Windows 7 Forums

Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Network Location - Set as Home, Work, or Public Network

Network Location - Set as Home, Work, or Public Network

How to Set the Network Location Type in Windows 7
Published by Brink
02 Dec 2009
Published by

How to Set the Network Location Type in Windows 7

information   Information
This will show you how to change the Windows 7 network location to be either a Home network, Work network (private), or Public network type.

During the installation of Windows 7, or the first time that you connect to a network, you must choose a network location. Based on the network location you choose, Windows automatically assigns a network discovery state to the network and sets the appropriate Windows Firewall and security settings for that type of network location. If you connect to networks in different locations (for example, a network at your home, at a local coffee shop, or at work), choosing a network location can help ensure that your computer is always set to an appropriate security level.
Note   Note
There are four network locations:
  • Choose Home network for home networks or when you know and trust the people and devices on the network. Computers on a home network can belong to a homegroup. Network discovery is turned on for home networks, which allows you to see other computers and devices on the network and allows other network users to see your computer.
    • Computers on a home network must belong to a workgroup, but they can also belong to a homegroup. A homegroup makes it easy to share pictures, music, videos, documents, and printers with other people on a home network.
    • A homegroup is protected with a password, but you only need to type the password once, when adding your computer to the homegroup
  • Choose Work network (private) for small office or other workplace networks. Network discovery, which allows you to see other computers and devices on a network and allows other network users to see your computer, is on by default, but you can't create or join a homegroup.
    • All computers are peers; no computer has control over another computer.
    • Each computer has a set of user accounts. To log on to any computer in the workgroup, you must have an account on that computer.
    • There are typically no more than twenty computers.
    • A workgroup is not protected by a password.
    • All computers must be on the same local network or subnet.
  • Choose Public network for networks in public places (such as coffee shops or airports). This location is designed to keep your computer from being visible to other computers around you and to help protect your computer from any malicious software from the Internet. HomeGroup is not available on public networks, and network discovery is turned off. You should also choose this option if you're connected directly to the Internet without using a router, or if you have a mobile broadband connection.
  • The Domain network location is used for domain networks such as those at enterprise workplaces. This type of network location is controlled by your network administrator and can't be selected or changed.
    • One or more computers are servers. Network administrators use servers to control the security and permissions for all computers on the domain. This makes it easy to make changes because the changes are automatically made to all computers. Domain users must provide a password or other credentials each time they access the domain.
    • If you have a user account on the domain, you can log on to any computer on the domain without needing an account on that computer.
    • You probably can make only limited changes to a computer's settings because network administrators often want to ensure consistency among computers.
    • There can be thousands of computers in a domain.
    • The computers can be on different local networks.
warning   Warning
If you know you will not need to share files or printers, the safest choice is public network.

To Set Network Location of Unidentified Networks
1. See: How to Set Unidentified Networks to be a Private or Public Network Location

To Set Network Location in Network and Sharing Center
1. Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click on the Network and Sharing Center icon.

2. Under Network, click on either the Home network, Work network, or Public network link depending on what you currently have selected as your network location. (see screenshot below)



3. Select a location that fits your network location needs. (see screenshot below)
Name:  Step2.jpg
Views: 221228
Size:  186.2 KB
4. If prompted by UAC, then click on Yes.

5. The network location has now been changed to what you selected in step 3. Click on Close. (see screenshots below)
Name:  Step3_Home.jpg
Views: 218552
Size:  105.9 KB

Name:  Step3_Work.jpg
Views: 217949
Size:  101.0 KB

Name:  Step3_Public.jpg
Views: 217195
Size:  103.7 KB

6. When done, close the Network and Sharing Center.

To Set Network Location in Registry Editor
1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog, type regedit, and press Enter.

2. If prompted by UAC, then click/tap on Yes.

3. In Registry Editor, navigate to the location below. (see screenshot below)

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Profiles
4. Double click/tap on the Profiles key in the left pane to expand it. Click/tap on each long GUID number subkey, and look at it's PofileName string value in the right pane to see if it has the current network name (ex: Network) until found. (see screenshots below)

5. When you find the correct PofileName for your network name, double click/tap on the Category DWORD value in the same right pane to modify it. (see screenshot below)
6. Type in a new Data value number in the table below for the network location you want, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)
Network Location Data Value

Name:  change-network_location_reg-4.jpg
Views: 197314
Size:  22.7 KB
7. When finished, you can now close Registry Editor if you like.

8. Sometimes you may need to sign out and in of your user account to apply the new network location.

That's it,

14 Jan 2010   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64

Looks like when the network location is "public" there is no link under the active network name.

How does one change it then?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2010   #2

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hi Nate,

There should be a link under the Public one as well as in the 3rd screenshot under step 2.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2010   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hi Nate,

There should be a link under the Public one as well as in the 3rd screenshot under step 2.
I don't have the machine anymore but there was no link.

This network name was "unidentified network" (no link) and under that was "public network" (no link)

I gave up since I only had 2 hours to get it working. I hope he can connect at home now. Funny it isn't the same as in this tutorial. I wonder what caused the differences....
My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Jan 2010   #4

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

The problem was that it was an unidentified network with what seems to have been two network connections? (ex: wireless and LAN)

Removing the bad network connection may have helped by clicking on the "Manage or delete network connections" link in the tutorial below instead.

Network Name and Icon - Change
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2010   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

I had to register just to write this =) :
Actualy there is a bug in windows 7 which prevent you from changing an "unidentified network" in some cases. I had this problem back in beta and RC and it's still there in the released version. Take a look here:
Windows 7 RC - I can't change my network from public to work
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2013   #7

windows 7 home preminm x64

i cant change network location type in windows 7 because there is no link

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2013   #8

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello Saeed,

That looks like Windows 8 instead of Windows 7. This tutorial is only for Windows 7, and does not apply to Windows 8.

For Windows 8, you can use the tutorial below instead to change your network location type.

Network Location - Set to Private or Public in Windows 8

Hope this helps,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Aug 2013   #9

windows 7 home preminm x64

Thanks brink
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Network Location - Set as Home, Work, or Public Network

Tutorial Tools

Similar help and support threads
Windows 7 Tutorial Category
Network Location Stuck In Public Mode
1. Is this a wired or wireless connection issue? A: Both. 2.Internet Service Provider? A: Verizon. 3.What type of Broadband connection are you using? A: DSL. 4. Make and Model of your Modem and Router? A: Modem - Westell 6100G, Router - Linksys E2500. 5. Internet Security/Antivirus? A: ESET...
Network & Sharing
Should I choose HOME,WORK or PUBLIC Network?
When I installed Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit I chose HOME. I have Norton Internet Security 2013 installed. My PC uses ADSL Broadband connection. Should I change the Internet connection to "PUBLIC" (from the Network and Sharing Center) for added security or can I leave it as "HOME"? Adsl is treated as...
System Security
Public vs Private network location w/new wireless adaptor
Long story short, I am trying to install a new usb wireless router on my laptop, I have tried using three different adapters all of which once the drivers are installed show either a "unidentified", or "public" network. They all connect to the network, and I am able to browse through the other...
Network & Sharing
Fiber optic Internet connection. Home, Work or Public network?
Hey people. So I am connected to internet to fiber optic, so there's no modem, or router, just the Ethernet cable that goes to my Ethernet card. What option should I choose in the Network Sharing Center? Home, Work, Public? I use this connection at home, but since it's fiber optic, it's more like a...
Network & Sharing
question about network Home/work or Public
Hi i use w7 on my desktop to connect to the net i use a lot of emails and firefox i connect to the net via lan & router 1 pc in the w7 Change advantage sharring i have home/work Public(current profile)
General Discussion
Home Network, Public Network & Dial-Up
Dumb question here: I have just one computer. When I connect to the internet via dial-up, my computer says I'm part of a network and it wants me to choose between Public Network and Home Network. I'm assuming the "network" detected is my dial-up connection and that I should choose "Public...
Network & Sharing

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:18.

Twitter Facebook Google+

Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App