HomeGroup problems in Windows

This article is designed to help you diagnose and fix HomeGroup problems in Windows. First, try running the HomeGroup troubleshooter.

To run the HomeGroup troubleshooter

  1. Open the HomeGroup troubleshooter by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the lower-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer up, and then clicking Search), entering troubleshooting in the search box, and then tapping or clicking Troubleshooting. Tap or click Network and Internet, and then tap or click HomeGroup. Administrator permission required You might be asked for an admin password or to confirm your choice.

  2. Click Next, and then follow the instructions on your screen.

If running the troubleshooter doesn't solve the problem, refer to the following sections for info about the specific problem you're having.

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I can't create, join, or use a homegroup

Typically, a homegroup is created automatically when you set up a PC with Windows 8, Windows RT, or Windows 7. If a homegroup already exists, all you need to do is join it.

There are several problems that can prevent you from creating, joining, or using a homegroup. Look for the problem and corresponding solution in the following table.

Problem
Possible solutions

You might have a Windows operating system that restricts your homegroup use.

HomeGroup is available in Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows 7. You can join a homegroup on a PC running Windows RT, but you can't create a homegroup or share content with the homegroup. In Windows 7 Starter and Windows 7 Home Basic, you can join a homegroup, but you can’t create one.

You might not be connected to a network, or you might not be connected to the right network.

To connect to a network, follow these steps:

  • Connect to a network by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Settings (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the lower-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer up, and then clicking Settings), and then tapping or clicking the network icon (Wireless network icon or Wired network icon). Tap or click the network you want to connect to, and then tap or click Connect.

After you've connected to the network, you can create or join a homegroup.

"Find devices and content" might be turned off.

To turn it on, follow these steps:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)

  2. Tap or click Network, tap or click Connections, and then tap or click your network connection.

  3. Turn on Find devices and content.

Date and time might be incorrect.

Make sure all PCs have the correct date and time. To change the date or time, follow these steps:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)

  2. In the search box, enter date and time, and then tap or click Settings.

  3. In the list of results, tap or click Date and Time.

  4. Tap or click Change date and time. Administrator permission required You might be asked for an admin password or to confirm your choice.

Two or more PCs on the network might have the same name.

Each PC in a homegroup must have a unique name. To check the PC name, follow these steps on each PC in the homegroup:

  • Open System by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering System in the search box, and tapping or clicking System.

    The PC name is listed under Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings.

The other PCs in your homegroup might not be in the home, might have left the homegroup, or might be turned off, sleeping, or hibernating.

For info on changing power saving options, see Power plans: FAQ.

Network discovery might be turned off.

To turn on network discovery, follow these steps:

  1. Open Advanced sharing settings by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering advanced sharing in the search box, and then tapping or clicking Manage advanced sharing settings.

  2. Tap or click the chevron The chevron icon to expand the Private network profile.
  3. Tap or click Turn on network discovery, and then tap or click Save changes. Administrator permission required You might be asked for an admin password or to confirm your choice.

Your system administrator might have turned off HomeGroup.

If you're connected to a domain network, your system administrator might have turned off HomeGroup completely. In that case, you won't be able to join a homegroup.

One or more required services might not be running.

The Peer Networking Grouping and HomeGroup Provider services must both be running. Here's how to check this:

  1. Open Control Panel by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering Control Panel in the search box, and then tapping or clicking Control Panel.

  2. Enter Administrative Tools in the Control Panel search box, and then double-tap or double-click Services. Administrator permission required You might be asked for an admin password or to confirm your choice. .

  3. In the Status column, next to the Peer Networking Grouping and HomeGroup Provider services, you should see the word Running. If you don't see this, double-tap or double-click the name of the service, tap or click Start, and then tap or click OK.

Note

  • If you can't start these services, run the HomeGroup troubleshooter using the link at the top of this article.

IPv6 might be disabled.

Your network connection must have IPv6 enabled to create or join a homegroup. To enable IPv6, run the HomeGroup troubleshooter using the link at the top of this article.

The peer networking idstore.sst file might be damaged.

If you see the message "Windows can't set up a homegroup on this PC. Error code 0x80630801." and you can't start the Peer Networking Grouping service using the procedure in the "One or more required services might not be running" section, follow these steps to remove the damaged file:

Note

  • The following steps are for advanced users only.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)

  2. In the search box, enter command prompt.

  3. In the list of results, press and hold or right-click Command Prompt, and then tap or click Run as administrator. Administrator permission required You might be asked for an admin password or to confirm your choice.

  4. Delete the idstore.sset file found in the \Windows\ServiceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Roaming\PeerNetworking folder of your system drive (for example, drive C).

  5. Restart your PC, and then try joining the homegroup.

Your PC already belongs to a homegroup.

You can only belong to one homegroup at a time. If you want to join a different homegroup, first leave the one your PC currently belongs to.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)

  2. Tap or click HomeGroup, and then tap or click Leave.

There might be a problem with your network.

Try running the Network troubleshooter:

  • Open the Network troubleshooter by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering Identify and repair in the search box, and then tapping or clicking Identify and repair network problems.

Other unknown problems.

Sometimes, restarting your PC or leaving the homegroup and then rejoining it might help solve problems.

I can't print to a homegroup printer

Here are some reasons why you might not be able to print to a homegroup printer:

  • The printer is turned off.

  • The PC that the printer is connected to is turned off, asleep, hibernating, or has left the homegroup. For info on changing power saving options, see Power plans: FAQ.

  • Another member of the homegroup stopped sharing the printer.

  • "Find devices and content" might be turned off. For more info, see Find PCs, devices, and content on your network.

  • The printer has a non-USB connection and must be shared using Devices and Printers in Control Panel.

  • An incorrect printer driver is installed. Printers must use the correct driver for the type of PC they're connected to (x86-based or x64-based). Many printer drivers can be downloaded automatically from Windows Update. Drivers are also available from the printer manufacturer’s website. For more info, see Install a printer.

If you still can’t find or print to a printer in your homegroup, there might be a problem with your network. Try running the Network troubleshooter:

  • Open the Network troubleshooter by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering Identify and repair in the search box, and then tapping or clicking Identify and repair network problems.

Sometimes, restarting your PC or leaving the homegroup and then rejoining it might help you get to printers in the homegroup.

I can't delete a homegroup

Homegroups can't be deleted, but you can make one go away by having all the PCs that belong to it leave. Here's how to leave a homegroup:

  1. Open HomeGroup by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Settings (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the lower-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer up, and then clicking Settings), tapping or clicking Change PC settings, tapping or click Network, and then tapping or clicking HomeGroup.

  2. Tap or click Leave.

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