4 Ways To Change Network Type In Windows 10 (Public, Private or Domain)

Windows 10 makes it easy for the users to configure Windows Firewall by using pre-defined configurations of Windows Firewall. By default, there are three network types on which Windows Firewall configurations are used, public, private and domain.

Windows gives users an option to select a network type when a new network is connected to the computer. Windows will set the Windows Firewall rules according to the network type selected. Lets first know more about each network type.

Network Types

Public Network

A public network is the default network type. If no network type is selected, Windows will configure Windows Firewall using the Public network type rules. In public network, Windows Firewall rules will be the most restrictive. The firewall will block most of the apps from connecting from the Internet and disabling some features like file and printer sharing, network discovery and automatic setup of network devices etc.

You should use this type of network when you have only one computer and do not want to communicate with any other network device.

Private Network

The private network can be a home network or work network. This type of network will enable most networking features of Windows 10 like file sharing, network device setup, network discovery etc.

Use this network type if you trust the network you are connecting to.

Domain Network

The domain network is automatically detected when your computer is a member of Active Directory domain network. Windows should automatically detect this type of network and configure Windows Firewall accordingly. This type of network gives more control to the network administrator and the admin can apply different network security configurations using Active Directory group policies.

In this article, we will be more interested in changing the network type from public to private and vice versa as the domain network is automatically detected by Windows 10 and we don’t need to change anything.

What is the current network type of your computer?

Before going through the ways to change network type in Windows 10, we need to see what is the current network type of the connected network. To check the current network type settings, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to Control Panel –> Network and Internet –> View Network status and tasks
  2. You will see the network type under each connected network
    Network and Sharing Center

Ways to change network types in Windows 10

Let’s go through a few methods to change the network type in Windows 10.

1- Using Windows Settings

To change the network type using Windows Control Panel settings, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to Control Panel –> Network and Internet –> HomeGroup
  2. Click on Change Network Location link.
  3. This will open a charms dialog asking you “Do you want to allow your PC to be discoverable by other PCs and devices on this network”.
  4. Press the Yes button if you want your network to be set to Home or Work and No button if you want to be in public network.

You can configure each type of these networks in more detail by clicking on the link “Change advanced sharing settings…”.

HomeGroup settings for changing network type

2- Setting network type using Windows Registry

If you are an advanced user and are comfortable with editing Windows Registry, this method will be easier for you to change the network type especially when you want it to be done on multiple PCs using just a single registry file.

  1. Go to Run –> regedit
  2. Go to the following key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE –> SOFTWARE –> Microsoft –> Windows NT –> CurrentVersion –> NetworkList –> Profiles
  3. Under the Profiles key, you will find some sub-keys with different GUIDs. This corresponds to the no. of network cards you’re using with your computer.
  4. Select each sub-key of the Profiles and look for the ProfileName key in the right hand pane. This will give you the name of the network so that you can easily recognize which network you want to change.
  5. After identifying the right sub-key, you can change the Category DWORD value in the right hand pane to change the network type of that particular network.
    Value data can be 0 for Public network, 1 for Private network and 2 for Domain network.
    Registry key to change network type

3- Change network type using Local Security Policy

  1. Go to Run –> secpol.msc
  2. Select Network List Manager Policies. This will list all the networks in the right hand pane.
  3. Double click your desired network, go to Network Location tab.
  4. Change the Network location type to either Not configured, private or public.
  5. If you want to do this for all the connected networks, you can double click All Networks instead of your desired network.
    Security settings for setting up network type

4- Setting network type using PowerShell

Open PowerShell with administrative privileges

  1. Run the following command:
  2. See the network name you want to change its type and run the following command:
    Set-NetConnectionProfile -Name “ITT” -NetworkCategory Public
    Where ITT is the name of your network and you can change the -NetworkCategory switch value to Public or Private.
    PowerShell command to change network type

This will change the network type immediately.

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Usman Khurshid
Usman Khurshid is a seasoned IT professional. He has been working in the IT industry for the last 15 years. From making a simple network including physical cabling to consulting for SMEs about cloud computing, he has vast experience in the computing industry. He is also certified in Microsoft Technologies (MCTS and MCSA) and also Cisco Certified Professional on Routing and Switching.