network such as the Wi-Fi in Hotels, airport, trains, shopping malls etc., On the other hand, if you are connecting to a private network such as your home network you might want to share music, pictures, videos etc., or even printers with other devices on that network. In such situations, you can change the network location to Private to make your computer discoverable to other computers.

The following the steps demonstrates how to change a network location from Public to Private or Private to Public.

Step 1: Find the current network type of your connection

Go to Network and Sharing Center. The easiest way to do this is right click on the network icon in bottom-right corner of taskbar and select Open Network and Sharing Center.

Alternatively start typing Network and sharing in Search the web and Windows box and select Network and Sharing Center, Control panel item.

Network and Sharing center

The figure below shows the network location is Public

network type

Step 2. Change network location from Public to Private

Click Windows Key and select Settings from start menu

windows 10 start menu settings

From the settings window click Network & Internet

windows 10 network & internet

Click Ethernet from the left menu and then Click on your network connection icon

network and internet settings

Turn on the button for Find devices and content

network discovery

The network location will then change to Private

network type private

Change network type from Private to Public

To change the network type back from Private to Public simply turn off button under Find devices and content

Private network type will have Network discovery on by default which allows other devices on the network to see your PC. You could customize this option from Advanced Sharing Setting menu in Network and Sharing Center. To share files and devices on a Private network you need to first create a homegroup and choose what to share.

If you don't intend to share anything on the network, then the best option is to keep the network type as Public

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Todd Santoro | May 30, 2016 7:13 PM |

Seriously, you make this about ethernet? Did you get a Win 10 beta copy in 1995 and struggled switching your wired connection over. And it doesn't work anymore.

Nomadic Miles | January 30, 2017 6:51 AM |

A suggestion: the authors should have the dates posted with their articles.

Chalky | June 4, 2017 3:14 PM |

Kind of with Todd below as Ethernet is not connected. How do you do this with a WiFi connection?

Erica S. Kane | June 6, 2017 10:19 PM |

Be aware that you must be logged in as an Administrator for these steps to work. As a regular user I never saw these options. The steps given her work for Wireless much in the same way as for Ethernet.