How to change your Wi-Fi Connection from Public to Private Network in Windows 10

public to private network in windows 10

There are times when Windows 10 Location Awareness goes wrong; you are at home or office and set up a Wi-Fi connection for the first time, and for some strange reason, it thinks that is a public network. Meaning you cannot access printers or other computers on that network.

It can be a little frustrating especially when you want to move files back and forth between computers, or you cannot access the printer from your workstation.

FYI – Windows thinks it is trying to protect you from all the dangers that come with connecting to public networks; the possibility of someone spying on your files remotely. Except this time, its guards are up for nothing, because you are using your home or office network (private network).

Well, you will be glad to know that changing your Wi-Fi connection from public to private is so easy you could do it in less than 5 seconds. But before we get into it, I would like to point out there are numerous versions of Windows 10 out there already, and each version is different from the next. Although ideally, this fix should work for all versions.

This illustration was done on Windows 10 Version 1703 (OS Build 15063.540), to check which version you are using press  WinKey + R type in winver and hit the Enter key.

Now that you have established the version of Windows 10 you are using, we can proceed forward; ideally, this fix should work for all Windows 10 versions. If it doesn’t work on yours, it would mean you are using a different version from mine, and this trick doesn’t work on all versions of Windows 10.

Changing your Public Network to Private Network on Windows 10

Option 1

Right click the Wi-Fi icon in the System Tray

Right click the Wi-Fi Connection you are connected to (it is the one at the top of the list of available Wi-Fi connections) and a submenu ‘Properties’ will appear. Click on the ‘Properties.’

A Wi-Fi settings Window will appear. Go to ‘Make this PC discoverable,’ click the slider to ‘On’ and just like that, your connection is no longer public but private.

Option 2

The quickest way to change your connection from public to private is by using the HomeGroup Control Panel. Press the Windows Key and type in ‘homegroup.’

Click on the ‘HomeGroup’ and a Control Panel setting page will appear with the following warning.

Click on ‘Change network location’ and the notification panel will pop up asking you whether you want to make your current Wi-Fi connection private. Click on Yes to continue, and just like that, your connection is now private.


Be sure not to make a public Wi-Fi (such as the one at the airport, coffee shop, library, and other public facilities) into private network. Doing so will make your device vulnerable to attack and snooping by anyone else connected to the network with bad intentions.

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