How to change a Wi-Fi network from public to private in

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Matthew M. White
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If you want to secure your home or work network by changing your wireless network connection setting to private, this article will show you how to do it in Windows 10.

Additionally, we'll see how to change the setting on a wired network and use the PowerShell and Registry Editor methods. Our FAQ section includes advice on the easiest way to secure your Internet connection.


Switch from public network to private network using Wi-Fi settings

To change your network from public to private using Wi-Fi settings:


  1. Click on the Wi-Fi network icon, located at the far right of the taskbar.
  2. Select "Properties" under the Wi-Fi network you are connected to.
  3. In "Network profile", select "Private".

Switch from public network to private network using Ethernet LAN settings

To change your network from public to private using Ethernet Lan settings:

  1. Open "Settings" from the Start menu.
  2. Select the “Network and Internet Settings” option.
  3. Select “Ethernet”.
  4. Click on the name of your connection.
  5. Select “Private”.

Switch from public to private network using Regedit

To change your network location from public to private using Registry Editor:

  1. To launch a run box, press "Windows + R".
  2. Type 'regedit' then enter.
  3. In the left pane of Registry Editor, navigate to the following key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionNetworkListProfiles
  4. In the left pane, expand the "Profiles" button.
  5. Click on the subkeys to find the "ProfileName" which is the name of your current network connection.
  6. Once you have found the correct subkey, in the right pane, double-click on the "Category" and modify the "DWORD" as follows:
    Public: 0, Private: 1, Domain: 2.
  7. To apply the new network location, restart your computer.

Switch from public to private network using PowerShell

To change your network settings from public to private using PowerShell, first enable administrator access:



  1. Click on “Start”, then type “CMD”.
  2. Right-click on "Command Prompt", then select "Run as administrator".
  3. To grant administrator rights, you may be prompted to enter the administrator username and password.
  4. Type: net user administrator /active:yes, then press "Enter".

Now launch PowerShell, then:

  1. To list the name and properties of the current network connection, paste or type the following command, then press "Enter:"
    Get-NetConnectionProfile
  2. To change your network location from public to private, type the following command, replacing "NetworkName" with the name of your network:
    Set-NetConnectionProfile -Name "NetworkName" -NetworkCategory Private
    • To make your network location public:
      Set-NetConnectionProfile -Name "NetworkName" -NetworkCategory Public

Switch from public network to private network using the registry

NotesA single error in Registry Editor has the potential to break an entire system, so consider creating a backup beforehand. Once you have opened Registry Editor, click "File" > "Export" to save the backup to a secure location. If something goes wrong, you can import the backup.

  1. To launch a run box, press "Windows + R".
  2. Type “regedit” then enter.
  3. In the left pane of Registry Editor, navigate to the following key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionNetworkListProfiles
  4. In the left pane, expand the "Profiles" button.
  5. Click on the subkeys to find the "ProfileName" which is the name of your current network connection.
  6. Once you have found the correct subkey, in the right pane, double-click on the "Category" and modify the "DWORD" as follows:

    Public: 0, Private: 1, Domain: 2.
  7. To apply the new network location, restart your computer.

Switch from a public network to a private network using the Local Group Policy Editor

Switch from a public network to a private network using the Local Group Policy Editor:



  1. Access the local group policy editor by clicking on "Start" then type "gpedit.msc" in the Run box and enter.
  2. Click on:
    Computer ConfigurationWindows SettingsSecurity SettingsNetwork List Manager Policies.
  3. Then double-click on “Unidentified networks”.
  4. In the "Location type" box, select the "Private" option.

Private and Public Network FAQs

Can I customize my public/private network settings?

To customize your public and private network settings:

1. Click "Start" on the taskbar.

2. Then select "Settings" > "Network & Internet."« 

3. Select "Sharing Options", located under "Change your network settings".

4. Expand “Private” or “Public” and select the radio button corresponding to your preferred options, for example, disable printer sharing.

Why would you want your network to be public?

You must set your network to "Public" to connect to Wi-Fi in a public place, such as a coffee shop or library. Meanwhile, even when you've set up a homegroup, your computer won't appear to other devices or try to discover other devices on the network. Windows will also disable the File Share Discovery feature.

Why would you want your network to be private?

Setting your network to Private is suitable for a home or work network environment, consisting of trusted devices that you may need to connect to. Discovery features are enabled and your computer is seen by other computers on the network for sharing files, media, and other network features.



Can I change the network to private using HomeGroup?

Homegroup does not have functionality to make changes to the network connection.

During the HomeGroup setup process, you may be asked to change the network privacy settings on your computer. Depending on how your internet connection is configured (wireless or ethernet), this can be done through the Wi-Fi settings or the "Network & Internet settings" option.

To change your network to private using Wi-Fi settings:

1. Click on the Wi-Fi network icon, located at the far right of the taskbar.

2. Select "Properties" under the Wi-Fi network you are connected to.

3. In "Network profile", select "Private".

To change your network to private using Ethernet Lan settings:

1. Open "Settings" from the start menu.

2. Select the “Network and Internet Settings” option.

3. Select “Ethernet”.

4. Click on the name of your connection.

5. Select "Private".

How to Create a Homegroup in Windows 10?

1. Type “homegroup” in the search text field on the taskbar, then click “homegroup”.

2. Click on “Create a residential group” then “Next”.

3. Select the devices and libraries you want to share with the homegroup, then "Next".

4. Write down the password that appears on your screen; this will allow other PCs to access your homegroup.

5. Click "Finish".

To add more computers to your homegroup:

1. Type “homegroup” in the search text field on the taskbar, then click “homegroup”.

2. Click on "Join now" and then on "Next".

3. Select the devices and libraries you want to share, then "Next".

4. Enter the homegroup password, then “Next”.

5. Click "Finish".

To share a file or individual folders:

1. Type "file explorer" in the search text field on the taskbar, then select "file explorer".

2. Click on the item and then select the “Share” option.

3. Depending on your computer's configuration, whether it is connected to a network and the type of network, select an option in the "Share with" group:

· Select a person's account to share items with them.

· Select a homegroup option to share with members of your homegroup, such as libraries.

· Click the “Share” tab, then click “Stop Sharing” to prevent a folder or file from being shared.

Click on the "Share" tab, then "Homegroup view" or "Homegroup (view and edit)" to change the level of access to a folder or file.

· Select "Advanced Sharing" to share a location, such as a system folder.

To share/stop sharing your printer:

1. Type “homegroup” in the search text field on the taskbar, then click “homegroup”.

2. Select "Edit what you share with the homegroup".

3. Click "Shared" or "Not Shared" next to "Printers and Devices".

4. Then “Finish”.

How can I secure my Internet connection?

Here are four things to consider to prevent unauthorized users from accessing Wi-Fi on your home network:

Rename your routers and networks

Once you've set up your router for the first time and it's up and running, change the generic username and password that comes with it. The username and passwords that come with routers are public records, making your Wi-Fi easily accessible if not changed.

Use strong passwords

Strengthen your passwords by:

· By making at least 16 characters.

· Do not use personal information or common expressions.

· Use of a mix of numbers, special characters, upper and lower case letters.

· Ensure that it is unique; do not reuse passwords.

Keep everything up to date

Whenever a vulnerability is detected, router manufacturers update the firmware of the router. To stay protected, set a reminder every month to make sure your router settings are up to date.

Enable encryption

Encrypting your router is one of the easiest ways to secure your internet connection:

1. Find security options in your router settings.

2. Then find the WPA2 personal setting.

3. If this option does not exist, select WPA Personal. However, this is a sign of an outdated and vulnerable router; consider upgrading to one that includes WPA2 encryption.

4. Set the encryption type to “AES”.

5. Enter the password or network key; this password is different from the router password and will be used to connect all your devices to your Wi-Fi network.

Securing your Wi-Fi network

Windows 10 gives us the ability to switch our internet connection settings between public for accessing the internet in public places and private for a home or office setup. The change can be made using a variety of methods.

Now that you know how to change your network from public to private, and other ways to increase the security of your Internet connection; what method did you use to change the setting; via Wi-Fi/Ethernet Lan settings or using command prompts? Have you used other practices for a more secure home network? Please let us know in the comments section.

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