HomeGroup was introduced in Windows 7 as a way to simplify the process of sharing images, songs, movies, documents, and printers with other PCs on your home Set network. With HomeGroup, you no longer need to search the network and choose a PC to remotely access the files. The HomeGroup feature is also available in Windows 8, and it’s possible for Win7- and Win8-based PCs to join the same HomeGroup. In short, shared content from all of your Win7 and Win8 computers can be found in the HomeGroup.
Microsoft has made the sharing process fairly effortless. By default, the HomeGroup will include the files located in the Pictures, Music, Videos, and Documents folders found in your User Profile. If you store your personal files in those folders, you won’t have to bother manually adding any files to share them with the other computers on your network.
To set up a HomeGroup in Win7, click the Start button, select Control Panel, choose Network And Internet, and click HomeGroup. Click Create A Homegroup under Share With Other Home Computers Running Windows 7. Next, you’ll see options for Pictures, Music, Videos, Printers, and Documents. Select the content you want to share and Win7 will generate a password for the HomeGroup. The initial password is a random group of letters and numbers, but you can change
the password to one that you and your friends can remember. To do so, open the Network And Sharing Center, select Choose HomeGroup And Sharing Settings. Select Change Advanced Settings and click Change The Password. At the Changing The Homegroup Password Will Disconnect Everyone dialog, click Change The Password. Win7 will display another long, complex password, but you can delete that and enter one of your choosing. If other Win7 PCs have already joined the Home- Group, you’ll need to inform the users of the new password.
To create a HomeGroup in Win8, use the keyboard shortcut WIN-I (hold down the Windows and “I” keys) and select Change PC Settings. Select the HomeGroup tab, and you’ll be able toggle on and off the files and devices you want to share. If a HomeGroup has already been created, you can enter the password into the Membership field. If you want to start a Home- Group on a Win8 machine, copy and paste the password, so you’ll be able to use it on other computers where you want to share files. If you want to make the password something easy to remember, press the WIN-W keys to bring up the Settings Search box. Type network and sharing and select the Network And Sharing Center. Select HomeGroup and click Change The Password, which can be found under Other Home Group Actions. Follow the on-screen instructions to change the password.
In terms of the content you share, just select the check boxes for types of files you want to share, assuming that your files are stored in the Pictures, Music, Videos, and Documents folder libraries. To add files, open Windows Explorer, right-click the item (whether it’s a folder or one or more individual files), click the Share With button, and select HomeGroup (Read) or HomeGroup (Read/Write). The Read option only allows users to open the file, while the Read/Write option also lets them modify or delete the file.