How to Change Your Network From Public to Private

Switching your network profile in Windows 10

What to Know

  • Select the Wi-Fi icon in the Windows taskbar, select Properties under the Wi-Fi network, then choose Private.
  • If using an Ethernet connection, go to Start > Settings > Network & Internet, select Properties under Ethernet, then choose Private.
  • You must set the network to private to share files or connect with other network devices such as printers.

This article explains how to change a network from public to private on Windows 10. Designating a connection as private makes it discoverable to other devices, so only do this for networks you trust.

How Do I Change From Public to Private Network in Windows 10?

Once you've connected to a Wi-Fi network, follow these steps to change it from public to private:

You must be logged in as an administrator to change your network from public to private or vice-versa.

  1. Select the Wi-Fi icon in the Windows taskbar. If you don't see the icon, select the up-arrow to expand the options.

    Wi-Fi icon highlighted in the Windows 10 taskbar
  2. Under the Wi-Fi network, select Properties.

    Properties highlighted under Wi-Fi network on Windows 10
  3. Choose Private under Network Profile.

    Private highlighted under Network Profile in Windows 10 network settings
  4. Close the Settings window. The change will take effect immediately.

Set a Wi-Fi Network to Private When Connected via Ethernet

When you connect to a network through an Ethernet cable, the process is slightly different. You can also use this alternative method when connected via Wi-Fi.

  1. Select the Windows Start Menu and choose Settings.

    Settings highlighted in the Windows 10 start menu
  2. Select Network & Internet in Windows Settings.

    Network & Internet in Windows Settings
  3. Select Properties under Ethernet.

    Properties highlighted under Ethernet in Windows network settings
  4. Choose Private under Network Profile.

    Private highlighted under Network Profile in Windows 10 network settings
  5. Close the Settings window. The change will take effect immediately.

How Do I Turn Off Public Network?

When you connect to a new Wi-Fi network, it's set to public by default. To disable this feature, you must change the network properties.

Designating the network as public or untrusted ensures other devices on the network cannot access your PC. When using a public Wi-Fi hotspot, we recommend keeping your connection public.

How Do I Make My Internet Connection Private?

Setting a network connection to private doesn't protect your privacy. The opposite is true: changing a network to private makes it discoverable to other devices on the network. If you don't want your computer to be vulnerable to hackers, leave the connection public.

That said, you won't be able to connect to network printers or share files with other computers unless you set the wireless network to private. You should only change the network setting for connections you trust, such as home or workplace networks.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I change my network from public to private in Windows 7? If you're running Windows 7, right-click on the network icon in the Taskbar, then select Open Network and Sharing Center. Under View Active Networks, click the network you're using. You'll have three options: Public Network, Home Network, and Work Network. Select Home Network or Work Network for a private connection.
  • How do I change my network from public to private in Windows 8.1? If you're using Windows 8.1, open the Charms Bar and select Change PC Settings. Click Network to see your active connections, then enable Find Devices and Content. Doing this changes the network from public to private because the option isn't available for public networks.
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