Change your Windows 7 network location to Public, Home or Work, in 2 steps

The network location in Windows is that setting which tells the operating system whether to make your computer discoverable on the network and whether to share files (or not) w ith other computers and devices on the network. The network location is set by the user when connecting for the first time to a new network. However, you might have made a wrong setting or you have changed your mind and you want to set a different network location. Here’s how to change the network location at any time, for any network connection, in Windows 7:

IMPORTANT: In order to be able to do this you have to be logged into your Windows 7 computer with a user account that has administrator privileges. If you need a refresher on the purpose of network locations in Windows, what they mean and what they do, read this guide: What are network locations in Windows?.

Step 1: Open the Network and Sharing Center

First, you need to open the Network and Sharing Center. One way to do this is to open the Control Panel and then go to “Network and Internet -> Network and Sharing Center”. In the middle of this window, you can see your active network connection and the profile that is currently set.

Step 2: Change the network location

If you want to change the network location that is set for your active network connection, in the Network and Sharing Center window, click on the name of the network location that is currently set, just beneath the network name.

The “Set Network Location window opens and you see the three possible choices you have for setting the network profile: Home network, Work network and Public network.

Click the network location that you want to assign and the change is made. Windows 7 informs you of this change. Click Close and you are done.


As you can see, with one quick setting, you can set Windows 7 so that it turns all the appropriate network discovery and sharing features on or off. If you are looking for other useful tips and tricks about networking in Windows, don’t hesitate to read the articles recommended below.