Microsoft’s HomeGroup feature available in Windows 10 (and older versions as well) is a networking service that offers a simple way to share both files and printer connections. It comes with password protection to ensure the content you share with other network-connected computers remains secure.
However, it also works with other devices connected to your network, such as the Xbox One, for example, offering the possibility to stream files from your PC through the gaming console or a TV.
If you’d like to reap all the benefits provided by the Homegroup networking service on your Windows 10 computer, you should know it’s very easy to set it up, and we’ll detail the process in the guide below.
Right-click on the Start button and select ‘Control Panel‘ from the context menu. In the ‘Small icons’ view click on Homegroup. Alternatively, you can search for its name in the dedicated field.
Click on the ‘Create a homegroup’ option to continue.
A new screen will be displayed asking you to confirm your choice. Hit the Next button to start setting up your new homegroup (by the way, there can only be one per network).
On the following window, you’ll be able to select which types of files you want to be able to share between all the computers connected to your network. These can be Pictures, Music, Videos, Documents as well as Printers & Devices. The sharing levels can be configured for each file category. When you finish setting them up, click the Next button.
The password of your newly created Homegroup will be displayed on the next screen. For each computer or device you want to connect to this Homegroup, you’ll need to enter this password.
However, you can also change it to something you can actually remember so you won’t have to print it or write it down. You can do this from the HomeGroup settings window in Control Panel by selecting the ‘Change the password‘ option. The small shield icon indicates you need administrator rights to do this, so make sure you’re logged into the Administrator account.
If you want to make your Homegroup sharing even more functional, you can tweak some additional settings to allow other connected devices (like a TV or a Xbox One) to play and stream media files from your computer.
You can do this in the HomeGroup settings menu accessible via the Control Panel as described above. There, you’ll need to select the ‘Allow all devices on this network such as TVs and game consoles to play my shared content‘ option which will display a list of all the network connected devices. Simply check their related boxes for the ones you want to grant the ability to view and stream your media files.