Customize networks in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008

Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 7

You can use this procedure to customize the way a network is displayed in the Network and Sharing Center for standard users.

When Windows detects a new network, it is displayed in the Network and Sharing Center by using the Domain Name System (DNS) domain name associated with that network. A default icon appears, based on the selection of public, private, or domain network that is assigned to the network. You can change the displayed name to something more recognizable to the user on the computer, such as "Contoso Corporate Network" rather than the default of something similar to "". You can also change the icon that appears.

If the network is not associated with a domain, then you can also choose between private and public network location types.


Your selection of a network location type has security implications that you must understand. Selecting the private network location type allows more network services to operate than are appropriate on a public network. Ensure that you select the network location type appropriate for your network.

Membership in the local Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure.

To customize the appearance of a network in the Network and Sharing Center

  1. Start Network and Sharing Center.

  2. On the right-hand edge of the window, click Customize next to the network you want to change.

  3. In the Network name text box, enter the display text you want Windows to use to identify your network.

  4. In the Location type section, select either Public or Private. This option is only available if the computer is not a member of a domain on this network.

  5. Click Change to select an icon, or to choose a custom icon to represent your network.

  6. If Windows has created multiple network locations for a network that you want treated as a single network, you can click Merge or delete network locations to consolidate them, or to delete locations you no longer need.

See Also


Manage the Network Icon, Network Location, and Network Map
Administer Network and Sharing Center