Set the network profile type to public or private on Windows

By default, all Wi-Fi networks on Windows are treated as public networks. However, you can always change the network profile type from public to private (and vice versa).


Windows allows you to set the network profile type for each network individually. We will walk you through four different methods to change network profile type on Windows. But first, let’s quickly understand the difference between a public and a private network on Windows.


What is the difference between public and private networks on Windows?

The type of network profile you choose affects how Windows handles a network.

For example, when you set a network as Private, Windows enables the network discovery feature. This allows other computers on the same network to connect to your system. This allows you to exchange files and share printers with other computers on the network. However, only use this option if you know and trust the people and devices on the network.

If you set a network as Public, Windows also disables the network discovery feature and imposes various firewall restrictions. This will prevent your PC from appearing on the network, effectively preventing others from connecting to it. If you’re using Wi-Fi in a coffee shop, airport, library, or other public location, set the network profile type to Public.

1. Set the network profile to public or private via Settings app

The Settings app provides an easy way to change the network profile type in Windows 11. Here are the steps to follow.

  1. Open the Home menu and click on the gear icon or use the Win + I shortcut to launch the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to Network & Internet > Wi-Fi. If it is a wired connection, click Ethernet instead of.
  3. Click on the name of your network to open its properties.
  4. below Network profile typeselect Public network or Private network.
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You can repeat the above steps to change the network profile type for other saved networks as well.

2. Set the network profile to public or private with Windows PowerShell

Windows PowerShell is a reliable tool for performing various administrative tasks and troubleshooting system problems. You can also use the tool to change the network profile type of your current network.

Follow these steps to change the network profile type using Windows PowerShell.

  1. Press Win + X or right click on the Start icon to open the master user menu.
  2. Select Windows PowerShell (Administrator) from the list.
  3. Select Yes when the User Account Control (UAC) prompt appears.
  4. Run the following command to view the current network profile type for your network.
    Get-NetConnectionProfile
  5. Check your network’s profile type via the NetworkCategory field.
  6. Run the following command to change the type of network profile for your network.
    Set-NetConnectionProfile -Name "NetworkName" -NetworkCategory <Type>

To replace Network name in the above command with the actual name of your network. To replace with network profile type—Public or Private.

After running the above command, the network profile type will be changed.

3. Set the network profile to public or private using the Registry Editor

Another way to change the network profile type in Windows is through the Registry Editor. As you may know, modifying registry files without knowledge is risky. Therefore, only use this method if you know what you are doing.

Even if you are familiar with editing registry files, you should consider creating a restore point before proceeding with the changes below. If you need help, see our guide on how to create a restore point in Windows and follow the steps described there.

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After you create a restore point, use the following steps to change the network profile type in Windows.

  1. Click the search icon on the taskbar or press Win + S to open the search menu.
  2. Type registry editor and select the first result that appears.
  3. Select Yes when the User Account Control (UAC) prompt appears.
  4. Use the left pane to navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows NT > CurrentVersion > NetworkList > Profiles.
  5. Within the Profiles key, you will find several subkeys, each representing a stored type of network profile. You can select a key and check it Profile name from the right pane.
  6. Once you find the key that matches your network, double click on the Category DWORD value.
  7. In the Value data field, enter to set the network type to: Public. If you want to set the network profile type as Privateenter 1.
  8. Click Okay to save changes.

You must restart your PC for the network profile change to take effect.

4. Set the network profile to Public or Private via Local Security Policy

Finally, you can also change the network profile type in Windows using the Local Security Policy app. Setting the network profile type with Local Security Policy overrides the user’s choice in the Settings app. This way you can prevent other users from changing the network profile type without your permission.

It’s worth noting that this method only works if you’re using the Professional, Education, or Enterprise edition of Windows. If you are using Windows Home edition, you have to rely on the methods mentioned above.

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Follow the steps below to change your network profile type to Public or Private using the local security policy.

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run command.
  2. Type secpol.msc in the Open field and press Enter.
  3. Select Yes when the User Account Control (UAC) prompt appears.
  4. In the Local Security Policy window, click Network List Manager Policy from the left pane.
  5. Double-click the name of your network to open its properties.
  6. Switch to the Network location tab.
  7. Below the Location type section, select Public or Private.
  8. below User rightsselect User cannot change location, to prevent others from changing the type of network profile for your network. If you do not want to impose such a restriction, select Not set or Users can change the location instead of.
  9. Click Okay to save changes.

Changing the Network Profile Type on Windows, Made Easyu

In most cases, you should set your network connection type as public. Unless, of course, you want to share files and printer devices with other PCs on the network. In any case, changing the network profile type on Windows is easy and you can use any of the methods mentioned above.

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