Your PC has two network types, Public and Private. Say you goof and accidentally choose Public for your home network or Private (or Home) for Starbucks. If so, you need to change the network type.

In Windows 10, to change the network type for a wireless connection, you must disconnect from the network and forget that connection. Only when you reconnect to the network can you choose another type.

To change a wired connection’s network type in Windows 10, follow these steps:

  1. Press Win + I to summon the Settings app.

  2. Click the Network & Internet button.

  3. On the left side of the window, choose Ethernet.

  4. On the right side of the window, click the tile that reads Local Area Connection.

    The tile may have a different name, but it’s the one at the top of the right side of the window.

  5. To make the network private, set the toggle switch to the On position; for a public network, ensure that the setting is Off.

    The setting controls network access to your PC, so for a private or home network, turning on the setting is fine; for a public network, you want to turn off that setting.

In Windows 7, display the Network and Sharing Center window. Click the network type link, such as Home Network or Private Network. Choose a new network type from the Set Network Location window.

Always choose the Public network type when you’re using your PC or a laptop in a public location. This choice is the most secure.

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Dan Gookin is a gizmo geek who's been writing about technology for over 25 years. In 1991, his DOS For Dummies became the world's fastest-selling computer book and launched the For Dummies series. Dan's 130+ books have been translated into more than 30 languages. Visit his website at

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