Windows 10 Unidentified Network

In windows 10, if your network adaptor isn’t using DHCP, you appear to be stuck in “Unidentified Network” land. For example, this will apply if you set up an internal network for a Hyper-V VM with static IPs.

If you want to enable say, file sharing on that network this leaves you with a dilemma. Do you turn on sharing by defauly, which includes untrusted networks? A better option is to change the network type to Private, but how?

It turns out that to get windows to name the network, it must have a default gateway, and that gateway must actually respond (so you can’t just set it to any IP in the subnet).


(a) Unidentified network; (b) “Network 4”


Before setting the gateway, all that I had was (a) “Unidentified network”. After setting the gateway on my vEthernet (Internal switch) adaptor, (b) “Network 4” popped up. From here, it was simple to just select the “Private network” type for that network.

The last step was to turn on File Sharing for “Private” networks, as I hadn’t enabled that yet.

Moving forward, I think I might set up my VM’s to have two adaptors;

  • Internal with a static  IP for host communication, and
  • External for internet access.

This way, I have the best of both worlds. No file sharing on public networks, and VM to host communication on a private network with a more relaxed firewall ruleset.


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