Video: Windows 7 HomeGroup


HomeGroup is a feature in Windows 7 that allows you to very easily share libraries with other computers on your home network. So flippin’ easy, in fact, that I made a video.

I had never tried setting it up before, so there were a couple of things I learned on the fly:

  • Your Network Location must be set to Home.
  • Domain-joined machines can join a homegroup but cannot share files. They can access files on other computers.
  • Homegroups are searchable and it’s fast.

That’s pretty much it. With all the PCs in my house I can be very confident that I can find whatever I need from whatever machine I choose.


Comments (7)

  1. Jared says:

    How is this any different to a workgroup and file shares?

  2. You mentioned at the beginning of the video that you could keep files synchronized using something like Live Mesh. Is there any sort of native synch technology in Windows 7 that can be leveraged over a homegroup?

  3. Ruth says:

    This was great – question – does this work with other machines such as xp and vista? (assuming you have one  win7 machine?)

    thanks!

  4. dawate says:

    @Jared – A couple of key differences. First of all a domain machine can join a HomeGroup (though it can’t share its own files). Secondly you can specify what libraries you want to share and the basic assumption is that you want to make it available to all machines on the homegroup. So you don’t have to set a bunch of crazy permissions, and when someone comes into your house with a laptop you are still protected because they have not joined the homegroup.

    @Devin: I’m not aware of any but it may exist. Homegroups kind of eliminate a lot of the need to sync, though, because you always have access to those files. It also means you’re not duplicating files across machines.

    @Ruth: Not that I am aware of. I am fairly certain this is a Win7 feature only.

  5. what do you mean a "domain machine"? I have a laptop and desktop computer sharing a wireless broadband internet connection through a Linksys wireless router.  The PC is called "Mike" and the laptop is called "Michael". The Homegroup on the laptop shows "Mike-PC" but the Homegroup on the PC will not but windows says it is part of a Homegroup. I find this all very confusing. I can access files on either machine or click on "Network" and accomplisht he same thing. I would appreciate some clarifications so I understand what is going. TIA mm

  6. Matt says:

    I can’t seem to get my domain computer to join a HomeGroup.  When I try to join, it says I have to be in the Home network, not a domain network, and I can’t change that without leaving the domain.  How did you do it?

  7. Exeter says:

    Did support for domain computers change or is there a policy that prevents a domain computer from joining a HomeGroup?  I keep reading that you cannot change the network location if it is ‘domain’ due to it being controlled by the network administrator, but what policy is the administrator setting to control this?  Why is the network location being set to ‘domain’ on my wireless card when I have the laptop at home connected to a network that couldn’t possibly communicate with the domain controller?

    Thanks for any insight…..