Since Windows 7, Microsoft have been pushing Network Awareness in the modern Windows OS. This is the ability of the OS to distinct between Public and Private Networks so that resources can be made available or protected given the type of network. In Windows 8, since Developer Preview till 8.0, you could either turn ON or OFF the Private Network feature in “Network and Sharing Center” on the Desktop’s Networking Control Panel as below 


or via the Share Charm in the Metro environment by clicking the Network icon to get the following:


But since Windows 8.1 debuted, Microsoft removed the setting from both locations indicated above, you could only set now in the expanded Metro-settings: Charm > Settings > Change PC Settings > Network > Connections as indicated in this Microsoft blog post and as shown below:


But after a few Windows 8.1 updates from MS, we’ve noticed this setting in now gone from the Metro Network Settings page, and there is no other place you can set the network as private by activating Sharing for a network.

This may be me in this case, but I have wasted hours and hours in hooks and corners of Windows 8 searching for this setting. You can’t set it on the desktop control panel, not via Charms and definitely not in the Metro Settings. Question then is what happened? Is this by omission of by commission on the part of Microsoft? If you’re lucky you might find that via notification bar on Windows Explorer, you can activate Network Sharing which effectively sets your network to Private mode. However, you don’t have an option to turn it off to public since a point in time after Windows 8.1 updates. Of course you always bring out the big guns by forcing this via PowerShell commands, but that is not the point here. We can’t ask normal users to start messing around in PowerShell console.

Does any of you have the same experience like us, or you’re running Windows 8.1 and you have this option to turn ON of Off the private network via
Charm > Settings > Change PC Settings > Network > Connections? Respond below to let the world know. Curios as to what you guys find.