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Sharing Other Folders with the HomeGroup

Sometimes you might want to share files that aren't in a library. If this happens, you can always add the folder to a library. Just right-click the folder, hover over Include in library (see Figure 6), and select the one you want to add it to.

If you don't want the folder or files in a library, you can still share with your HomeGroup without adding them. Simply right-click the folder and hover Share with (see Figure 7).

Then you can choose HomeGroup (Read) to let others on the network just open or play the files, or select HomeGroup (Read/Write) to also let them change or delete files.

Sharing Files from Other Users on the Same PC

When you create or join a HomeGroup, you choose which libraries you want to share. Remember, these are your libraries or those of the Windows account you are logged into. So if other users on the same PC want to share, they must do so themselves.

Each user can log on to their Windows account and bring up the Network and Sharing Center to access the HomeGroup settings. Then they can select the libraries they want to share and modify the other settings as needed.

Remember, they can also view and/or print the password. However, they would have to be an Administrator or have one's password to change the HomeGroup password.

Sharing Permissions in the HomeGroup

When you share the default Libraries of Windows 7 with your HomeGroup, ready-only access is given to other users for the matching personal folder and full access is given for the matching public folder.

However, full access is given to those that have the same exact Windows account name and password and other computers.

For instance, suppose you share the Documents Library with the HomeGroup. Other users can open, edit, and delete files in the Public Documents folder. However, they can only open or play files from your personal Documents folder; they can't make changes. But if you log on to another computer with the same Windows account and password, you'll receive full access to your personal folders.

Though I don't recommend it, you can give full access to the personal folder of a default Library: simply right-click the folder and select Share with > HomeGroup (Read/Write).

Leaving the HomeGroup

We started and joined a HomeGroup, set up folders to be shared, and discussed the sharing permissions. If you find that you don't like this new feature, you can easily stop using it. Simply go to each computer, bring up the Network and Sharing Center, click one of the HomeGroup links, and then click the Leave the homegroup link near the bottom.

Remember, you can still share files like normal for computers not in the HomeGroup or without Windows 7, even while using the HomeGroup for select machines.

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