Home / Windows 10

Configure HomeGroup connections

Introduced in Windows 7, the HomeGroups feature aims to provide a simplified process of sharing files and printers on small networks such as in small offices or homes, where Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) is not used. Computers running Windows 7 or newer can connect to HomeGroups.

Although HomeGroups are created automatically by using the Create A HomeGroup Wizard, they are password protected by a system-generated password. By protecting access to this password, a HomeGroup owner has control over who can connect to their HomeGroup.

Create a new HomeGroup

To simplify creation for home and small office staff, the process of creating a HomeGroup is wizard-based.

If a HomeGroup has not been created on your device, you can create a new one. Launch the Create A HomeGroup Wizard in one of several ways, as follows.

  • Click the Create A HomeGroup button in the HomeGroup node in File Explorer.
  • Click the Create A HomeGroup button in the HomeGroup node in Control Panel.
  • Click the HomeGroup link in the Network And Internet Settings app.

You must have Administrator privileges to enable the HomeGroup feature, but anyone can join one with the correct password. After you have joined a HomeGroup, you can choose which of your folders you want to share with the HomeGroup. For other users to access files and folders shared in a HomeGroup, the computer that hosts the resources must be turned on and connected to the network, but the user does not need to be logged on.

Follow these steps to configure a HomeGroup.

  1. Click the Create A HomeGroup button in the HomeGroup node in File Explorer.
  2. On the Create A HomeGroup page, click Next.
  3. On the Share With Other HomeGroup Members page, select the files and devices that you want to share, set permission levels, and click Next.
  4. When the wizard generates a HomeGroup password, make a note of it or print it and then click Finish.
    The Change HomeGroup Settings page appears, and other members can now join your HomeGroup.

After you have created a HomeGroup, review the options available on the Change HomeGroup Settings page because this enables you to modify settings, including:

  • Viewing or printing the HomeGroup password.
  • Changing HomeGroup password.
  • Modifying the items that you are sharing.
  • Allowing devices on your network to have access to streaming media content.
  • Leaving an existing HomeGroup.
  • Starting the HomeGroup troubleshooter.
  • Modifying advanced sharing settings.

In addition to allowing users and computers access to files and folders in your HomeGroup, you can also allow devices on your network to have access to streaming media content such as music, games, and videos from your HomeGroup.

Join a HomeGroup

If a HomeGroup has already been created on the network, the details are displayed when you open the HomeGroup item in the Network And Sharing Center. To join the HomeGroup on your network, perform the following steps.

  1. Open the HomeGroup item in the Network And Sharing Center.
  2. Any existing HomeGroups should be automatically detected, and the name of the user and computer with the HomeGroup appears.
  3. Click Join Now.
  4. On the Join A HomeGroup page, click Next.
  5. On the Share With Other HomeGroup Members page, select the files and devices that you want to share, set permission levels, and click Next.
  6. Enter the HomeGroup password that has been provided to you from the person who created the HomeGroup.
    If the password is correct, the wizard completes, and you have joined the HomeGroup.
  7. Click Finish.

If you want to leave the HomeGroup and stop sharing your files and folders, open the HomeGroup item in the Network And Sharing Center and then click Leave. If you want to re-join the HomeGroup, run the Join A HomeGroup Wizard again.

More: Windows 10 Tutorials