HomeGroup: frequently asked questions

HomeGroup makes it easy to share your libraries and printers on a home network. You can share pictures, music, videos, documents, and printers with other people in your homegroup. The homegroup is protected with a password, and you'll always be able to choose what you share with the group. For information about HomeGroup, see HomeGroup: recommended links.

Here are answers to some common questions about HomeGroup.

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Who can see the libraries shared with my homegroup?

Only those people who belong to the homegroup can see shared libraries. You can also share libraries or individual files and folders with specific people in your homegroup, rather than sharing with everyone. For more information, see Share libraries with your homegroup and Keep specific files and folders from being shared with a homegroup.

Note

  • Keep in mind that children who belong to the homegroup will have access to all shared libraries.

If I join a homegroup, will all user accounts on my computer also belong to the homegroup?

Yes, all user accounts except the Guest account will belong to the homegroup. Each person controls access to his or her own libraries.

Which versions of Windows and which network locations can use HomeGroup?

Computers must be running Windows 7 to participate in a homegroup. HomeGroup is available in all editions of Windows 7. In Windows 7 Starter and Windows 7 Home Basic, you can join a homegroup, but you can’t create one. HomeGroup only works on networks with the Home network location.

To change a network location

  1. Open Network and Sharing Center by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type network, and then click Network and Sharing Center.

  2. Click Work network, Home network, or Public network, and then click the network location you want.

    Picture of Network and Sharing Center
    Network and Sharing Center

Note

  • Computers that belong to a domain can join a homegroup, but they can't share files with the homegroup. They can only access files shared by others.

How can I remove a computer from a homegroup?

To remove a computer from a homegroup, follow these steps on the computer you want to remove:

  1. 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.

  2. Click Leave the homegroup.

  3. Click Leave the homegroup, and then click Finish.

How do I delete a homegroup?

If everyone leaves the homegroup, it will no longer exist. For more information, see Leave a homegroup.

What should I do if I forget my homegroup password?

To find the homegroup password, follow these steps on a computer that is part of the homegroup:

  1. 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.

  2. Click View or print the homegroup password.