You want to share your Windows documents, photos, videos, and printers with others or with other computers. In Windows 7 and 8.1, you can create and manage a homegroup to share those items with other computers on your home network. Unfortunately, Microsoft has discontinued the homegroup feature in Windows 10 so that it is no longer available.
But do not worry because you can share files and printers in Windows 10 in other ways. Continue reading and scroll down the instructions for homegroups if you are still using a Windows 7 or 8.1 PC.
Sharing Files in Windows 10
How do you share files and printers in Windows 1
Share by email
The Share window offers a few options. To share your files via email, select an existing contact, or click the link to find more people and select the contact to whom you want to share the file]
You can Send files directly from File Explorer without having to use another app. Confirm the email with the attached files you want to share, and then send it.
Share with a computer nearby
To share your file with a nearby computer instead, make sure the feature works is enabled, and then select the name of the computer in the sharing window. A notification will be displayed on this computer. The user of this computer then clicks the Save button to automatically save the files to the local Documents folder by default.
Share with a service
Another option is to send the file to an app or online storage service. In the Share window, select the service you want to use to share the file. For example, "Box," "Dropbox," or "OneDrive," and save the file. You then need to open this service in your browser to share the file with other users.
How to Share Printers in Windows 10
To share a printer on your network, go to Settings > Devices> Printers and Scanners . Select the printer you want to share and click the Manage button. In the Manage window, click the Printer Properties link.
When the Printer Properties window opens, click the Sharing tab. Select the Share this printer check box. Change the default name of the share if you want, and then click OK.
To access and use the shared printer on another computer, go to Settings> Devices> Printers and Printers Scanner on this computer. Click the button to add a printer or scanner.
The shared printer should be displayed. Select it and click the button to add a device. The printer will then appear as Ready in the Bluetooth and Other Devices menu.
You can now set it as the default if you want or just select it at any time if you want to print on it.
Sharing Files and Printers in Windows 7, 8.1
Now suppose you continue to use Windows 7 – which will soon be discontinued – or Windows 8.1. The good news is that the homegroup for these operating systems is still running so you can share files and printers with this built-in feature.
Creating a homegroup in Windows 7
In Windows 7 or 8.1, open Control Panel in the icon Click the HomeGroup icon. In the homegroup window, click the button to create a homegroup.
In Windows 7, select the items you want to share through your homegroup: pictures, music, videos, documents, printers. Click on Continue.
Record, copy, or print the password for your homegroup in the next screen of Windows 7. Click Finish.
Creating a homegroup in Windows 8.1
In Windows 8.1, after you click the Create Homegroup button when you first create it, click Next on a homegroup panel , Select the items you want to share in Windows 8.1 by clicking the drop-down box next to the items and changing the status to Shared. Click on Continue.
Record, copy, or print the password for your homegroup on the next screen in Windows 8.1. Click Finish.
Change Homegroup Sharing Settings
The next screen lets you share your content with media devices on your network. In Windows 7, check the box to stream my pictures, music, and videos to all devices on my network.
Then click the link to Select Media Streaming Options. In the next screen, name your media library and click the Allow All button. Then click OK.
In Windows 8.1, click the All devices link on this network, such as the following. In the next screen, name your media library and click the Allow All button. Then click Next.
How to join a homegroup
Now, suppose you want to join a pre-existing homegroup, or you want someone else to join the newly created group. To participate in File and Printer Sharing, the other Windows computer must be on the same network and be a member of the same workgroup as the computer on which you created the homegroup.
Change HomeGroup Name
You can check this and change the homegroup name on a Windows 7 or 8.1 computer in the same way. Open the Control Panel in the icon view and select System. Make sure that the name of the workgroup is the same for both computers in the Computer Name, Domain, and Workgroup Settings section.
If not, click Link to change settings. In the System Properties window, click the Modify button and change the workgroup name to match the name of your other computer. OK click. You will be asked to restart your computer.
On the connected computer, go to Control Panel, and then click the homegroup icon. Windows should be aware that there is already a homegroup in your network. Click the Join Now button.
Select the items you want to share on your current computer. In the next screen, enter the password for your homegroup. Click on Continue.
Click Finish to finish the homegroup setup. You can now share your files and printers with the two Windows computers. You can repeat the same steps for all other computers that need to be added to the homegroup.
Accessing Shared Files
To access a shared file, open File Explorer (or Windows Explorer) and scroll down to the left, and you should see a new section called Homegroup. Click to view the other computers in your homegroup.
Select one of the computers, and in the right pane are the various folders for documents, music, photos, and other items that you selected to share to have. Double-click a shared folder to access its contents. You can then copy shared files between the two computers.
You can tweak the settings and perform other tasks for your homegroup. On any device in the homegroup, go to the Control Panel and double-click the homegroup icon. In this window, you can change the share, view or print the password, change the password, exit the homegroup, change the advanced sharing settings, and start troubleshooting if you encounter problems.