Windows HomeGroups

I’ll confess I don’t know exactly how homegroups work and I haven’t tried to learn much about them. I’ve always wanted them to just work. Today, our homegroup broke and the magic was gone. 

Everything’s back up and running now but it was a bit tedious to get it all working again. Our problem started when we realized none of the three Windows computers we have could see each other. Instead of trying to troubleshoot it, I figured I’d just recreate the homegroup. Frustratingly, the “Leave the homegroup…” option was nowhere to be found on any of the machines, and, while none of them showed as being an existing member of a homegroup, they all reported there was a homegroup available to join. Trying to join though led to a seemingly neverending connection dialog.

In the end, here’s what worked:

  1. Shut down all of the Windows machines on the network.
  2. Turn one machine back on; this is the one you’re going to create the new homegroup on.
  3. Go to Control Panel -> HomeGroup and click “Create a homegroup.” If you don’t see that option available, double check that all of the other Windows PCs on your network are in fact turned off.
  4. Follow the steps all the way through till the homegroup is ready to go.
  5. Boot up the next computer, and go to Control Panel -> HomeGroup.
  6. Join the homegroup you just created by clicking “Join now.”
  7. Enter the homegroup’s password. You may find it takes a long time to join. One of our computers took several minutes on this step while our other PC instantly took the password and joined. Be patient, walk away, get some coffee, and you’ll eventually see it joined successfully.

Hope that helps someone someday!

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