HomeGroup from start to finish

What’s a homegroup?…

A homegroup is a group of computers on a home network that can share files and printers. Using a homegroup makes sharing easier. You can share pictures, music, videos, documents, and printers with other people in your homegroup. Other people can’t change the files that you share unless you give them permission to do so. You can help protect your homegroup with a password, which you can change at any time.

When you set up a computer with this version of Windows, a homegroup is created automatically. If a homegroup already exists on your home network, you can join it.

After you create or join a homegroup, you select the libraries that you want to share. You can prevent specific files or folders from being shared, and you can share additional libraries later.

Computers must be running Windows 7 to participate in a homegroup. HomeGroup is available in all editions of Windows 7.

Note
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In Windows 7 Starter and Windows 7 Home Basic, you can join a homegroup, but you can’t create one.
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Create a homegroup…

Open HomeGroup by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, typing homegroup in the search box, and then clicking HomeGroup.

On the Share with other home computers running Windows 7 page, click Create a homegroup, and then follow the instructions.

Note
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If a homegroup already exists on your network, you’ll be asked to join it instead of creating a new one.

If your computer belongs to a domain, you can join a homegroup but you can’t create one. You can access files and resources on other homegroup computers, but you can’t share your own files and resources with the homegroup.
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After you create a homegroup, the other computers running Windows 7 on your network can join it.

Add your other computers to the homegroup…

After someone on your network creates a homegroup, the next step is to join it. You’ll need the homegroup password, which you can get from the person who created the homegroup.

Screenshot of Password for Homegroup

To join a homegroup, follow these steps on the computer that you want to add to the homegroup:

Open HomeGroup by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, typing homegroup in the search box, and then clicking HomeGroup.

Click Join now, and then complete the wizard.

Note
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If you don’t see the Join now button, there might not be a homegroup available. Make sure that someone has created a homegroup, or you can create a homegroup yourself.
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Access homegroup files…

Computers that belong to your homegroup will appear in Windows Explorer.

To access files or folders on other homegroup computers

Click the Start button , and then click your user name.
In the navigation pane (the left pane), under Homegroup, click the user account name of the person whose files you want to access.

In the file list, double-click the library you want to access, and then double-click the file or folder you want.

Notes
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Computers that are turned off, hibernating, or asleep won’t appear in the navigation pane.

If you’ve made homegroup files or folders available offline, and then you disconnect from the network, the files or folders will no longer be visible in the Libraries window. To find them, open the Network folder.
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Control which files or folders are shared with your homegroup…

When you created or joined your homegroup, you selected the libraries you wanted to share with other people in the homegroup. Libraries are initially shared with Read access, which means that you can look at or listen to what’s in the library, but you can’t make changes to the files in it. You can adjust the level of access later, and you can exclude specific files and folders from sharing.

To prevent a library from being shared

Open HomeGroup by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, typing homegroup in the search box, and then clicking HomeGroup.

Clear the check box for each library you don’t want shared, and then click Save changes.
To prevent specific files or folders from being shared

Click the Start button , and then click your user name.
Navigate to the file or folder you want to exclude from sharing, and then select it.

Do one of the following:

To prevent the file or folder from being shared with anyone, in the toolbar, click Share with, and then click Nobody.

To share the file or folder with some people but not others, in the toolbar, click Share with, click Specific people, select each person you want to share with, and then click Add. Click Share when you are finished.

To change the level of access to a file or folder, in the toolbar, click Share with, and then select either Homegroup (Read) or Homegroup (Read/Write).

Share printers…

Printers that are connected with a USB cable can be shared with a homegroup. After the printer is shared, you can access it through the Print dialog box in any program, just like a printer that’s directly connected to your computer.

To share your printer with the homegroup

Open HomeGroup by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, typing homegroup in the search box, and then clicking HomeGroup.

Click Install printer.

Select the Printers check box, and then click Save changes.

To automatically connect to a homegroup printer

Click the Windows found a homegroup printer message that appears.

To manually connect to a homegroup printer

On the computer the printer is physically connected to, click the Start button , click Control Panel, type homegroup in the search box, and then click HomeGroup.
Make sure the Printers check box is selected.

Go to the computer you want to print from.

Open HomeGroup by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, typing homegroup in the search box, and then clicking HomeGroup.

Click Install printer.

If you don’t already have a driver installed for the printer, click Install driver in the dialog box that appears.

Note
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The computer that the printer is connected to must be turned on to use the printer.

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Change homegroup settings if needed…

At any time after you set up your homegroup, you can change settings by following these steps:

Open HomeGroup by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, typing homegroup in the search box, and then clicking HomeGroup.

Select the settings you want, and then click Save changes.

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Comments

  • Robert Kline

    can still not get this to work? i have a pc connected to my router and a new asus laptop connected by wireless but i cannot get them to work together i can set up on one or the other but they then dont see the other one????

    • Andrew Simnor

      Hi Robert, The most probable cause will be that your clocks are set differently on each machine. This only needs to be out by a few seconds between them and is most likely to occur when setting up new devices such as laptops, pc, etc..
      In the bottom right hand corner of your desktop click on the time date, and then click the link ‘change date and time settings’
      Then click the tab, internet time and then the button ‘change settings’
      Check that the server is set to time.windows.com and then click update on each machine.
      Now trying home share again..

  • Robert Kline

    that worked!! thank you!!!! 🙂

Comments are closed.