The HomeGroup feature was first introduced in Windows 7. It lets you easily share files and printers between other machines on your network. Microsoft has included the HomeGroup feature in Windows 8 too. Here’s how to set it up and join a Windows 7 machine to it.
From the Start screen or Desktop in Windows 8 – use the keyboard shortcut Win Key + I then click Change PC Settings.
Create a HomeGroup on Windows 8
From the Control Panel settings click HomeGroup. Then in the left panel under Libraries and Devices, switch on the types of files and devices you want to share.
Under Membership, a password is automatically generated for you. You’ll need this to connect your other Windows 7 and 8 machines to it.
You can change the password to something easier to remember — which will make things easier when joining other systems. Use the keyboard shortcut Win Key + W to bring up the Search box for Settings. Type: network and sharing then click on Network and Sharing Center from the results field on the left.
The Network and Sharing Center window opens on the Desktop. On the left side click HomeGroup under See Also.
Now under Other Home Group Actions click Change the Password.
Make sure any other machines that might be already joined are powered off or sleeping, then click Change the Password.
Here you can type in your own password that’s easier to remember. Click Finish.
After a few seconds, you’ll get the following screen letting you know the Homegroup password has been successfully change. Click Finish and close out of the remaining open screens.
Join Windows 7 to Windows 8 HomeGroup
Now go to the other machines running Windows 7 to join the Homegroup. Here I am using a Windows 7 system. Click Start and type: homegroup into the Search box and hit Enter.
On the next screen click on the Join Now button.
Then decide which files and folder you want to share on the Windows 8 HomeGroup. Click Next.
Enter in the password and click Next.
Now you’re successfully connected to the Windows 8 Homegroup. Click Finish.
Now you can easily share document, files and printers between the Windows 8 and Windows 7 computers over your home network.
What’s your take? Do you use the HomeGroup feature to share files and devices on your home network?