What is a homegroup?

Published: April 26, 2010

Updated: March 30, 2011

Applies To: Windows Home Server 2011

A homegroup makes it easier to share pictures, music, videos, and documents with other computers running Windows 7. The homegroup is connected with a password, which you can change at any time, and you can always choose what you want to share with the group. Only those people who belong to the homegroup can see shared files and folders. Other people can't change the files that you share, unless you give them permission to do so.

After you purchase or install the server, you can create a homegroup for your computer network. If a homegroup already exists, you can join it. After you create or join a homegroup, you can select the shared folders that you want to share with the homegroup. You can prevent specific files or folders from being shared, and you can share additional folders later. You can leave a homegroup at any time.

To participate in a homegroup, a computer must be running the Windows 7 operating system. 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 does not send any data to Microsoft. For more information, read the privacy statement.

You should only use the HomeGroup tools available in the Windows Home Server 2011 Dashboard to manage your HomeGroup. If you use the HomeGroup tools that are available in Control Panel, you can experience problems when sharing files and folders.