Fix a Windows 7 network connection stuck in public mode

Microsoft released a fix today for an issue with network connections being stuck in public mode. When you connect to a network, there is an option called “Treat all future networks that I connect to as public, and don’t ask me again” which after selecting, you may not be able to change.

The fix can be downloaded from Microsoft Support KB and then click the Microsoft Fix It button which will download a program. Run that program and it will guide you through the fix.

There are also manual instructions which are:

  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 is 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 you’re done.