Setting Up and Joining a HomeGroup the Metro Screen Way

After connecting for the first time to a private network, you will see a prompt that will ask what type of files would you like to share such as documents, photos, music and other stuff saved in your computer’s hard drive. If the network that you got connected to is one that can be trusted such as the one that you’ve set up in your home or the network that your computer in the office is currently connected to then you would do well to share these stuff so that other people whom you trust can have access to some business files or in the case of your computers at home, everyone that is connected to the network like your children will have access to the music and some other stuff that are saved in your computer.

All of these things are made possible with a feature in every Windows 8.1 machine that is called “HomeGroup”. It might be your first time to hear about this feature and you don’t have an idea yet how to set it up so we will be running you through all the steps needed in setting up a HomeGroup and show how you can connect other devices to it so be sure to pay attention on each of the steps that I will be showing below.

Access the HomeGroup Section

Accessing HomeGroup in Windows 8.1 is quite different from doing it in Windows 7. To be able to use this feature, you will first need to set it up so others who are connected to your WiFi network can connect to it and start accessing some stuff that are enabled for sharing. To start this process, let’s setup HomeGroup by accessing the screen where its settings are found. To do this, simply access the Search metro screen by pressing the Windows+S keys then type “HomeGroup” into the search input box that you will see on the top portion of it.


After typing in the word, you will need to wait for a few seconds or longer depending on your computer’s processor speed and the type of search that you are doing, if you searched “Everywhere” then results will take relatively longer to appear while if you change the search domain to just “Settings” then you will be able to see the search result that you’ll need to click in a matter of a few seconds. Now, on your computer, once the search results appears, simply click on the one that says “HomeGroup settings”.


After doing so, you will be able to access the HomeGroup settings metro screen and from here, if you have not yet set up the HomeGroup feature on your computer to create your own sharing network, you should be able to see a “Create” button which when clicked will initiate the HomeGroup creation process.


After clicking on the “Create” button, the screen will take a little bit of time to load the next set of options and tweaks that you will need to personalize yourself. From this section, you will see some toggle switches for turning on the sharing of certain types of files such as documents, music, pictures, videos, printers and another one with a relatively longer description which says “Let devices on this network (like TVs and game consoles) stream my music and videos”. Below this section of toggle switches is a button that say “Leave” which you can simply click if you want to remove your computer from the HomeGroup and if in case you are the one who created the HomeGroup itself, clicking on the “Leave” button will totally close it and all of the other users who are connected to it will not be able to access the files that are set for sharing within the HomeGroup.


At the bottom-most portion of this screen, you will find the most important component of the HomeGroup which is the “Password”. Be sure to write this alphanumeric characters down and take note of the upper and lower case letters because this is the password that you will need to give to any user who’s wishing to connect to your HomeGroup and start accessing all the files that are enabled for sharing.

Joining a HomeGroup

In case another user, maybe your son, your daughter or an officemate wants to join your computer but they don’t know how to do it yet then you will need to guide them as well and since we’ve only taken up the steps in creating a HomeGroup, you might also have no idea of how it is done. The process of creating a HomeGroup and connecting to it is very similar but we will try some new things here in accessing the HomeGroup screen. To do this on another user’s Windows 8.1 PC or laptop, simply access the Charms bar by pressing the Windows+C keys and once the bar appears from the right edge, simply click the Charm that is located at the bottom which is labeled “Settings”.


After doing so, you will be able to access the Setting screen where you will again need to click a tab at the bottom that says “Change PC settings”. When this tab is clicked, you will be able to access the main metro screen of the PC settings section where links are again available which will lead you to different aspects of the Windows 8.1 operating system that you can make some changes on.


Now, when the PC settings metro screen opens, you will need to click on the link that says “Network” which is found at the left hand portion. Clicking on this link will lead you to the section where you can access certain settings for your machine’s network connection and other related stuff.


On the next screen that opens, another set of links will appear at the left portion and this time, it already includes an item that says “HomeGroup”. You will need to click on this link so you can access the screen where the button for joining the HomeGroup is available.


After clicking on the “HomeGroup” link, the next screen should show a button that bears a “Join” button, you will need to click on it so you can initiate the process of joining the HomeGroup that is setup for the network which the computer is currently connected then on the next step, you will be asked for the HomeGroup password. Just enter this information and follow all the other steps that will come next so that the machine can start accessing all of the available stuff that are enabled for sharing within the network.

As you can see, setting up HomeGroup in Windows 8.1’s metro environment is totally different from how it was done in the desktop screen back in Windows 7 but this desktop method is still available in Windows 8.1 and that’s what we are going to talk about in the next tutorial so be sure to stay tuned with us here on windowstechies.loc to learn the latest and the coolest tips for the Windows operating system!