More households than ever are occupied by more than one compute. This often means jumping from one machine to the next to find the documents or files you need. Unless, of course, you share files between computers using your home network. This process has become even easier with Windows 7*, which is equipped with a Homegroup feature.
Establishing a Homegroup
To begin sharing files between computers, you will need to create a homegroup, which is simply a collection of computers enabled for file sharing.
- Access the Control Panel from the start menu
- Make sure the options are displayed according to category at the top right of the screen.
- Find the "Network and Internet" category. Click the link for "Choose homegroup and sharing options”.
This is where you either create a homegroup to share files between computers or access an existing homegroup to use on other machines.
- If "There is currently no homegroup on the network": Click the link at the bottom of the screen that says " Create a Homegroup:.
- If "This computer belongs to a homegroup": Click the link to "View or print the homegroup password”.
At this point, you will be able to decide what types of files you want to share between two computers. The options are pictures, documents, music, printers, and videos, and you can choose to share any combination of those file types. Once you have made those selections, Windows 7 will give you an alphanumeric password that you should store in a safe place. You will need this password to set up the homegroup on other computers in your house.
Accessing Other Windows 7* Computers in the Homegroup
All that is left to do before you can share files between computers is to access that homegroup from other machines. To do this in Windows 7, you will need to turn on the machine, click on the start menu, and access the control panel just like before. Find the link to "Choose homegroup and sharing options" under the "Network and Internet" category.
Instead of creating a new homegroup, however, you will see an alert box that tells you a homegroup has been detected on your network. Click the "Join Now" button. You will enter the password you saved from the other computer and select the file types just like before.
Wait a moment while the connection is established, after which you are ready to share files between computers.
Accessing Shared Files
If you want to minimize the necessary clicks to access files shared between computers, you can create a shortcut on your desktop. The easiest way to do this is to create a shortcut on your desktop.
- Click the start menu, then the "Computer" button on the right-hand portion of the menu.
- Double-click the hard disk drive (usually "C").
- Double-click the "Users" folder on the next screen.
- Right-click the "Public" folder and click "Create shortcut”.
- Rename the short cut folder to whatever you like, then drag it to the desktop.
Now you are ready to transfer files between computers, share documents, stream music, share printers, and anything else you would like to include on your Homegroup.
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