It is usually easy to change your network location type. You simply go to the control panel, then the network and sharing center, then click on the network type to see options to change. But sometimes the option to change your network location is greyed out. Other times you can still click on it but you are still not allowed to change the network location.
Even if you can click on the link to change the network location, sometimes it just won’t work.
It allows you to choose a network location but when you do…
You see a message saying that “Windows could not set the network settings”. You can try to change this settings late r in the Network and sharing Center.
We can solve this problem but there are two ways. One way involves entering the Windows registry, (which is not recommended for the inexperienced computer user), and the other is to enter the Local Group Policy Editor (which is also not recommended).
The reason for two different ways to enable the changing of your network location is that the Local Group Policy is not available to HOME versions of the Windows operating system.
So lets see how to change your computer’s network location…
Change Your Network Type When Greyed Out – Regedit.exe
For this part of the tutorial you will need to enter the Windows registry.
1. Go to the Windows start menu.
2. Type in regedit.exe and click on the link that comes up in the menu above. The registry will open.
3. Press the plus sign next to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, then press the plus sign next to SOFTWARE.
4. Then navigate to Microsoft, Windows NT, Current Version, Network List.
5. Finally you will see Profiles. Press the plus sign and there will be various profiles there. Please note that I had many network profiles there but deleted them and only kept the one I needed.
6. Select the profile by making it blue. In the right pane I can see this profile name so I know it is the right network.
7. Right click on the word category and a menu will appear. Choose modify.
8. Set the value to 1 for Home Network, 0 for Public Network.
9. Press OK and your done.
Change Your Network Type When Greyed Out – Gpedit.msc
If you have access to the Local Group Policy Editor then you can change the settings to allow users to change the network location.
1. Press the Winkey + R on your keyboard to open Run box.
2. Type gpedit.msc and then press enter on the keyboard.
3. In the left pane, click on Computer Configuration, then Windows Settings.
4. In the right pane click on Security Settings, then double click on Network List Manager Policies.
5. Choose the network you want to change the location for. (mine was just called network). Double click to open the properties.
6. Go to Network Location tab and change the Location type from Public to Private.
7. Also choose the option that says to allow users to change the network location.
8. Press apply and then OK to close.
Change Your Network Location in Windows Through Local Group Policy – Video Tutorial
Why You Need To Change Your Network Location?
There are four types of network locations, home, work, public, and domain, but two are important for home users to recognise and will be the most commonly used. These are the home network and the public network.
When you first connect to a new network you are usually asked to choose your network location, unless of course it is pre-configured. By setting a particular network location you’re also telling the firewall and other security settings how to treat this connection. For example if you connect to a network inside your own home then it is a home network and will be treated as such. If you connect to a network at your local cafe you need to make the network public as you personally have no say in who also have access to this network.
Choosing a Public network will keep your computer from being visible to other computers around you, because other complete strangers are connecting to the same network. Certain settings are disabled when choosing a public network. For example network discovery and homegroup options are turned off by default.
When a public network is the network location in your home, this can cause problems with seeing other computers and sharing files and printers.