Since Windows 7 the OS has had the concept of Public and Private network locations designed help protect Windows when on a public network. With Windows in a public network you can’t browse other devices, other devices can’t see your PC on the network and you can’t connect to DLNA and network media services. When you join a network with Windows 10 it will ask if you want to enable device discovery for the selected network, if you say yes it will flag the network as private and if you say no it will mark the network as public.
I noticed that during the upgrade process from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 most of my network locations were changed from Private to Public so my HomeGroup setup no longer worked nor did Windows Media Player library sharing. Even after installing I have seen previously selected Private network had somehow changed to Public.
So how do you change your network location to Private? Each version of Windows seems to change how to set the network location and here is a simple way to change it in Windows 10. There are many other ways to change but this method works for me, see the comments for some other ways.
Note: Don’t set your location to Private on a network you don’t trust, if you do your computer could be at risk!
How to change your network location to Private in Windows 10:
- In the search/Cortana box type “Network and Sharing Center” (or right click on the network icon in the taskbar and select “Open Network Sharing Center”)
Click on the HomeGroup link at the bottom left of the screen
Windows will tell you can’t connect to a homegroup and the network must be set to Private. Click on the link that says “Change network location”
Windows will then ask you if you want to allow your PC to be discoverable by other PCs on the network say Yes
The location will then be changed to Private and the PC will try searching for a Homegroup.
Now your PC is on a Private network you will be able to browse other computers and use features like sharing Windows Media Player Libraries and DLNA.