Change network type from Public to Private in Windows 10

Posted on 01st February 2018

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

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

The network status screen shows the connection type.

network type

Step 2. Change network location to Public / Private

From the left pane, click Ethernet if your connection is a wired connection or WiFi in case of a Wireless connection and then Click on your network connection icon.

network and internet settings

Select Public

network discovery

The network location will then change to Public

network type public

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

Post a comment


Sid | May 8, 2020 6:14 PM |

do the direct registry hack. It's easier and works all the time. Most of the gui directions will fail 50% of the time.

Stephen | March 18, 2020 5:53 AM |

This doesn't work. My ethernet is an in-house LAN (no internet access) and when I click "Ethernet" as above, that's all it says: "No internet". There's no option to change from Public to Private. I can't see the rest of my home network (especially printers). THIS is what many people want solved, but nobody seems able to answer this question. Win10Prox64 v1903 (latest)

kenneth | November 17, 2018 8:14 PM |

The network profile option does not show on my version of windows 10

Pedro | September 24, 2019 10:52 PM |

Join the club! This issue is absurd. I followed the suggestion from Lana about allowing streaming, and it worked for me. I'd rather not allow streaming, but unfortunately, this was the only way I could set my network to Private... ridiculous!

keith | September 26, 2019 11:04 AM |

It will only show if the network adapter is connected.

Lana | November 28, 2017 9:56 PM |

Go to Settings> Network and Internet> Network and Sharing Center > click on Change Advance Sharing Settings(left pane). Under All Networks,click Media Streaming options. Allow streaming and network is switched to private. I fumbled around for a while but stumbled onto it that way..felt like the heavens parted!! hope this helps!

Andy | May 8, 2018 4:09 PM |

I spent most of an afternoon on this, about to throw the towel in when I came across this article,THANKYOU!!

Sri | December 29, 2017 8:28 PM |

You are a life-saver! I looked at like 10 guides but got stuck at this point until now.

Raymond | February 9, 2018 3:46 PM |

Thanks. Your answer solved this issue for me. Truly a life saver. Cheers

pbug56 | May 21, 2018 4:57 AM |

Wow. Why MS hides this and mis documents it I've no clue. Thanks

Rob | August 9, 2018 9:53 PM |

Lana, you are a star.

NicLab | October 25, 2018 4:50 PM |

I am grateful for this solution. Have tried many & none worked. This was so simple, to think of all the hours I wasted trying to figure it out. Sharing is good Karma. Thank You so much.

Stacy Markel | September 18, 2018 1:41 PM |

We should always ensure to use a secured network or we will risk our personal data. Using Private network is the one and one of the easiest ways to do so.

Carol rouse | September 4, 2018 11:32 AM |

Most people don't know that the public setting for your Windows network has severe consequences for your reachability and connectivity in your local network. thanks for providing great help this will help many people.

brittany | August 29, 2018 5:51 AM |

window defender firewall has blocked some feature of an app and iam not sure to allow acces to private or public????

John Woodward | January 6, 2018 12:28 PM |

I understand about changing from public to private but there is a place within Windows 10 that ask you if this computer is a part of a business network then if you answer yes it wants the domain name, the other option it offers is "is this computer part of a home network". I found it one time and fixed the problem that i'm having but for the life of me I can not find it again.

AB | November 8, 2017 6:52 AM |

Apparently as of 11/04/2017, tried this on a laptop and it does not work as the private connection is not working properly to the wireless internet. Sad, and no idea why yet.

Shaun Khan | October 24, 2017 3:13 PM |

Many thanks! I work mostly in Linux environments and need to poke around in a Windows VM from time to time so I found this post solved a problem of mine quickly. Note to the ungrateful reader that took the time to post their resent for Ethernet - in a typical VM environment, you will be presented with a Ethernet connection irrespective of it not being 1995 anymore ;)

Lemonfire | September 5, 2017 4:27 PM |

It's not that difficult to figure out how to do this over Wi-Fi. For the current version of Windows 10 (as of 1 Sept 2017) click on "Status" instead of "Ethernet" while you are connected to the WiFi network and then click "Change connection properties"

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.

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?

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

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

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.