Letting Windows 7 manage your homegroup connections is the easiest way to share files and printers on your home network. But if some computers on your network are running Windows Vista, Windows XP, or even Mac OS — or if you just want to do things the old-fashioned way, using user accounts and passwords to connect across the network — follow the steps below.


Open the Windows Control Panel, and then click Network and Internet.

The Network and Internet window appears.


Click Network and Sharing Center.

The Network and Sharing Center window appears.


In the left pane, click Change Advanced Sharing Settings.

Windows creates separate network profiles for each of your networks (for example, Home or Work and Public).


Under the profile you wish to change, scroll to the HomeGroup Connections section and click Use User Accounts and Passwords to Connect to Other Computers or Allow Windows to Manage HomeGroup Connections (default). Click Save Changes.

Windows 7 saves your changes to the HomeGroup connections settings.