When you have multiple computers in your house, you can use HomeGroup to share content and printers with other members securely.

HomeGroup is a network sharing feature that has been a part of Windows for a long time, and it’s also part of Windows 10. Microsoft includes Home Group, which allows Windows devices to share resources with other PCs on the LAN with an easy setup that everyone can use.

HomeGroup is a feature best suited for small home networks for sharing files and printers with devices running Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7. Additionally, you can also configure media streams for those devices, such as Xbox One, to play music and videos from your computer on the giant screen in the house.

In this Windows 10 tutorial, we will walk you through the steps to set up and manage HomeGroup to share resources with other users on your LAN.

Before start

The Home Group is exceptional about the network configuration you use and if your computer was previously part of another Home Group. To make sure you can configure everything correctly, turn off all other computers on the network, leaving only the one you’ll use to create the new Home Group.

Also, you want to make sure that all of your devices are running Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP / IPv6). Otherwise, you will not be able to join any computers in the HomeGroup.

  1. Use the Windows + X keyboard shortcut to open the Power User menu, and click on Network Connections.
  2. Right-click on the network adapter you use to connect to the Internet and select Properties.
  3. Make sure to check the Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP / IPv6) option.

  4. Click OK.

How to Create a HomeGroup on Windows 10 |

HomeGroup has not changed much from previous versions so that we will use the Control Panel for configuration.

  1. Open the Start menu, search Home Group, and press Enter.
  2. Click Create a Home Group.

  3. On the wizard, click Next.
  4. Choose what to share online. By default, Windows will set photos, videos, music, printers & devices as shared. However, the Documents folder is marked as Not shared.

    Note: The sharing option you choose will only apply to devices connected with different accounts. If you are signed in with the same user account on another computer, you will have access to all files regardless of what you choose to share.

  5. Once you’ve decided which content to share, click Next.
  6. The wizard will complete the setup, and you will be presented with a HomeGroup password, which is required to allow other computers to access files and printers. Write down or click on the link to print the password.

  7. Click Finish to complete the task.

How to change what content is shared with your HomeGroup

If at any time, you want to change the folders you share with other computers, do the following:

  1. Click the Change what you’re sharing with the HomeGroup link.

  2. Make the exact changes using the drop-down menu and choose Shared or Not shared for each folder.
  3. Click Next.
  4. Click Finish to complete the task.

How to change Home Group’s communication options

HomeGroup also allows you to control which media devices, including the TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PlayStation, can access and play the shared content on your computer.

On the HomeGroup settings page in the Control Panel, click Allow all devices on this network such as TVs and game consoles to play my shared content.

The first thing you want to do is choose a name for your media library, like Windows 10, by default, uses the email address of your account.

You can then click the Choose default settings link to change a few streaming settings, including star rating and parental control settings allowed to play from other media devices.

You can also make changes on the networks to allow your device to stream shared content using the Show devices on the drop-down menu.

Additionally, you can configure which devices are allowed to play content remotely. You can either block or allow individual devices, or you can click the Allow All or Block All button.

Remember that shared content will be available to other devices if the content sharing device is turned on and not in sleep mode. If you need to change power settings, click the Choose power options link.

How to change your HomeGroup password

If you need to change the HomeGroup password for security reasons, Windows will give you the option to change it at any time.

  1. Click on Change the password link.

  2. Make sure all computers that are part of the HomeGroup are up and running.
  3. Click Change the password.

  4. Note the new password and click Next.
  5. Click Finish.

  6. After receiving the password, enter the HomeGroup settings of each computer in the Control Panel, and click the Type new password button.

  7. Enter the new password and click Next.

  8. Click Finish to complete the task.

How to add a computer to the HomeGroup

Now it’s time to turn on all computers in the house and join the HomeGroup.

To connect the device, do the following:

  1. Open the Start menu, search Home Group, and press Enter.
  2. Click the Join now button.

    Note: If you don’t see the Join now button, something is wrong; make sure you are connected to the network and restart the computer.

  3. Click Next.
  4. Select the content you want to share online using the drop-down menu for each folder and click Next.

  5. Enter your HomeGroup password and click Next.

    Note: If you’re signed in to another computer, but you’re using your Microsoft Account, you won’t be prompted to enter your password.

  6. Click Finish to complete the task.

If you are prompted to choose your network security settings, be sure to select the Private option.

In the same way, you did after configuring the new HomeGroup steps, for each machine you join, you’ll need to manually specify which media devices will be allowed to play the shared content.

How to share additional folders with HomeGroup on Windows 10

While setting up or joining a new computer into the HomeGroup, you can only choose to share Pictures, Videos, Music, and Documents folders, but you can always share more folders.

You can share a variety of content in two different ways, including adding new locations to currently shared libraries, or you can also share a new folder as you usually would in Windows.

How to add new folders to the shared Home Group library

  1. Use the Windows + E keyboard shortcut to open File Explorer.
  2. On the left pane, open your desktop library on Home Group.
  3. Right-click Documents.
  4. Click Properties.

  5. Click Add.

  6. Select the folder you want to share and click Include folder.
  7. Click Apply.
  8. Click OK.

The folder will now be accessible by anyone joining the HomeGroup as they browse through the Documents folder.

How to add a new folder over a Windows network share to your HomeGroup

  1. Right-click on the folder you want to share.
  2. Select Share with and click the HomeGroup option (view).

Users can access the shared folder by:

  1. Use the Windows + E keyboard shortcut to open File Explorer.
  2. Click on Network in the left pane.
  3. Double-click the computer name with the content to share and browse to the folder location.

By default, every shared HomeGroup folder on the network is set up with read-only access. It must be in this way to prevent accidental deletion and modification of your files by other users. However, if you use the same Microsoft account to access content from another computer, you will have read and write permission.

If you need other users to access, modify, and delete content, the best solution is to share another folder and allow the user to view and edit permissions.

You can do this with the following instructions:

  1. Right-click on the folder you want to share.
  2. Select Share with and click the HomeGroup option (view and edit).

How to remove a PC from your HomeGroup in Windows 10

When you don’t want your computer to be part of the HomeGroup, Microsoft will easily remove a device without a complicated configuration.

  1. Click the Leave the HomeGroup link.
  2. Click Leave the Home Group.

  3. Click Finish to complete the task.

At any time, if you want to rejoin the computer, you can easily do this by using Home Group’s join a computer with instructions.

What to do when your HomeGroup is not working properly

While Microsoft is trying to design Home Group to be a feature that works quickly, sometimes things might not work as expected. Consider the following tips for troubleshooting and fixing HomeGroup issues on Windows 10.

The first thing you always want to do is make sure all computers are connected to the network. You can verify by going to Settings> Network & internet. Depending on your connection, check Wi-Fi or Ethernet.

Usually, restarting and trying to create or connect a computer to the HomeGroup again resolve the issue.

Temporarily turn off the firewall feature on your computer. If you are using Windows Firewall go to Control Panel All Control Panel Items Windows Firewall Customize Settings, and Turn off the firewall. If this is the problem, be sure to configure the firewall correctly and forget to re-enable the firewall after everything is usually working.

Having an incorrect time can also cause problems when installing Home Group. Make sure that every computer has the correct timing. On Windows 10, go to Settings> Time & language and adjust the time if needed.

You cannot have two computers on the network with the same name.

Make sure Network discoveryfile and printer sharing, and HomeGroup group connection are enabled on your LAN. Go to Control Panel All Control Panel Items Network and Sharing Center Advanced sharing settings and help all these options.

Your computer can only belong to one HomeGroup. If connected to another server, remember to follow the steps to leave HHomeGroupbefore joining.

If you still can’t create or join a new computer into the HomeGroup, Microsoft also includes diagnostic tools to fix common problems. On Windows 10, go to Control Panel All Control Panel Items Home Group, and click the Start the HomeGroup troubleshooter link and follow the onscreen instructions to fix the problem.

Other things you need to know about Home Groups

  • HomeGroup is only available on Windows 7, Windows 8.x, and Windows 10, meaning you won’t be able to connect any Windows XP and Windows Vista machines.
  • There is only one HomeGroup per network.
  • A HomeGroup does not create a significant network and says that the hub must be installed and run for the HHomeGroupto function. However, the computer with the content to be shared must be run for you to access its files, resources.
  • Only computers connected to the HomeGroup password can use resources on the intranet.
  • Although the HomeGroup must be configured once per computer, each user must specify what content is accessible through the network.
  • When you set up HomeGroup on a LAN, users also have full access to view and edit content in Public User folders.

While we focus on configuring and managing HomeGroup on Windows 10, you can also connect Windows 7 and Windows 8.x computers to the network and share content.