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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.





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




OPTION TWO
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)
Network Location - Set as Home, Work, or Public Network-step1.jpg

Network Location - Set as Home, Work, or Public Network-work_step2.jpg

Network Location - Set as Home, Work, or Public Network-public_step2.jpg

3. Select a location that fits your network location needs. (see screenshot below)
Name:  Step2.jpg
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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
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Name:  Step3_Work.jpg
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Name:  Step3_Public.jpg
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6. When done, close the Network and Sharing Center.



OPTION THREE
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)

Code:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Profiles
Network Location - Set as Home, Work, or Public Network-change-network_location_reg-1.jpg
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)
Network Location - Set as Home, Work, or Public Network-change-network_location_reg-2.jpg

Network Location - Set as Home, Work, or Public Network-network_name.jpg
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)
Network Location - Set as Home, Work, or Public Network-change-network_location_reg-3.jpg
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
Public0
Home1
Domain2


Name:  change-network_location_reg-4.jpg
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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,
Shawn




14 Jan 2010   #1
nate42nd

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
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

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
nate42nd

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
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

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
Wert

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
chev65

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2013   #7
s00

windows 7 home preminm x64
 
 

i cant change network location type in windows 7 because there is no link
Network Location - Set as Home, Work, or Public Network-net.jpg


My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2013   #8
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

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,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Aug 2013   #9
s00

windows 7 home preminm x64
 
 

Thanks brink
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Network Location - Set as Home, Work, or Public Network




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