Access files and printers on other homegroup computers

Before you can access files or a printer on another computer, you must add that computer to your homegroup. Computers that belong to your homegroup will appear in Windows Explorer. For more information about adding computers to your homegroup, see Add computers to a homegroup.

Accessing files and folders

Watch this video to learn how to access files and folders on other homegroup computers (0:43)

To access files or folders on other homegroup computers

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

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

Notes

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

  • If you have made homegroup files or folders available offline, and then you disconnect from the network, the files or folders will no longer be visible in your Libraries window. To find them, open the Network folder.

Including a shared folder in a library

For quick access, you can include a shared folder from another homegroup member's computer in your own library.

Watch this video to learn how to include a shared folder in a library (1:24)

To include a shared folder in a library

  • On the other homegroup member's computer, right-click the folder, click Share with, and then select either Homegroup (Read) or Homegroup (Read/Write).

  1. On your own computer, click the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then click your user name.
  2. In the navigation pane (left pane), under Homegroup, click the computer you want to access.

  3. In the right pane, right-click and drag the folder you want to your library.

  4. When you release the mouse button, a menu appears. Click Include in library.

Connecting to homegroup printers

Watch this video to learn how to connect to a homegroup printer (2:01)

To automatically connect to a homegroup printer

There are three ways to connect to a homegroup printer: automatically, semi-automatically, and manually. It depends on the type of printer you have. To connect automatically, you don’t have to do anything. The printer will be listed in Devices and Printers as soon as you join the homegroup. To check for it, follow these steps:

  • Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then click Devices and Printers. If you see the printer there, you’re done and the printer is ready to use.

To semi-automatically connect to a homegroup printer

  • If the printer isn't listed in Devices and Printers, but you see a message saying "Windows found a homegroup printer," click the message. This will install the printer.

To manually connect to a homegroup printer

If you don't see "Windows found a homegroup printer," you can still connect manually by following these steps:

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

  3. Go to the computer you want to print from.

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

  5. Click Install printer.

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

Note

  • After the printer is installed, you can access it through the Print dialog box in any program, just like a printer that's directly connected to your computer. The computer that the printer is connected to must be turned on to use the printer.