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How to Create or Join a Windows 8.1 Homegroup

A homegroup on a Windows 8.1 (or Windows 7 or 8) is a simple network, which is a connection between two or more computers for the purpose of sharing resources, such as an Internet connection, files, printers, and storage. One user on a network creates a homegroup that other users join, if they choose.

  1. On the Start screen, type homegroup. On the search results screen, select Choose HomeGroup and Sharing Options.

    This opens the HomeGroup category of PC Settings.

    On a touchscreen, the virtual keyboard doesn’t appear on the desktop until you select the keyboard icon on the right side of the taskbar.

    You can also create or join a homegroup by selecting Homegroup in the navigation pane of File Explorer.

  2. If A Homegroup Is Available appears on screen, select the Enter the Homegroup Password box. Type the password and select Join.

    The person who created the homegroup can give you the password. If that person doesn’t remember it, he or she can follow the steps in this section on his or her own machine to get the password for you.

    If you are the first person to use this function in your household or you have already joined a homegroup, the right side of the screen displays the settings for choosing what to share with the homegroup.

  3. For each folder and device that you want to share, click or tap to the right of the small black box in the rectangular slider.

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    Folders and devices shared in the homegroup will appear in the file picker and other places where you save or open files, including File Explorer.

    If you want to turn off sharing for a folder or device, click or tap to the left of the black box that appears in the rectangular slider.

  4. Scroll down, if necessary, to see the Password section. The password required by other users to join your homegroup appears in the box.

    Although you can change this password through a long series of steps, you’ll use this password only when a computer joins a homegroup for the first time.

    In the unlikely event that you want to leave a homegroup, select the Leave button at the bottom of the HomeGroup screen. I don’t recommend this because doing so removes all options for sharing through HomeGroup.

  5. Switch to the desktop and open File Explorer. On the left, select Homegroup.

    If you have created or joined a homegroup, you’ll see your computer and others that have joined. By selecting objects in the homegroup, you can access anything shared by others.

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