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Windows 7 HomeGroup: Walkthrough

Updated: August 21, 2009

Applies To: Windows 7

 

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noteNote
For a complete view of Windows 7 resources, articles, demos, and guidance, please visit the Springboard Series for Windows 7 on the Windows Client TechCenter.

For a downloadable version of this document, see the Windows 7 HomeGroup: Walkthrough in the Microsoft Download Center (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=161922).

The step-by-step instructions in this walkthrough provide a brief tour of the new HomeGroup feature in Windows® 7. These instructions assume that you have two computers running Windows 7 and at least one computer is running Windows 7 Home Premium or better on the same network, and neither computer is already a member of a homegroup or are joined to a domain.

To prepare each computer for this walkthrough

  1. Click Start, type Network and Sharing Center, and then press ENTER.

  2. In the View your active networks area, verify that the network type is Public network. If not, click Home network or Work network, and then click Public network.

  3. Repeat step 2 for the second computer.

To create a homegroup on the first computer

  1. On the first computer, which must be running Windows 7 Home Premium or better, click Start, type Network and Sharing Center, and then press ENTER.

  2. Under the View your active networks area, click Public network.

  3. In the Set Network Location dialog box, click Home network. After changing the network location, the Create a HomeGroup wizard automatically starts.

  4. On the Share with other home computers running Windows 7 page, select the Documents check box, and then click Next. This shares Documents with the homegroup in addition to Pictures, Music, Videos, and Printers.

  5. The Create a HomeGroup wizard will generate a strong password, as shown in Figure 1. You will need this password to join additional computers to the homegroup. After recording the password, click Finish to close the wizard.

 

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Figure 1. Create a HomeGroup wizard

To add the second computer to the homegroup

  1. On the second computer, click Start, type Network and Sharing Center, and press ENTER.

  2. Under the View your active networks area, click Public network.

  3. In the Set Network Location dialog box, click Home network. After changing the network location, the Join a HomeGroup wizard automatically starts.

  4. On the Share with other home computers running Windows 7 page, select the Documents check box, and then click Next.

  5. On the Type the HomeGroup password page, type the password that you recorded from the first computer, and then click Next. The passwords are case sensitive, so type the password exactly as shown on the first computer.

  6. Click Finish to close the Join a HomeGroup wizard.

To configure homegroup settings

  1. Click Start, type homegroup, and then press ENTER.

  2. You can change many settings, as Figure 2 shows. Options include:

    • Choosing the libraries to share

    • Streaming media with devices on your network

    • Viewing or changing the homegroup password

    • Starting the HomeGroup troubleshooter

 

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Figure 2. HomeGroup advanced options

To view files shared with the homegroup

  1. Open Windows Explorer.

  2. In the Navigation pane, click HomeGroup to see all computers that are members of the homegroup.

  3. Expand the homegroup computer to see all shared Libraries on that computer, as Figure 3 shows.

 

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Figure 3. Shared Libraries on other computers in the homegroup

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