Windows 7 provides a new and exciting feature called Homegroup. This improvement allows users a unique way to network other computers running Windows 7 in a home or workplace situation.
Under Windows 7 you can forget about setting up a conventional network system as Windows 7 Homegroup is simpler and easier to set up. This new feature works with all computers running Windows 7.
What is Windows 7 Homegroup?
Homegroup allows you to connect wireless to other computers allowing you to share documents, photos, music and other files as well as your printer. As the initiator of Homegroup you can ensure the security of your files by making them read-only. However, you also have the option of allowing other members of your Homegroup to modify your files.
How to setup a Windows 7 Homegroup?
To create a Windows 7 Homegroup you need two or more computers running Windows 7.
The Desktop computer takes the first step in setting up a Homegroup. This involves deciding whether to share library files and printers and then generating a Homegroup password so other user(s) can join the Homegroup network.
The Desktop Computer
- Click the Start button or press the Windows key.
- When the Start Menu opens, select Control Panel.
- When the Control Panel window opens, in the section labelled Network and Internet, Choose “Homegroup and Sharing Options.”
- The Homegroup window opens, click the button labelled, Create a Homegroup.
- The “Create a Homegroup” window opens, displaying the features you can share – Pictures, Documents, Music, Printers and Videos.
- Check the boxes for those items you wish to share.
- Click the Next button.
- Next, Windows 7 generates a password to allow other computer user(s) to join the Homegroup.
- Click Print password and instructions.
- Give the Password information sheet to the other computer user(s).
- Click the Finish button.
Note: Your part is now over. The other computer user(s) now has to register their computer to join the Homegroup.
On the Laptop / Notebook / Netbook
To successfully connect to a Homegroup, the other computer(s) must be running Windows 7. You will need a copy of the Password information sheet containing the password.
- Click the Start button.
- When the Start Menu opens, Homegroup.
- The Change Homegroup settings window opens indicating that another computer is on the Homegroup network. It also shows that there are shared Libraries and Printers.
- Click the Join now button.
Note: If you don’t see the Join now button, there might not be a Homegroup available. Make sure that someone has created a Homegroup first or you can choose to create a Homegroup yourself.
- The Join a Homegroup window opens. You need the Homegroup Password to join.
- Type in the Homegroup Password.
- Click the Next button
- Windows 7 informs you that you have joined the Homegroup.
- Click the Finish buttonYou are now ready to utilize Homegroup across two computers, the Desktop computer and the Laptop computer.Accessing your HomeGroup
With both computers switched on, you can now access each other’s HomeGroup libraries.
- Click the Start menu.
- Select Homegroup.
- The Homegroup window opens.
- Click Homegroup.
- Homegroup expands telling you the laptop is registered.
- To see what libraries within the Homegroup network, click on the arrow button on the left.
- Homegroup displays the registered Libraries.
- To see what’s in a Library, such as Documents, click Documents. Its contents appear in the right window.
- On the other computer’s Homegroup you can now access the Libraries.
- To view the contents, click on the arrow on the left of each Library folder to expand it and display the folders within it.
- In the screen picture below the extent of the Document folder is revealed. This was achieved by clicking on its icon.
By now you should have a good idea of the potential of Windows 7 Homegroup and how useful it is in a networking situation providing of course the other computers in your home or workplace are running Windows 7.