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Configure HomeGroup feature in Windows 7

The HomeGroup feature allows users to set up and manage home networks. Users are able to share files, folders, music, pictures and more with linked computers. Also, users can provide common access to printers and other devices.

HomeGroup feature can only be enabled in Windows 7 (Home Premium, Enterprise, Professional or Ultimate) only. If you have Windows 7 (Home Basic or Starter) you cannot generate a HomeGroup but you can join one. Furthermore, HomeGroup is not compatible with earlier versions of Windows.

Create a homegroup:

Navigate to Start – Control Panel – Network and Internet – Network and Sharing Center.

Network-and-Sharing-Center

Note: You can only configure homegroups or networks specified as Home Network.

Select Homegroup: Ready to Create

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The HomeGroup wizard opens, click Create a homegroup.

Configuring-Homegroup-Create-a-homegroup-wizard

On the following page, select the files (i.e. images, pictures, documents) you want to share in homegroup. The wizard already has all options selected except documents by default (as shown below). When you have selected the items you want to share, click Next to continue.

Configuring-Homegroup-sharing-items

A unique password is automatically generated as part of this process for all users who wish to join the newly created homegroup. Be sure to keep note of it! Select Finish.

Configuring-Homegroup-password

The Change Homegroup settings page displays. If you prefer not to make any further changes to your newly created Homegroup, click Cancel to return to the Network and Sharing Center.

Configuring-Homegroup-Change-Homegroup-settings

The Network and Sharing Center now shows that you are joined to a homegroup.

Configuring-Homegroup-Joined

 

Join on to a homegroup:

In the Network and Sharing Center, select the Available to join link.

Configuring-Homegroup-Available-to-join

The HomeGroup wizard opens which informs you that a specific user has created a homegroup on the network. Select the Join now button.

Configuring-Homegroup-Join-Now

On the following page, select the files (i.e. images, pictures, documents) you want to share with the homegroup. Click Next to continue. To join the homegroup, enter in the homegroup password. Click Next.

Configuring-Homegroup-Type-the-homegroup-password

Once you have successfully joined, select Finish to complete the configuration.

Configuring-Homegroup-Joined-the-homegroup-Finish

The status of homegroup in Network and Sharing Center shows you as ‘joined’.

Configuring-Homegroup-status-Joined

To access the homegroup, open Windows Explorer and Homegroup icon should appear on the left under Libraries. 

Configuring-Homegroup-Windows-Explorer

To customize settings in your homegroup:

In Network and Sharing Center, select Choose homegroup and sharing options.

Configuring-Homegroup-Choose-homegroup-and-sharing-options

You can then customize what files you want to share with other networked users.

Configuring-homegroup-change-homegroup-settings-example

 

To share a particular folder with your homegroup:

 

Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the relevant folder (in our case, CloudBT).

Configuring-Homegroup-Sharing-folder

Select Share with… button under the file path and three options appear [Nobody, Homegroup (Read) and Homegroup (Read/Write)]. If you want to grant full control to your Homegroup members then select Homegroup (Read/Write). If you only want to allow your members permission to read the files contained within the folder, but not modify them select Homegroup (Read). If you decide later to prevent Homegroup members from accessing the folder, then choose Nobody. For our example, we select Homegroup (Read/Write)

Configuring-Homegroup-Sharing-Folder-Homegroup-Read-Write

The folder and its contents are now available to all members in your Homegroup.

 

 

 

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