2010-05-20, Thu

How to convert a Public network to a Home or Work network in Windows 7

I’ve been working with VirtualBox’s Host-Only Network interface and noticed that Windows 7 automatically places the Host-Only Network interface under the “Public Network” category with no way to change it. Now this is annoying because each time I need to access my Virtual Machine, I’ll need to drop Windows Firewall on Public Network. Here’s how I fixed it.

It turns out, as a security measure, Windows 7 treats any network interface that doesn’t have a gateway set as an “Unidentified Network”. Consequently, all “Unidentified Networks” are placed in the Public Network. Here’s what you need to do to fix it.

  1. Open up the Network and Sharing Centre.
  2. Click on the network interface that you would like to convert to Home/Work. This should bring up the Status window for the said interface.
  3. Click the Details button. Note that there isn’t a value for IPv4 Default Gateway, though, in my case there is an IP Address for the IPv4 DHCP Server. Mine says – note that because it will be a safe dummy IP address to use.
  4. Close the Network Connection Details dialog box.
  5. Back on the network interface status window, click on Properties to bring up the Network Properties window.
  6. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click *Properties.
  7. Click on Advanced….
  8. Under Default gateways, click Add and enter a dummy Gateway IP Address (I used for mine).
  9. Add, OK, OK, OK and Close.
  10. A window should pop-up asking what category you would like to place the network interface under.
  11. Congratulations!
Isaac Su

tags: adapter firewall gateway home interface networking public unidentified windows-7 work



  1. Nope, doesn’t work.

    No matter how I play with disabling/enabling/deleting/reinstalling the drivers, the network is always unidentified/public.

    And just so you know, following these 11 steps to the letter, which is the first thing I tried, doesn’t do anything either.

    So can you be a bit more specific to the exact circumstances needed to get this trick to work?

    — Martijn · Sep 6, 07:42 AM · #

  2. Doesn’t work for me either in 2017. while it looks like I can set a gateway, it doesn’t save, “ipconfig” shows it as, and IPv4 properties continues to be blank gateway.

    I’m trying other things, but this is wrong.

    — clint · Jun 27, 05:38 PM · #

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