You can think of a homegroup as a type of private
network that allows secure access to selected content stored on
multiple computers that all use the Home Network connection type to
connect to the network. Homegroup membership is on a per-computer
basis, not a per-user basis. (In other words, the computer is the
homegroup member, not the user.) However, each person who has a user
account on a computer that is joined to the homegroup can make
resources, such as files and printers, available to other homegroup
one homegroup can exist on any one home network; it exists as long as
it has at least one member. (The member computer doesn't have to be
online, or even on, for the homegroup to remain in existence.) The
homegroup doesn't have a name, and it doesn't require any sort of
administration. Access to the homegroup is protected by a password that
is generated randomly when the homegroup is created and cannot be
changed or reset. No information other than the password is associated
with the homegroup or required to join it.
you connect your computer to a network and stipulate that the
connection is of the Home Network connection type, Windows 7 finds out
whether a homegroup already exists on the network and a wizard presents
you with the option of either creating a homegroup (if none exists) or
joining your computer to an existing homegroup. You do not have to
create or join a homegroup to establish the Home Network connection;
you can decline the option by canceling or closing the wizard.
In this exercise, you'll create and join a homegroup.
You don't need any practice files to complete this exercise. Before
beginning this exercise, ensure that your computer is connected to a
network that is designated as a home network and does not already have
an active homegroup. Display Control Panel in Category view, and then
follow the steps.
In Control Panel, under Network and Internet, click Choose homegroup and sharing options.
The HomeGroup window of Control Panel opens.
The HomeGroup window on a computer with a Home Network connection to a network that doesn't already have a homegroup.
are new in Windows 7 and are not accessible to computers running
earlier versions of Windows or a non-Windows operating system.
In the HomeGroup window, click Create a homegroup.
The Create A Homegroup wizard starts.
By default, all libraries other than the Documents library are selected for sharing.
On the first page of the Create a Homegroup wizard, clear the Pictures check box, and then click Next.
Windows 7 creates the homegroup, and then the wizard displays the homegroup password.
You will need this password to join other computers to the homegroup.
Click the Print password and instructions link.
The View And Print Your Homegroup Password window opens.
can provide the homegroup password and instructions to other home
network computer users by printing the contents of this window.
If your computer is connected to a printer, click Print this page and then, in the Print dialog box, select a printer and click Print. Otherwise, manually record the homegroup password, and then close the View and print your homegroup password window.
Save the password that you print or record in a convenient location; we'll use it in another exercise later in this chapter.
On the Use this password to add other computers to your homegroup page of the Create a Homegroup wizard, click Finish.
The HomeGroup window now displays your homegroup resource sharing settings and options for working with the homegroup.
The HomeGroup window on a computer that is joined to a homegroup.
CLEAN UP Close the HomeGroup window.