Homegroups have been introduced with the advent of Windows 7. Thanks to a homegroup, you can set up an adult home network relatively easily. Your Windows 7 computers can then exchange files, share printers, and stream media. It's easy to set up a homegroup in itself, but you'll enjoy the feature more if you shape it to your liking.
1. Create a homegroup
A homegroup is automatically created by Windows during installation. Other computers with Windows 7 automatically notice the presence of the homegroup and will offer to join. Wasn't the homegroup created? Open the menu Start and choose Control Panel. type homegroup in the search box at the top right and press Enter. Press the button Create a homegroup. Windows creates a homegroup and displays the password that the other computers use to access the homegroup. Leave this window open.
2. Add Computer
Now the fine work begins: adding other computers to your newly created homegroup. Make sure the main computer - where you created the homegroup - is turned on and not in sleep or standby mode. On the computer you want to add, open it Control Panel. type homegroup in the search box at the top right and press Enter. Windows 7 notices that a homegroup is already active and reports it. Press the button Join now.
3. Share items
Then you indicate which parts you want to share within the homegroup. This can differ per computer. You can choose from Pictures, Music, Videos and Documents. In addition, you can share the printer. Unlike a network printer, a homegroup shared printer requires the computer to which the printer is connected to be turned on while printing. You may want to share other folders as well. In step 5 of this workshop we indicate more precisely what can be shared.
The wizard prompts for the homegroup password. You can read this on the first computer on which you created the homegroup. Have you already closed the window? To open the window on the main computer, in the main HomeGroup window, click View and print the homegroup password. click on Next one. The password is checked. In the final window, you will read that the computer has joined the homegroup. Confirm with a click on Complete. Repeat these steps on the other computers you want to add.
5. Share folders
Now that the computers are connected through the homegroup, it's time to decide which files you want to make accessible. This can be done in two ways. First of all, you can move the files you want to share to one of the libraries shared through homegroups. For example the folder Documents. Open the original location in an Explorer window and open the shared library in another window. Drag the files from the source location to the shared homegroup folder. The files are now available on the network.
The other way to share files is to share the folder directly with the homegroup. The advantage of this is that you do not have to change the location of the folder. Open File Explorer (Windows key+E) and navigate to the location containing the folder you want to share. Then right click on the folder and choose Share with. Choose between Homegroup (Read) or Homegroup (Read/Write). In the latter case, the other users are also allowed to make changes, while with the first option you only give permission to view the contents of the folder.