When you are signing in to your account for the very first time, Windows 10 asks you which kind of network you are connecting to: Private or Public. If you decide later to change the access type of the network you are connected to, you can add a useful context menu to the Desktop in Windows 10 to do it faster.
If your network is Private, the OS will turn on network discovery. For a Public network, discovery and access will be limited. You won't be able to browse the Windows network from other PCs and their shares. If you need to access your computer from a remote PC or browse the PCs and devices on your local network, you need to set it to Private.
If you add a special context menu to your Desktop, you will be able to switch the network type with one click. Here is how.
Before proceeding, ensure that your user account has administrative privileges. Now, follow the instructions below.
To add the network location type context menu in Windows 10, do the following.
Apply the Registry tweak listed below. Paste its contents inside Notepad and save as a *.reg file.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\ChangeNetworkLocation] "HasLUAShield"="" "MUIVerb"="Change Network Location" "Position"="Middle" "SubCommands"="" [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\ChangeNetworkLocation\Shell\PrivateNetwork] "HasLUAShield"="" "MUIVerb"="Private network" [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\ChangeNetworkLocation\Shell\PrivateNetwork\command] @="PowerShell -windowstyle hidden -Command \"Start-Process PowerShell -ArgumentList '$net = get-netconnectionprofile;Set-NetConnectionProfile -Name $net.Name -NetworkCategory Private' -Verb RunAs\"" [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\ChangeNetworkLocation\Shell\PublicNetwork] "HasLUAShield"="" "MUIVerb"="Public network" [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\ChangeNetworkLocation\Shell\PublicNetwork\command] @="PowerShell -windowstyle hidden -Command \"Start-Process PowerShell -ArgumentList '$net = get-netconnectionprofile;Set-NetConnectionProfile -Name $net.Name -NetworkCategory Public' -Verb RunAs\""
In Notepad, press Ctrl + S or execute the File - Save item from the File menu. This will open the Save dialog. There, type or copy-paste the name "Network Location.reg" including quotes.
Double quotes are important to ensure that the file will get the "*.reg" extension and not *.reg.txt. You can save the file to any desired location, for example, you can put it in your Desktop folder.
Double click the file you created, confirm the import operation and you are done.
Now, right-click the empty space on your Desktop. You'll get the following context menu:
To understand how this tweak works, refer to my previous article where I explained how to change the network location type with PowerShell in Windows 10. See
You can enable or disable the Change Network Location context menu quickly using Winaero Tweaker. It comes with the following UI:
Download the app from here: Download Winaero Tweaker
To save your time, I made ready-to-use Registry files. You can download them here:
Winaero greatly relies on your support. You can help the site keep bringing you interesting and useful content and software by using these options: