Sharing files and folders in Windows is always easy. Now doing the same in Windows 7 is easier and secured. HomeGroup is one of the interesting networking feature which makes easy sharing issues over home network in windows 7. You can easily share pictures, musics, videos, and printers with any one on your HomeGroup network. No one can change or delete your shared files or folders without your consent. You can also prevent any particular files or folders from being shared and also share extra libraries later.
Even you can share your printers with the HomeGroup networking. Here is how to create a HomeGroup in Windows 7 and share files, folders and printers with the HomeGroup members.
How to create a HomeGroup
Before you start sharing on your network, you have to create a HomeGroup network in your computer loaded with Windows 7.
- Click the ‘Start’ button and select ‘Control Panel’.
- Click on ‘Choose Homegroup and Sharing option’ under the ‘Network and Internet’ section in Control Panel window.
- Now, the HomeGroup window will appear. To create a HomeGroup click on ‘Create a homegroup’ button.
- In the next wizard, you can see several entries like Photos, printer, music, video, document which you can share in Homegroup. To share, just check the boxes and click the Next button.
- The system generates a random password which will be required in future. Print or write down this password. Click on the ‘Finish’ button.
Now your HomeGroup network has been created successfully. You can change your HomeGroup password and sharing options any time if you need.
How to join a HomeGroup network
To join a HomeGroup network, the user’s computer must be running with Windows 7. A user must be provided with the password which was created at the time of creation of the network. Follow the steps below to join a HomeGroup network in Windows 7.
- Go to Start menu > Control panel > Network and Internet and choose ‘Homegroup and Sharing option’.
- The HomeGroup network wizard appears. To join a network click on the ‘Join now’ button.
- Check the boxes which you want to share and click on the Next button.
- Now type the password given by the network creator and click on Next.
- You’ll get a message saying that you have joined the homegroup. Click on ‘Finish’.
That’s it! You have successfully joined a HomeGroup and ready to access the shared files and folders by the Homegroup users.
Your HomeGroup network is password protected and the creator can change that at any time. To join in a HomeGroup network the computer must be running with Windows 7 operating system. HomeGroup feature is available in all version of Windows 7. Though you can’t create HomeGroup in Windows 7 ‘Starter’ and ‘Home Basic’ version, the users of those version can always join a HomeGroup network.
How to share files and folders on Windows 7 HomeGroup Network
Once you create or join a HomeGroup on Windows 7, you can share any file or folder with the group users. To share a file or folder, right-click on that and select ‘Share with’ > ‘HomeGroup’ or ‘Specific people’.
There are three sharing options there:
1. HomeGroup (Read) – If you choose this option then all the users of your network can only read the file or folder you shared.
2. HomeGroup (Read/Write) – This option lets user to read as well as to modify the shared files and folders.
3. Specific People – By this option you can restrict the visibility of your shared item to one or more specific people on the network.
How to share a Printer over the Windows 7 Network
Sharing a printer with several computers is very useful to save resource and money. You can easily share the printer by creating a HomeGroup network at your Windows 7. You just need to check the box for Printer when creating or joining the network to share your printer with the network users.
You can though always change the sharing settings for your printer. Here is how to do it.
Go to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center and choose the HomeGroup link from the left side bottom of the window. The HomeGroup link resides under the ‘See also’ items’.
Now check or uncheck the box for printer to enable or disable the Printer sharing.
The sharing options in Windows 7 is pretty simple and secured. Isn’t it?