How to Set a Wireless Network as Public or Private in Windows 10


Telling Windows which network is public or private has a relevant purpose. If you notify Windows that a certain network is public, it will turn off file sharing since public networks are less secure. It’s a basic yet effective way to protect its users from losing any personal data or information from possible unauthorized access. Setting this on your Windows 10 computer is a simple process to do. However, when you connect to a network for the first time, Windows 10 will ask you if you want the PC to be discoverable or not. The problem here is that since that option is poorly labelled, some users may not be aware that making the PC discoverable will actually tag a network as private.

Here’s how you can set a network as public or private in Windows 10:

NOTE: The steps in this article focus mainly on how to change the status on wireless networks.

Setting a Network as Public or Private via the Settings App

STEP 1: Open the Settings app, then click on Network & Internet.

STEP 2: If you want to change the Wi-Fi network’s status, go to the WiFi tab.

If you want to change the Ethernet network’s status, go to the Ethernet tab.

STEP 3: Click on Manage Wi-Fi settings, then click on Manage known networks.

STEP 4: On the next screen, click the network you want to set as either public or private, then click on the Properties button.

STEP 5: To set the network as private, turn on the Make this PC discoverable option.

To set the network as public, you need to turn this option off to help keep your files and information safe.

Setting a Network as Public or Private via Windows Registry

In case you encountered some problems while doing the process thru Settings, you can change the network status from the Windows Registry as an alternate option. However, you will need administrative rights in order to do this.

STEP 1: Right-click on your Start menu, then select Run.

STEP 2: In the Open field, type in “regedit” then click OK.

STEP 3: In the Registry Editor window, navigate to this location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Profiles

STEP 4: Open each folder under Profiles, then look for the ProfileName value.

NOTE: The folder that has a ProfileName value with your network’s name is the key that belongs to your network.

STEP 5: Double-click on the Category DWORD value, then under Value data, set it to “1” in order to make the network private.

If you need to set the network as public, then the Value data must be set to “0.”

STEP 6: Click OK to save your changes, then close the Registry Editor window.

Contact Us