How to Let Windows 7 PCs Recognize Windows XP Home PCs on a Network

These days almost every home has a computer network. But if one of the PCs in your home uses Windows XP, you need to change the WORKGROUP name in order to let your Windows 7 PC recognize the Windows XP PCs on the home network.

In order for PCs to find each other, they all have to have to be in the same workgroup. For some reason, Microsoft decided to call Windows XP Home workgroups MSHOME. On the other hand, Windows XP Professional, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 PCs all use WORKGROUP as their workgroup name.

Consequently, unless you change the workgroup name on the Windows XP Home PC, the other PCs can find it and it can’t find them.

  1. On your Windows XP Home PC, click the Start menu, right-click My Computer, and choose Properties.

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    The System Properties window appears, revealing basic information about your PC.

  2. Click the Computer Name tab and click the Change button.

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    The Computer Name Changes dialog box appears.

  3. In the bottom box, select Workgroup and change the Workgroup name to WORKGROUP.

    That puts Windows XP Home on the same workgroup as the rest of your PCs.

    Be careful in this step to change the PC’s workgroup name, not its computer name — they’re different things.

  4. Click OK to close the open windows and, when asked, click the Restart Now button to restart your PC.

    Repeat these steps for any other Windows XP Home PCs on your network, making sure that the name WORKGROUP appears in each Workgroup box.

  5. Restart the PCs in the network.

    They should all be able to see each other now.

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