Recently, one of the reader's of WindowsLoop sent me an email asking how to change the network location type from public to private in Windows 10. Just like you can change the network name, you can also easily change the network location type. In fact, there are several different ways to change the network from public to private.
In case you don't know, here's what public and private network types actually mean in Windows 10.
Windows Network Location Types
Public Network: A public network hides your computer from all the other computers and devices on the same network. Since your device is hidden, other devices can't find your computer. A public network device cannot be used for the printer, file sharing, or media streaming. Generally, you should select this network type when you are using a public internet like in coffee shops, airports, railway stations, etc.
Private Network: A private network is opposite to the public network. i.e, your computer will be visible to other devices on the same network. On a private network, you can use printer over the network, share files over the network, stream media from one device to the other, etc. Private Network should be selected when you are in a trusted place like your home.
Method #1 - Change Network Location from Public to Private Using Settings App
The easiest way to change the network from public to private is via the Settings app. All you have to do is select a single radio option and you are good to go.
1. First, open the Settings app by searching for it in the start menu. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Win + I or click on the "All Settings" button in the notification center. In the Settings app, go to "Network & Internet".
2. On the left panel, select the "Ethernet" option. If you are on a WiFi network, select the "WiFi" option.
Note: If your system has no WiFi module, you will not see the WiFi option. For instance, my desktop has no WiFi, only ethernet. So, I don't have the WiFi option in the Settings page.
3. On the right panel, click on your network under the "Ethernet" or "WiFi" section.
4. Under the network profile section, select the radio option "Private". There is no save button but the changes are saved and applied instantly.
Method #2 - Use PowerShell to Change Network Type from Public to Private
If you are a PowerShell guy or creating some sort of script to automate things, you can use PowerShell to change the network location from the public to private with a single line command.
1. To change the network from public to private in PowerShell, you need to run PowerShell as administrator. So, search for "PowerShell" in the start menu, right-click on it and select the "Run as administrator" option.
2. Before changing the network location type, you need to know its name. You can know your current network name by clicking on the network icon in the taskbar or by executing the below command in the PowerShell. In the PowerShell, you will see the current network location type next to "NetworkCategory" and the network name next to the "Name". Note down the network name, we are going to need for the next command.
3. Next, execute the below command while replacing NetworkName with the actual network name to change the network from public to private.
Set-NetConnectionProfile -Name "NetworkName" -NetworkCategory Private
As soon as you execute the command, the network location will be changed instantly. To verify the change, you can execute the first command again and see the new network type next to "NetworkCategory".
Method #3 - Change Network from Public to Private Using Local Security Policy Tool
You can also use the local security policy tool to quickly change the network from public to private in Windows 10. The good thing about this method is that you can prevent other users from changing the network location configuration by selecting a single radio option.
1. First off, open the Run dialog box by pressing the keyboard shortcut Win + R. Then, type
secpol.msc and press Enter. This action will open the local security policy tool.
2. In the local security policy window, select "Network List Manager Policies" on the left panel. On the right panel, find your network and double-click on it. In my case, the network is named "Network 2". So, I double-clicked on it.
3. In the network properties window, select the radio option "Private" under Location Type and click on the "Apply" and "Ok" button to save the changes.
Just like with the other methods, the changes are applied instantly. If you want to prevent other users from changing the network location type, select the "User cannot change location" radio option under User Permissions section in the Network Properties window.
That is all. It is that simple to change the network from Public to Private.
If you like this article, you might also like how to enable hidden administrator account in Windows 10 and how to hide WiFi network in Windows 10.