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Published on 07.20.09 by Brent Trahan

Change the Network Location

Learn how to change Windows 7’s network location to Home, Work, or Public and the differences between them.

What are network locations?

A network location automatically sets the appropriate firewall and security settings based on the network type (network location).

Here are Windows 7’s network locations and a brief description of each of them.

  • Home Network: For home networks or when you trust people or devices on the network. Computers on a home network can belong to a Homegroup. Network discovery is also turned on. Network discovery allows the computer to see other computers and devices on the network and other computers and devices can see it.
  • Work Network: For a small office or other workplace networks. Network discovery is turned on but it can’t belong to or create a Homegroup.
  • Public Network: For public places like a coffee shop or the airport. The computer is completely hidden from other computers on the network. The computer can’t see other computers on the network as well.
  • Domain Network: For domain networks in large corporate environments. This type of network is controlled by a network administrator and can’t be changed.

How to Change the Network Location

In this example I’m going to change my network location from Work to Home.

  1. Open Control Panel from the Start menu.
  2. Open Network and Sharing Center in the Control Panel.

    change-windows-7-network-location-1

    Note: If Network and Sharing Center is not available, change View by to Large icons at the top right of the Control Panel.

  3. Select the current network location in the active networks section (work network in this example).

    change-windows-7-network-location-2

  4. Select the new network location.

    change-windows-7-network-location-3

Still need help? Ask your computer question now.

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5 Responses to “Change the Network Location”

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  1. echo says:

    i’m still confused the difference between home and work network.

  2. ronny says:

    Still don’t have access to do this… you have a “work Network” link in blue… I don’t have a clickable link there. How do I get that link?

  3. jfm says:

    im having this problem 2

  4. Dave says:

    This doesn’t work. When I click on “work network”,nothing happens.
    I am technically “challenged” – other help threads offer extremely complicated ( to me ) solutions – anything easier to get this to work?

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