I use a laptop both at home and work. On my Windows 7 laptop, it let me specify the work network as Work and my home network as Home, and associated sharing settings and default printers accordingly.

Now I am using a Windows 8 machine and I don't see the ability to separate Work and Home networks in the same way. I even found that I was connected to my homegroup from home when logged in at work on my laptop (essentially, creating the homegroup in the internal work network).

Is there a way to configure Windows 8 so that I can have my separate Work and Home network locations again?


I believe that the first time you're connected to a network you're prompted to enable or disable sharing, which depending on the answer labels it as a public or a private network; at least that's how it always happened to me.

If you want to change that for a network you're already connected to, go to Settings in the charm bar (Win+C for example) and click over the network icon.

You'll see something like this:


Then right click the connection you want and select Turn sharing on or off (there may be more things, like clearing saved credentials), you'll then be presented with a menu like this one where you can change it:

Sharing menu

The same Networks menu can be accessed left clicking the network system tray icon in the classic desktop. To confirm it or check the kind of network you're connected to open the network and sharing center (right click in the network systray icon) and there you can see it:

Network and sharing center overview

  • so it does not actually save a profile for each connection you set up? – Moab Nov 5 '12 at 20:43
  • I did see this, and I selected the second option (Yes). However, both my home and work networks apply to that option, and aren't separated. I want my computer to treat home differently from work (different sharing settings, but enabled, and different default printers). – Ben Richards Nov 5 '12 at 20:43
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    I believe this is about as good as it gets in Windows 8... I just spent about half an hour on two different Windows 8 machines and it does seem like they have toned down the "locations" to just Private or Public, rather than the more explicit options from Windows 7. – Windos Nov 5 '12 at 20:43
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    @Windos Personally, I asked because I find that hard to believe. It does appear that way, but since Windows is used significantly in the workplace, and BYOD is only gaining in popularity, it seems odd they'd dumb this feature down at all. – Ben Richards Nov 5 '12 at 20:44
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    I think that they may have gone with the thinking that "If it truly is a work network, then it will be a domain." It's a shame, and I'll keep looking for a solution because this will probably stop me upgrading my personal laptop (which sometimes follows me to work.) – Windos Nov 5 '12 at 20:46

I recently got a new laptop (Sony VAIO Duo 11).

On this computer, Sony has included a "VAIO Control Center" utility. Under the "Network" settings, they actually included this functionality. They call it Network Profiles. It actually appears to cover all the functionality (that I cared about) of the Windows 7's default behavior, but with the added benefit of being able to manually create multiple networks beyond just "Home", "Work", and "Public".

This is a screenshot of what I have just configured:

enter image description here

It lets you configure separate network settings, including default printers, for different network locations. While this is a vender-specific tool, it indicates that it can be done (at least through a third party). Perhaps a generic tool also exists somewhere.

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