Windows 7 Network connections are stuck in Public mode

Applies to: Windows 7 EnterpriseWindows 7 Home BasicWindows 7 Home Premium


You may be unable to change or set your network connection location when attempting to connect to a network using a Windows 7-based computer. The location associated to the network connection may not be a clickable link.


This issue can occur if you have at inadvertently selected the checkbox beside the option to Treat all future networks that I connect to as public, and don’t ask me again. Once this option is set, you may be unable to change this setting.


To resolve this issue follow the steps listed below:

  1. Close or suspend any applications that uses the network.
  2. Click Start, type device manager in the Search programs and files box, and then press Enter.
  3. Browse list of devices and click to expand Network adapters
  4. Right-click on the first adapter under Network Adapters and click Disable.

    (Repeat this step for all network adapters on your system under Network Adapters).

    Note After each change, Device Manager will rescan your hardware. Your monitor may blink when refreshed, this is expected.
  5. While still in Device Manager, re-enable only the adapter that’s associated with the public-network setting that you are trying to change.
    (Example, if you’re trying to connect to your wireless network, enable the wireless adapter.)

    Note Your system will notice your network reappearing and try to connect. This connection attempt may fail, but that’s ok, this is expected.
  6. Click Start, and type Network and sharing Center in the Search programs and files box, and then click Network and Sharing Center, from the list
  7. In the lower left side of the dialog box, click Choose homegroup and sharing options.
  8. Click What is a network location?, and select your network location.

    Note If you want to continue setting up a homegroup, follow the remaining prompts. But a homegroup isn’t required, so you also can simply exit the homegroup setup after you select the correct network location.
  9. The last step is to re-enable your remaining adapters, one by one in Device Manager. To do this simply Right-click each of the disabled adapters under Network Adapters and click Enable.
  10. When all Network Adapters are enabled, close the Device Manager and youre done.


For more information about Windows 7 Network and Online, visit the following Microsoft Website: