Change network type from Public to Private in Windows 10

Posted 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

Post a comment


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.

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!

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.

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.