Change the Location of a Network from Private to Public in Windows 8.1

When connecting to a new network in Windows 8.1, you are asked whether you want to find PCs, devices and content on the network. If you answer Yes, the location of the network is set as Private and if you answer No, the location is set as Public. But what if you have made a mistake and you want to change the location from Private to Public or vice-versa? Here's how to change it.

How to Access the Network Connections Listed in PC Settings

The first step is to open PC Settings. If you don't know how, read this tutorial: Six Ways to Access PC Settings.

Then, click or tap Network and then Connections.

Here you will see the network connections that are available to you. Click or tap the network whose location you want changed. A new screen is shown with a couple of switches and the properties of that network connection.

How to Change the Profile of the Active Network Connection

The first section is named "Find devices and content" and it has only one switch. Even though it might not be obvious, this switch is for changing the location assigned to that network connection.

Set the switch to On so that the network location is set to Private. Set the switch to Off so that the network location is set to Public.

Then, close PC Settings.

To double check that the network location has been changed and the appropriate network sharing settings are applied, open the Network and Sharing Center. There you will see the active location for your network connection.


As you can see, changing the network location in Windows 8.1 is not as hard as it seems at first sight. But you do need some exercise until it feels intuitive and all the steps are easy to remember. If you would like to learn more about network locations and other networking related tips, don't hesitate to read the articles recommended below.