HomeGroups in Windows 7

Before you start

Objectives: Learn how to create, how to join, and how to edit HomeGroup in Windows 7.

Prerequisites: you have to know what is sharing and what is HomeGroup in general.

Key terms: HomeGroup, Windows 7, sharing, libraries, permissions


We can use HomeGroup feature in Windows 7 to simply share data between multiple computer in a home network. Have in mind that we can only have one HomeGroup per LAN network. So, it’s basically designed for home environments. Only members of the HomeGroup will have access to shared data. HomeGroups are protected with password.

To create a HomeGroup, we can go to Control Panel > HomeGroup. We will get the following screen.

 1 HomeGroup

Create a HomeGroup

If a HomeGroup already exists on the network, we will see it on this screen. Then we will be able to join that existing HomeGroup. So, on this screen we can click on the “Create a homegroup” button. Another way HomeGroup is typically created is when you change a location  for your network to the “Home network”. Go to the Network and Sharing Center and try to change the location for your network to the Work network, and then back to the Home network. When you do that, you will get the following screen.

 2 Create HomeGroup

Select What to Share

This screen is the same one when we try to create HomeGroup in Control Panel. So, all we have to do is select what we want to share. In our case we will select all options except documents. Once the HomeGroup is created, we will see a HomeGroup password.

 3 HomeGroup Password

HomeGroup Password

We should save this password in secure place. The password is case sensitive. When we click Finish, the HomeGroup will be created. Now, we can go to our Computer and select Homegroup from the menu. If no one joined our homegroup, we will see the following screen.

 4 Empty Homegroup

Empty HomeGroup

 People on other computers will see a screen like this when they open HomeGroup.

 5 Join Homegroup

Join HomeGroup

When users join existing Homegroup, they will also have to specify things they want to share. Also, users will have to enter the password for the Homegroup in order to join it. Once they join the Homegroup, they will start seeing things from users on the homegroup under the Homegroup section in Windows Explorer.

 6 HomeGroup in IE

HomeGroup In Windows Explorer

As you can notice, we actually share libraries in HomeGroup. As you should know, by right-clicking on specific library, we can specify how we want to share them. We can specify if we’ll only give read permissions or Read/Write permissions for Homegroup users.

 7 Sharing Libraries

Setting Permissions for Homegroup

If we give Read/Write permission, users from other computers will be able to edit existing and create new files on our computer. We can also create our own custom libraries and share them on HomeGroup.

To change HomeGroup settings, we can always go to the Control Panel > HomeGroup.