In today’s Ask the Admin, I’ll show you how to change the network profile for your Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection in Windows 10 from Public to Private.
The default network profile for all new networks in Windows 10 is Public if your device is not joined to a domain. Network profiles work in conjunction with Windows Firewall to determine which inbound and outbound firewall rules should be applied when connected to a given network.
The Public profile provides the most protection and in general doesn’t allow Windows 10 to receive unsolicited connections from remote devices. However, on a home or work network, you may want more flexibility by setting the network to use the Private profile. By default some Windows services, such as Wireless Display and Network Discovery, require that the network profile be set to Private.
In Windows 10, Microsoft has moved the network profile setting into the Settings app. What’s more, you’ll need to logged in as an administrator to see the necessary configuration in the Settings app. Unfortunately, unlike the carefully engineered UAC in Vista and Windows 7, Windows 10 contains GUI inconsistencies in what can be accessed as a standard user.
In Windows 7, the control panel marked inaccessible settings with a UAC shield to indicate that you must elevate privileges to make changes but in Windows 10, unavailable settings are often hidden from standard users. Additionally, you can’t use the Run as administrator option to launch the Settings app with elevated privileges, so you must be logged in with an administrator account.
In this example, I’m going to set the network profile back to Public using PowerShell. Open a PowerShell prompt with elevated privileges and type the following netsh command to list the installed network interfaces on the device:
Now let’s get the current network profile for the network interface labelled ‘Wi-Fi’:
Finally, we’ll set the network profile for the Wi-Fi network interface to Public: