Change the network location type in Windows 8

During configuration of Windows 8 machine I have noticed that I wasn’t asked (or maybe I was) to choose the network location type for my current network. By the type of network I mean options like Home (Private), Work or a Public network.

With this selection you are automatically choosing the proper Windows firewall profile. Unfortunately my network was automatically configured as a Public network.

As you can see from the picture below, Public network is not clickable so I am unable to change it.

network location type

To change the network type you should do the following:

Hit Winkey + R to open Run prompt and type gpedit.msc
Navigate to: Computer Configuration | Windows Settings | Security Setting | Network List Manager Policies
Choose your Network name from the right pane. In my case the network name was “Network 2″
Go to Network Location tab and change the Location type from Not configured to Private.

network location type

Close Local Policy Editor and you’re done. Simple as that 🙂
If you are using non-pro version of Windows 8, here’s what you should do to be able to change the network location type:

Open the Notepad and paste the following code in it:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Signatures\EveryNetwork]
"IconReadOnly"=dword:-

Save it with a .reg extension and import the key to your registry by double clicking on it. Or you can download the file I made and import it to your registry:
Reg File Download

Note:
Unpack the .zip file and double click on the .reg file to import the key to your registry. After you have imported the key, close the registry editor. Now you should be able to click on the Network Location Type (ie. Public Network) and change it to whatever you want.

Feel free to post your comments below.

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25 Responses

  1. Drew says:

    Except not everyone has gpedit only Windows 8 Pro.

  2. amielDH says:

    THANKS SO MUCH!! Solved my problem! 🙂

  3. Chuck says:

    I don’t seem to have secpol.msc or gpedit.msc on my Windows 8, are there any other way to get to these settings?

    I’m not sure how to find my specific version of Win 8 but would be happy to follow any directions to try anything! I’ve subscribed to this thread.

    • Nik says:

      @Chuck

      Please add this key to your registry:
      Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

      [quote][HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Signatures\EveryNetwork]
      “IconReadOnly”=dword:-[/quote]

      Open new Notepad file, copy/paste the code above and save it with a .reg extension. Double click on it and import it into the registry.
      Public Network should be linkable/changeable now.

      Regards,
      Nik

      • Chuck says:

        Thanks Nik. That lets me change the network type. I’m still having trouble scanning documents to my Windows 8 desktop.
        I’m thinking I may have to wait for updates from my copier manufacture (Savin C2525) for full function.

        Thanks again for your help though. That at least allows me use/access a shared folder from another computer to work around my scanning issues.

  4. samdeesh says:

    its not able to find secpol.msc or gpedit.msc in my windows 8
    i have added the registry file
    what to do i need to change it. plzzzzz help me

  5. DKA says:

    After migrating files over to my new Win8 Pro installation from another box in the same workgroup, I was taken aback to discover to discover my current network profile was no longer listed as Private, but Public. What settings had I altered to effect this change? Of course, after the sharing and file transfers completed, I set out to lock down my system, reconfiguring every setting I could think, including the obvious choices in Network and Sharing Center\Advanced sharing settings (Private, Public, and All Networks.) I even made sure File and Printer Sharing for MS Networks was disabled on the Networking tab of the Ethernet Properties sheet. However, attempting to return these settings to the state where the profile read Private, including employing Group Policy Editor and the Local Security Policy console, proved futile.

    To be continued…

  6. DKA says:

    New to Windows users though, is another control, peculiar to Win8: the Network charm. Toggle your network’s current profile between Public and Private by alternating the setting in Share or Connect to Devices. After clicking on the Network charm, right click on the entry of the network in question and choose Turn Sharing On or Off. Seemingly less secure, but apparently in name only, your profile will switch to Public after sharing is halted! If you’ll want to share, you have to do so under the auspices of a Private network. Either way, presumably you are protected.

  7. DKA says:

    Now, post Windows installation, how many of you haven’t created a second login account to run all routine processes as a standard user? It’s incredible that Microsoft, against the grain of its own Trustworthy Computing initiative, asks users to create the system’s first account, during installation, using the name of their Microsoft account instead of a local account. Security best practices mandates otherwise. First, name the administrator account, and once signed in, create your standard user, whether local or Live.

  8. chako says:

    I am loosing patience with windows 8. Time to make a different move I think. This is way to much to have to do for a problem that should never have happened. Welcome to Vista Version 2.0

  9. ko says:

    Tried all this. Windows 8 pro. Just can’t make my Himachi network “private”. Stuck and out of ideas…

    • Nik says:

      I don’t think you need to change the Hamachi network type. It should be ‘Private’ by default as it uses VPN connection to connect 2 remote machines.

  10. ko says:

    I can ping via the Himachi IP. Remote Desktop is blocked (firewall is open, works with local IP). My working theory is it is blocked due to “public” network designation.

  11. Devin says:

    I changed my network type from public to private by opening the control panel > network and internet > view network computers and devices….it than gave me a popup bar along the top of the window asking if i wanted to enable sharing because it was disabled (or something along those lines) I clicked on the popup bar and it gave another popup with options to change current network type to private or enable sharing on all public networks. i chose to change current network to private and am good to go.

  12. ko says:

    A registry hack was able to fix it:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Profiles\
    open the network profile that you have to change and modify the “Category” value:
    0 = public
    1 = private
    2 = domain

  13. Will Sargent says:

    Under Administrative Tools, Local Security Policy -> Network List Manager Policies –> Click Unidentified Networks and select “Private” for location.

    This will set Neorouter and Hamachi to private status. There is no other way that I have found at this time.

    Make sure that when connecting to other wireless networks, you use the network charm (click the network icon in the taskbar, the bar that flies out from the right is the network charm bar) and right click the wireless/network and select turn sharing on (private) or off (public).

  14. SKE65535 says:

    Just to reinforce what many of you have noted…..

    MS simply does not understand how to get this right. I would love to sit in on MS OS meetings listening to all the justifications as to why stuff remains broke after many years.

    Each and every version of the OS has this NIC configuration bug. Windows 8 is more frustrating than previous in that during initial setup of your OS, the OS will out of nowhere popup that stupid (but so pretty) blue panel on the right side of the screen, and if you were just about to type something else, into some completely unrelated field, that stupid blue panel will take focus, capture your keystroke and of course, 99.9% of the time, set your network type to public – and you will have to sit there wondering why you can’t get to your LAN. At that point, you are up the creek unless you know about the GPEDIT or registry setting. It is amazing that they just can’t get it right.

    Fix it MS!

  15. Mathias says:

    Swipe out the fancy sidebar on the right of the screen.
    Click settings
    Click network
    Right click your network name
    Click “Turn Sharing on or off”
    Choose to share with the network
    Its now private!

    So easy task, so difficult to figure out. 😮
    Windows 8 is the perfect digital photo-frame operating system. Nothing more.. I love my Mac even more now 🙂

  16. Charles says:

    I’m using Windows 8 Pro on one desktop and windows 7 ultimate on another. I started a homegroup on with 7 Ultimate, but windows 8 will not find it. I tried changing the network type to public using method described above, but it doesn’t actually change it where it shows in the screen as you gave the example under active networks. This is yet one more way WINDOWS tries to force people into upgrading OS’ to their latest but oh so not the greatest. Hey Microsoft, try fixing problems by just working on the problems and stop making stupid frivolous changes that make things even harder. I mean having to use GPEDIT or even edit the registry just to change network type from private to public. Come on!! Oh and on top of that, it didn’t even actually change mine, even after disable and re-enable of network adaptor. I even when so far as forgetting the wireless network and then re-adding it. Microsoft is losing and fast!!!!

  17. Mesh says:

    Great, only one con though – unidentified network cannot be named.

  18. Rahul Baruri RIpan says:

    Really , It helped me….carry on.

  19. Bill says:

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Signatures\EveryNetwork]
    “IconReadOnly”=dword:-

    – does not exist (on Win 8.1 non-pro, anyways).
    – fails at ‘CurrentVersion’ (as in, not present).

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