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Network Location - Set to Private or Public in Windows 8

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  1. #1
    Network Location - Set to Private or Public in Windows 8

    Network Location - Set to Private or Public in Windows 8
    How to Set Network Location to be Public or Private in Windows 8 and 8.1
    Published by Brink is offline
    05 Oct 2012
    Default Network Location - Set to Private or Public in Windows 8

    How to Set Network Location to be Public or Private in Windows 8 and 8.1

    information   Information
    The first time you connect to a network, you'll be asked if you want to turn on sharing between PCs and connect to network devices such as printers. Your answer automatically sets the appropriate Windows Firewall and security settings for the type of network (private or public) that you connected to. You can turn sharing on or off anytime.

    This tutorial will show you how to set your network to be connected to a public or private type of location for if you would like to turn sharing and connect to devices on or off in Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, and Windows RT 8.1.

    You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do the steps in this tutorial.

    Note   Note
    Private network - Choose Yes, turn on sharing and connect to devices below for home or small office (work) networks, or when you know and trust the people and devices on the network. This setting allows your PC to connect to devices on the network, such as printers. Computers on a private network can belong to a homegroup.

    Public network - Choose No, don't turn on sharing or connect to devices below for networks in public places (such as coffee shops or airports), or when you don't know or trust the people and devices on the network. 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.

    Unidentified network - See: Unidentified Networks - Set as Private or Public - Windows 7 Forums


    • Turning on sharing prepares your PC for sharing files and devices on a network.
    • The network sharing setting is only available for Wi-Fi, Ethernet, VPN (non-domain), and dial-up (non-domain) connections. It's unavailable for domain networks. On VPN or dial-up connections, you must connect to the network first, then press and hold or right-click the network name to change the network sharing setting.
    • Turning on sharing changes your firewall settings to allow some communication, which can be a security risk. If you know you won't need to share files or printers, the safest choice is No, don't share or connect to devices.
    • Choosing No, don't turn on sharing or connect to devices blocks the following apps and services from working: PlayTo, file sharing, network discovery, and automatic setup of network devices.


    EXAMPLE: Private or Public Network in "Network and Sharing Center"
    NOTE: The Network and Sharing Center can let you see if your network is public or private. To open the "Network and Sharing Center", you could open the Control Panel (icons view) and click/tap on the Network and Sharing Center icon.

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version






    OPTION ONE
    Set Network to be Private or Public in Windows 8 Networks


    1. Do step 2 or 3 below for how you would like to open the Networks flyout.

    2. On the desktop, click/tap on the Network system icon in the taskbar notification area, and go to step 4 below. (see screenshot below)


    Name:  Taskbar-Network_Icon.jpg
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    3. Open the Charms bar, and click/tap on Settings.
    NOTE: You could also press the Windows + I keys to open the Settings flyout.


    A) In the Settings flyout, click/tap on the Network icon, and go to step 4 below. (see screenshots below)
    NOTE: The Network icon will have the name of your network under it. The example below is for either an ethernet or wireless network.

    Click image for larger version Click image for larger version

    4. In the Networks flyout, right click or press and hold on your network connection (ex: "Network 3" or "Brink-Router"), and click/tap on Turn sharing on or off. (see screenshots below)

    Click image for larger version Click image for larger version


    5.
    Do step 6 or 7 below for what you would like to do. (see screenshots below)

    Click image for larger version


    6. To Set Network Location to be Public in Windows 8

    A) Click/tap on No, don't turn on sharing or connect to devices, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshots below step 5)

    7. To Set Network Location to be Private in Windows 8

    A) Click/tap on Yes, turn on sharing and connect to devices, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshots below step 5)

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






    OPTION TWO
    Set Network to be Private or Public in Windows 8.1 Networks

    NOTE: PCs with an ethernet network connection will be set as a private network by default, and doesn't appear to be able to be changed using this option.

    1. Open PC settings, and click/tap on Network on the left side. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    2. Click/tap on Connections on the left side of "Network", and click/tap on the network (ex: Brink-Router 2) on the right side that you want to set as public or private. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    3. Under Find devices and content, do step 4 or 5 below for what you would like to do. (see screenshot below)

    Note   Note
    The Find devices and content option will not be available for PC with an ethernet network connection.

    You will need to have your UAC settings set to the default or lower level to have the Find devices and content option available for other types of network connections. The Find devices and content option will not be available if you have your UAC settings set to the top "Always Notify" level. Close and reopen PC settings afterwards if you needed to change your UAC settings.

    Click image for larger version


    Click image for larger version

    4. To Set Network Location to be Public in Windows 8.1

    A) Move the slider to the left to turn it off, and go to step 6 below. (see screenshot below step 3)

    5. To Set Network Location to be Private in Windows 8.1

    A) Move the slider to the right to turn it on, and go to step 6 below. (see screenshot below step 3)

    6. When finished, you can close PC settings if you like.





    OPTION THREE
    Set Network to be Private or Public in Windows 8 and 8.1 in Registry

    1. Press the + 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

    Click image for larger version

    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)

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version

    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)

    Click image for larger version

    6. Type in a new Data value number for the network location you want, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

    Network Location
    Data Value
    Public
    Private 1
    Domain 2

    Name:  change-network_location_reg-4.jpg
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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.





    OPTION FOUR
    Set Network to be Private or Public in Local Security Policy


    NOTE: This option will override the other options above.

    1. Open the Local Security Policy (secpol.msc).

    2. In the left pane, click/tap on Network List Manager Policies. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    3. In the right pane of Network List Manager Policies, double click/tap on your network name (ex: Network). (see screenshot above)

    4. Click/tap on the Network Location tab, and do step 5, 6, or 7 below for what you would like to set. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Network_Location_secpol-2.png
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    5. To Set Network Location to be Public

    A) Under Location type, select (dot) Public. (see screenshot below step 4)

    B) Under User permissions, select (dot) User cannot change location.

    C) Click/tap on OK, and go to step 8 below.

    6. To Set Network Location to be Private

    A) Under Location type, select (dot) Private. (see screenshot below step 4)

    B) Under User permissions, select (dot) User cannot change location.

    C) Click/tap on OK, and go to step 8 below.

    7. To Allow Network Location to be changed by user
    NOTE: This is the default setting, and will allow you to be able to use OPTION ONE, OPTION TWO, or OPTION THREE above.

    A) Under Location type, select (dot) Not configured. (see screenshot below step 4)

    B) Under User permissions, select (dot) Not configured.

    C) Click/tap on OK, and go to step 8 below.

    8. When finished, you can close Local Security Policy if you like.


    That's it,
    Shawn


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  2. #1



    Junior Member

    Join Date : Dec 2013
    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1


    I'm having an issue with Windows 8.1 automatically assigning new wifi networks as public. When following the tutorial to change the network to private, I run into an issue at Option 2, Step 3.

    The "Find Devices and Content" option is not available at all. I'm on a wifi connection, not ethernet. I disabled the ethernet device so it is no longer an option in the network list, but that did not solve the problem.

    This is an issue for setting up a network because windows is automatically assigning new networks as public, then won't allow me to change them to private!

    Any help or thoughts would be appreciated!

    TIA
    Spencer


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  3. #2
    Brink's Avatar

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    Join Date : Jul 2009
    Posts : 17,881
    64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise (RTM)
    us texas


    Hello Spencer, and welcome to Eight Forums.

    Restart the PC with the Ethernet disconnected to see if the "Find Devices and Content" option may be available afterwards.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #3



    Junior Member

    Join Date : Dec 2013
    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post
    Hello Spencer, and welcome to Eight Forums.

    Restart the PC with the Ethernet disconnected to see if the "Find Devices and Content" option may be available afterwards.
    Brink,

    Thanks for the quick response.

    I should have clarified, Ethernet is listed in the connection list under Network/Connections but it is "Not Connected." I've attached a screenshot to show what I mean. I don't currently use an ethernet connection on this laptop. I've tried disabling the ethernet adapter within windows, and this removes the ethernet connection from this list but still doesn't solve the problem of the missing switch.

    Unfortunately, restarting has not helped.

    Click image for larger version



    Spencer
    Last edited by Brink; 10 Dec 2013 at 02:21 PM. Reason: embedded image
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  5. #4
    Brink's Avatar

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    As a test, disabled the Ethernet adapter in Network Connections, then see what do you see when you click/tap on the WWRV GS4 Wi-Fi connection in your screenshot above afterwards.
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  6. #5



    Junior Member

    Join Date : Dec 2013
    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1


    Unfortunately, it didn't change anything, other than the ethernet connection not being listed. See below screenshots.

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version
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  7. #6
    Brink's Avatar

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    In that case, check to make sure that network discovery is turned on for "Private" profiles, and see if you are able to change it afterwards.
    If not, then go head and delete your current wireless network profile, and set up the wireless network again to see if you may be able to set as private during the setup.
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  8. #7



    Junior Member

    Join Date : Dec 2013
    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1


    Verified discovery is turned on for private network.

    I tried both forgetting the network and deleting the profile via command prompt. Neither worked. Upon reconnecting to the wifi network, there is no prompt asking whether I want to share. It automatically assigns the network sharing. I noticed the absence of this prompt earlier, but what is interesting is that windows has always automatically assigned new networks as public. When I forced windows to forget my private network (or via deleting network profile), when I reconnected to the network with the password, windows automatically assigned it as a private network. There seems to be some memory of the network within windows which automatically assigns sharing based on the network's previous settings.

    As a test, I changed the router to a new network name, and windows automatically assigned it as public network.

    I did find another website which listed a registry edit workaround.

    HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Profiles

    Find network profile and change category value to "1" (private) from "0" (public). This works, but it seems ridiculous that I have to edit the registry to change the share settings on a network!

    Any other thoughts are much appreciated.
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  9. #8
    Brink's Avatar

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    us texas


    I'll look into seeing if I may be able to find an easier way if able, and add to the tutorial.
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  10. #9
    Brink's Avatar

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    Join Date : Jul 2009
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    64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise (RTM)
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    Spencer,

    I have yet to find another way to set the network location when it won't change normally. I've added Option Three to help others with the same issue.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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