Network and Internet Change Network Location to Private, Public, or Domain in Windows 11


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This tutorial will show you how to change the type of network your PC is connected to as a domain, public, or private location for all users in Windows 11.

A network location identifies the type of network that a PC is connected to with a network adapter and automatically sets the appropriate Windows Defender Firewall settings for that location.

By default, the first time you connect to a new network (wired or wireless), you will be prompted "Do you want to allow your PC to be discoverable by other PCs and devices on this network?" by the Network Location wizard. Turning on this setting prepares your PC for sharing files and devices on a network. Based on the network location you choose, Windows will automatically assign a network discovery state to the network and automatically sets the appropriate Windows Firewall and security settings for the type of network that you connected to. You can change the network location anytime.

Public network = Your device is not discoverable on the network. By default, the public network location type is assigned to any new networks when they are first connected. A public network is considered to be shared with the world, with no protection between the local computer and any other computer. Therefore, the Windows Firewall rules associated with the public profile are the most restrictive. This blocks the following apps and services from working: PlayTo, file sharing, network discovery, and automatic setup of network printers, TVs, and other devices.

Private network = Your device is discoverable on the network. Select this if you need file sharing or use apps that communicate over this network. You should know and trust the people or devices on the network.

Domain network = The domain network location type is detected when the local computer is a member of an Active Directory domain, and the local computer can authenticate to a domain controller for that domain through one of its network connections.

Reference:

You must be signed in as an administrator to change the network location of a network adapter.



Contents

  • Option One: Change Network Location of Specific Network Connection in Settings
  • Option Two: Change Network Location of a Ethernet Network Connection in Settings
  • Option Three: Change Network Location of a Wi-Fi Network Connection in Settings
  • Option Four: Change Network Location of Known Wi-Fi Network in Settings
  • Option Five: Change Network Location of Specific Network Connection in PowerShell
  • Option Six: Change Network Location of Current Network Connection in PowerShell
  • Option Seven: Change Network Location of Specific Network Connection in Registry Editor
  • Option Eight: Specify Network Location of Specific Network Connection in Local Security Policy




Option One

Change Network Location of Specific Network Connection in Settings


This option requires you to currently be connected to the network you want to change its location type.


1 Open Settings (Win+I).

2 Click/tap on Network & internet on the left side, and click/tap on Properties at the top for the network connection you want. (see screenshot below)

Network_location_Settings.png

3 Select Public or Private for the network profile type you want. (see screenshots below)

Wi-Fi_Network_location_Settings-3.png
Ethernet_Network_location_Settings-2.png

4 You can now close Settings if you like.




Option Two

Change Network Location of a Ethernet Network Connection in Settings


This option requires you to currently be connected to the network you want to change its location type.


1 Open Settings (Win+I).

2 Click/tap on Network & internet on the left side, and click/tap on Ethernet on the right side. (see screenshot below)

Ethernet_Network_location_Settings-1.png

3 Under the Ethernet network connection (ex: "Brink-Router2") you want, select Public or Private for the network profile type you want. (see screenshot below)

Ethernet_Network_location_Settings-2.png

4 You can now close Settings if you like.




Option Three

Change Network Location of a Wi-Fi Network Connection in Settings


This option requires you to currently be connected to the network you want to change its location type.


1 Open Settings (Win+I).

2 Click/tap on Network & internet on the left side, and click/tap on Wi-Fi on the right side. (see screenshot below)

Wi-Fi_Network_location_Settings-1.png

3 Click/tap on the properties of the Wi-Fi connection (ex: "Brink-Router2") you want. (see screenshot below)

Wi-Fi_Network_location_Settings-2.png

4 Select Public or Private for the network profile type you want. (see screenshots below)

Wi-Fi_Network_location_Settings-3.png

5 You can now close Settings if you like.




Option Four

Change Network Location of Known Wi-Fi Network in Settings


This option does not require you to currently be connected to the network you want to change its location type.


1 Open Settings (Win+I).

2 Click/tap on Network & internet on the left side, and click/tap on Wi-Fi on the right side. (see screenshot below)

Wi-Fi_Network_location_Settings-1.png

3 Click/tap on Manage known networks on the right side. (see screenshot below)

Manage_known_networks_location_Settings-1.png

4 Click/tap on the known Wi-Fi network (ex: "Brink-Router2") you want. (see screenshot below)

Manage_known_networks_location_Settings-2.png

5 Select Public or Private for the network profile type you want. (see screenshots below)

Manage_known_networks_location_Settings-3.png

6 You can now close Settings if you like.




Option Five

Change Network Location of Specific Network Connection in PowerShell


This option requires you to currently be connected to the network you want to change its location type.


1 Open Windows Terminal (Admin), and select Windows PowerShell.

2 Copy and paste the Get-NetConnectionProfile command into the elevated PowerShell, and press Enter. (see screenshot below step 3)

3 Make note of the network name (ex: "Brink-Router2") you want. (see screenshot below)

If you have more than one network connection with the same name (ex: "Brink-Router2"), then the network location type you set will be applied to all networks with the same name.


Network_location_PowerShell-1.png

4 Do step 5 (Private), step 6 (Public), step 7 (Domain) below for what you want.


 5. To Set Network Location to Private

A) Type the command below into the elevated PowerShell, press Enter, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below)​

Set-NetConnectionProfile -Name "Brink-Router2" -NetworkCategory Private

Substitute Brink-Router2 in the command above with your network name from step 3 above instead.


Network_location_PowerShell-2.png


 6. To Set Network Location to Public

A) Type the command below into the elevated PowerShell, press Enter, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below)​

Set-NetConnectionProfile -Name "Brink-Router2" -NetworkCategory Public

Substitute Brink-Router2 in the command above with your network name from step 3 above instead.


Network_location_PowerShell-3.png


 7. To Set Network Location to Domain

This requires your PC to be joined to a domain.


A) Type the command below into the elevated PowerShell, press Enter, and go to step 8 below.​

Set-NetConnectionProfile -Name "Brink-Router2" -NetworkCategory DomainAuthenticated

Substitute Brink-Router2 in the command above with your network name from step 3 above instead.



8 You can now close Windows Terminal (Admin) if you like.




Option Six

Change Network Location of Current Network Connection in PowerShell


This option requires you to currently be connected to the network you want to change its location type.


1 Open Windows Terminal (Admin), and select Windows PowerShell.

2 Do step 3 (Private), step 4 (Public), or step 5 (Domain) below for what you want.


 3. To Set Network Location of Current Network Connection to Private

A) Copy and paste the command below into the elevated PowerShell, press Enter, and go to step 6 below. (see screenshot below)​

$net = get-netconnectionprofile;Set-NetConnectionProfile -Name $net.Name -NetworkCategory Private

Current_Network_location_PowerShell-2.png


 4. To Set Network Location of Current Network Connection to Public

A) Copy and paste the command below into the elevated PowerShell, press Enter, and go to step 6 below. (see screenshot below)​

$net = get-netconnectionprofile;Set-NetConnectionProfile -Name $net.Name -NetworkCategory Public

Current_Network_location_PowerShell-1.png


 5. To Set Network Location of Current Network Connection to Domain

This requires your PC to be joined to a domain.


A) Copy and paste the command below into the elevated PowerShell, press Enter, and go to step 6 below.​

$net = get-netconnectionprofile;Set-NetConnectionProfile -Name $net.Name -NetworkCategory DomainAuthenticated

6 You can now close Windows Terminal (Admin) if you like.




Option Seven

Change Network Location of Specific Network Connection in Registry Editor


This option does not require you to currently be connected to the network you want to change its location type.


1 Open Registry Editor (regedit.exe).

2 Navigate to the registry key location below in the left pane of Registry Editor. (see screenshot below)

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Profiles

Network_location_regedit-1.png

3 Double click/tap on the Profiles key in the left pane to expand it open. Click/tap on each long GUID number subkey, and look at its ProfileName string value in the right pane until it is the network name (ex: "Brink-Router2") you want. (see screenshot below)

Network_location_regedit-2.png

4 When you find the correct ProfileName for the network name (ex: "Brink-Router2") you want, double click/tap on the Category DWORD value in the same right pane to modify it. (see screenshot below)

Network_location_regedit-3.png

5 Type the data value number for the network location you want from the table below, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

Network LocationData Value
Public0
Private1
Domain2

Network_location_regedit-4.png

6 You can now close Registry Editor if you like.

7 Sometimes you may need to sign out and sign in to apply.




Option Eight

Specify Network Location of Specific Network Connection in Local Security Policy


This option requires you to currently be connected to the network you want to change its location type.

Local Security Policy is only available in the Windows 11 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions.

This option will override and prevent the use of Option One, Option Two, Option Three, Option Four, Option Five, Option Six, and Option Seven.


1 Open Local Security Policy (secpol.msc).

2 Click/tap on Network List Manager Policies in the left pane of Local Security Policy. (see screenshot below step 3)

3 In the right pane of Network List Manager Policies, double click/tap on the network name (ex: "Brink-Router2") you want. (see screenshot below)

You can click/tap on All Networks if you wanted to apply this to all networks on your PC instead of a single or specific network.


Network_location_secpol-1.png

4 Do step 5 (Not configured), step 6 (Private), or step 7 (Public) below for what you want.


 5. To Not Specify a Network Location

This is the default setting to allow the use of Option One, Option Two, Option Three, Option Four, Option Five, Option Six, and Option Seven.


A) Click/tap on the Network Location tab. (see screenshot below)​

The Network Location tab will not be available if your PC is currently set to have a Domain network location.


B) Under Location type, select (dot) Not configured.​

C) Under User permissions, select (dot) Not configured.​

D) Click/tap on OK, and go to step 8 below.​

Network_location_secpol-2.png


 6. To Specify Public Network Location

This option will override and prevent the use of Option One, Option Two, Option Three, Option Four, Option Five, Option Six, and Option Seven.


A) Click/tap on the Network Location tab. (see screenshot below)​

The Network Location tab will not be available if your PC is currently set to have a Domain network location.


B) Under Location type, select (dot) Public.​

C) Under User permissions, select (dot) User cannot change location.​

D) Click/tap on OK, and go to step 8 below.​

Network_location_secpol-4.png


 7. To Specify Private Network Location

This option will override and prevent the use of Option One, Option Two, Option Three, Option Four, Option Five, Option Six, and Option Seven.


A) Click/tap on the Network Location tab. (see screenshot below)​

The Network Location tab will not be available if your PC is currently set to have a Domain network location.


B) Under Location type, select (dot) Private.​

C) Under User permissions, select (dot) User cannot change location.​

D) Click/tap on OK, and go to step 8 below.​

Network_location_secpol-3.png

8 You can now close Local Security Policy if you like.


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

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I am a home user. I am confused as I read different descriptions of Public and Private and where they are used. What should my Home Wi-Fi and Network Firewall be set as? Are the Wi-Fi settings and Network Firewall settings two different Public and Private settings?

1. Windows Defender states PRIVATE is for "Networks at home..." I am connected the Public.
2. My Wi-Fi states PUBLIC is to "use when connected to a network at home" I am connected the Public.

What setting should I be using in both the Network Firewall settings and the WIFI settings as a home user connecting a printer and smartphone to laptop - PUBLIC or PRIVATE?
 

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My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win11 22623.891
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP
    CPU
    11th Gen Intel R Core TM i7 - 1165G7 @ 2.80GHz
    Memory
    16gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel R Iris R Xe Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek R Audio, Intel Smart Sound
    Hard Drives
    C
    Browser
    Google
    Antivirus
    Windows Security/Microsoft Defender
    Other Info
    Downloaded MSEdgeRedirect
I am a home user. I am confused as I read different descriptions of Public and Private and where they are used. What should my Home Wi-Fi and Network Firewall be set as? Are the Wi-Fi settings and Network Firewall settings two different Public and Private settings?

1. Windows Defender states PRIVATE is for "Networks at home..." I am connected the Public.
2. My Wi-Fi states PUBLIC is to "use when connected to a network at home" I am connected the Public.

What setting should I be using in both the Network Firewall settings and the WIFI settings as a home user connecting a printer and smartphone to laptop - PUBLIC or PRIVATE?

Hello Charmaine, and welcome :-)

You would want to use the settings in your left screenshot to change to public or private.

The right screenshot for your firewall is used to change the rules for these network types instead.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING (11GB GDDR5X)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1 14-eu0098nr (2024)
    CPU
    Intel Core Ultra 7 155H 4.8 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR5x-7467 MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated Intel Arc
    Sound Card
    Poly Studio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14" 2.8K OLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    2880 x 1800
    Hard Drives
    2 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Internet Speed
    Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5.4
    Browser
    Chrome and Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
I'm guessing leave as recommended on Public. It has been that setting for years. I just noticed the description and both have references to Home network for Private and Public.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win11 22623.891
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP
    CPU
    11th Gen Intel R Core TM i7 - 1165G7 @ 2.80GHz
    Memory
    16gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel R Iris R Xe Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek R Audio, Intel Smart Sound
    Hard Drives
    C
    Browser
    Google
    Antivirus
    Windows Security/Microsoft Defender
    Other Info
    Downloaded MSEdgeRedirect
I'm guessing leave as recommended on Public. It has been that setting for years. I just noticed the description and both have references to Home network for Private and Public.

A private network type will make is easier to share across your devices on the same home network if needed.

A public network gives you more privacy. It's useful if you use a laptop that say connects to the network at a coffee shop or hotel.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING (11GB GDDR5X)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1 14-eu0098nr (2024)
    CPU
    Intel Core Ultra 7 155H 4.8 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR5x-7467 MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated Intel Arc
    Sound Card
    Poly Studio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14" 2.8K OLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    2880 x 1800
    Hard Drives
    2 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Internet Speed
    Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5.4
    Browser
    Chrome and Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
A private network type will make is easier to share across your devices on the same home network if needed.

A public network gives you more privacy. It's useful if you use a laptop that say connects to the network at a coffee shop or hotel.
I have no issue sharing all devices connected to the WiFi in my house and I'm set to public. I can print from the laptop. I have Link to Windows from Smartphone. Was just curious what the difference is.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win11 22623.891
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP
    CPU
    11th Gen Intel R Core TM i7 - 1165G7 @ 2.80GHz
    Memory
    16gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel R Iris R Xe Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek R Audio, Intel Smart Sound
    Hard Drives
    C
    Browser
    Google
    Antivirus
    Windows Security/Microsoft Defender
    Other Info
    Downloaded MSEdgeRedirect
Hello everyone,

I'm a bit "late to the party", but I also find it confusing, somewhat dangerous and a possible source of problems, that "home or work" is no longer listed under "Private" as in Windows 10 but now under "Public" and this profile is also the recommended one.

Confusing because the Defender Firewall profiles still have the same (correct) naming scheme as before.
Dangerous because instead of changing the profile, some people will adjust the "Advanced network settings" and this is then also applied to "real" public networks.
And finally, this creates a possible source of problems because, unlike when changing the profile, not all firewall rules are changed.

Am I missing something here, or is this another "not so great" innovation from Microsoft? :unsure:

Thanks and greetings,
Martin
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win11 22H2

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