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2,673 Tutorials

How to change your network location from public to home

How to change your network location between home, public and work

Network location from public to home

When you connect to a new network, Windows asks you to choose a location. If you need to change this, from public to home for example, here's how to do it on your PC or laptop.

The location you choose changes the firewall and security settings for your device appropriately to keep you secure. If you've selected the wrong one by mistake or you want to change it for sharing reasons, you can.  

How to change your network location from public to home: Windows 8

Step One

Log onto the network you wish to change the settings for.

Step Two

Open the Wi-Fi networks list in the charms bar by left clicking on the Wi-Fi status icon in the bottom right-hand corner of Windows.

Wi-Fi network list

Step Three

Right click on the network you wish to change the location settings for and click 'turn sharing on and off'.

Turn sharing on or off

Step Four

Now select 'No, don't turn on sharing or connect to devices' for public network location and settings or 'Yes, turn on sharing and connect to devices' for home or work network location and settings.

Network location Windows 8

How to change your network location from public to home

Step One

Log onto the network you wish to change the settings for.

Step Two

Open the Control Panel from the start menu.

Start menu windows 7

Step Three

Open the Network and Sharing Center. This can also be access by right clicking on your Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection status icon in the bottom right-hand corner of Windows.

Control panel windows 7

Step Four

Under the active networks list, you'll see the network your connected to and its location setting; either work, home, or public. Click on this if you wish to change it.

Network and sharing center

Step Five

In the new window, select which type of network location you wish to use.

Network location public home windows 7

Note: If you are connected to a domain network, you cannot change the location settings.

Which network location do I choose?

If you're not sure which network location you should use, then check out the following descriptions for each type.

Home network: For home networks or when you know and trust the people and devices on the network. Network discovery is turned on and computers on a home network can belong to a homegroup.

Work network: For small office or other workplace networks. Network discovery is on by default allowing you to see other computers and devices on the network and allows other users to see your computer. However, you can't create or join a homegroup.

Public network: For networks in public places like as coffee shops or airports. This setting keeps your computer from being visible to other computers around you and to help protect your computer from any malicious software.

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