If you’d like to make your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC discoverable on your network and to use file and printer sharing, you’ll have to switch your Wi-Fi network’s profile from Public to Private. We’ll walk you through the steps to make this change on your computer.
What’s the Difference Between a Public and a Private Network?
When you first connect your PC to a wireless network, Windows asks if you’d like to treat the network as Public or Private.
If you choose Public, Windows ensures your PC is not detectable on the network. It also disables file and printer sharing features so other devices on the network don’t use these options for your machine. You should use the Public profile for the networks usually found at airports and coffee shops (basically the least trusted ones).
On the other hand, if you go for the Private profile, Windows allows your PC to be discovered on the network. You can also use file and printer sharing features while using this profile. The Private profile should be used for your trusted networks, like the ones you have at your home.
Later, if you decide to change your network profile, it’s quick and easy to do that on your machine.
Switch to the Private Profile for Wi-Fi on Windows 10
To use the Private profile for your network, first, locate the Wi-Fi icon in your PC’s system tray (the bar at the bottom of your screen). Then click this icon.
From the menu that opens, beneath your Wi-Fi network, click “Properties.”
On the Wi-Fi page that opens, in the “Network Profile” section, enable the “Private” option.
Tip: Later, to go back to the Public profile, enable the “Public” option.
Windows will automatically save your changes, and you’re now using the Private profile for your chosen network. Enjoy!
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Use the Private Profile for Your Wireless Network on Windows 11
To switch to the Private profile on your Windows 11 PC, first, right-click the Wi-Fi icon in your PC’s system tray (the bar at the bottom of your screen) and choose “Network and Internet Settings.”
You’ll see a “Network & Internet” page. Here, next to your network’s name at the top, select “Properties.”
On the Wi-Fi page, from the “Network Profile Type” section, choose “Private.”
Tip: In the future, to go back to the Public profile, activate the “Public (Recommended)” option.
Your Windows 11 PC now uses the Private profile for your selected network. You’re all done.
And that’s how you make your Windows PC discoverable on your network by switching to the Private profile!
Want to get rid of a saved Wi-Fi network on your Windows PC? If so, it’s also quick and easy to do that.
RELATED: How to Delete a Saved Wi-Fi Network on Windows 10