• Network changing from private to public on reboot

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    #2504066

    A family member has a PC (Win 11 home) and a laptop (Win 10 home) connected to a 4G router. They were having trouble printing and I noticed the network was set to public. I changed it to private which fixed the problem but on reboot the network changes back to public. Windows actually shows the network as Public (recommended) rather than just public.

    I haven’t been able to work out what is causing the network to revert to public. I could turn on file and printer sharing for public networks on the PC but I don’t want to do this for the laptop as it will connect to other networks occasionally.

    Is there a solution please or can anyone point me in the right direction for troubleshooting?

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    • #2504076

      Some more info may help…

      Q. Does this issue affect both devices or just one?

      Q. How do the devices connect to the router? Wired or wireless?

      Q. Do you see ‘Unidentified network’ in the Network and Sharing Center?

      unidentified_network

      Q. Do you use Avast as a third-party AV (this has been known to be a cause).

      Q. Do you use Outlook for email (again, this has been known to be a cause).

      Q. What troubleshooting have you tried (so no-one suggests something that’s already been ineffective).

      Hope this helps…

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      • #2504171

        Thank you so much for replying. Your questions prompted me to visit the setup again in person to make sure I was answering accurately and in doing that I may have found the solution. I discovered that the printer had been moved from elsewhere but never been re-set so its network addresses related to the previous router. Everything was out of range of the new one so I’m surprised printing was working at all but it was some of the time even though prints could take 30 mins to appear. Anyway I reset the printer and re-installed it on the PC and laptop. At the moment printing is working ok.

        The real bonus was that when I re-started the PC – and I did that twice to be sure – the network stayed private! I don’t know why Win 11 would be unhappier than Win 10 about out of range addresses? Perhaps it was the different default gateway? I was able to reproduce the private/public problem on my own Win 11 laptop that I took with me and it also went away after re-installing the printer.

        I’ve seen several threads on other sites describing the same problem but with no solution so understanding why might be more generally useful.

         

        Q. Does this issue affect both devices?

        Neither of the devices can print reliably but it’s only the network on the Win11 PC that’s changing to public on re-boot

        Q. How do the devices connect to the router? Wired or wireless?

        wireless

        Q. Do you see ‘Unidentified Network’ in the Network and Sharing Center?

        No, the network is correctly identified

        Q. Do you use Avast as a third-party AV (this has been known to be a cause).

        No

        Q. Do you use Outlook for email (again, this has been known to be a cause).

        Yes

    • #2504182

      Q. Do you see ‘Unidentified Network’ in the Network and Sharing Center?

      No, the network is correctly identified

      The reason I asked was, if you were printing to a printer name (instead of to an IP address) and the printer was inadvertently on a different network segment (as you say it was) then this may have resulted in ‘Unidentified Network’, which – in turn – would have caused an automatic change from ‘private’ to ‘public’ as network discovery tried to work out routing between the 2 networks.

      Once the printer’s settings were changed to the same network segment then the Windows 11 device would have no need to change to ‘public’.

      As for why only the Windows 11 device was affected, I suspect this is the result of Win 11’s enhanced security, i.e. it errs on the side of caution more than Windows 10 does with misconfigured peripherals.

      The proof of the pudding of course is whether a) the Windows 11 device retains its ‘private’ network setting (as Windows Home editions don’t include local security policy which can be used to force network identification); and b) whether printing becomes more reliable.

      I’ve always found assigning static IP addresses to printers to be more resilient than DHCP… and, if necessary, using the IP address rather than the printer name. It’s just a little more work to set it up.

      Hope this helps…

    • #2509585

      Thanks for the extra info. Printing is still ok after a week and the network on the Win 11 PC has remained private so I’m happy this is resolved. My mistake was believing the public network was the actual problem (as it often has been with other sharing issues) rather than just a symptom of something else. In several decades of working with PCs this is the first time I’ve seen a network change back to public after a reboot.

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