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HomeGroup Is No Longer Part of Windows 10

Written on May 2, 2018 by Geno Rosario

What Has Changed?

With the release of the Windows Version 1803, one of the changes Microsoft has executed is to remove the HomeGroup feature within Windows. (If you would like to manually update to 1803, just hit "Check for Updates" in Windows Update).

We will focus on the Homegroup changes, but for the full changelog, Click Here

What You See After Updating

After you update your PC to Windows 10 (Version 1803):

  • HomeGroup won’t appear in File Explorer.
  • HomeGroup won’t appear in Control Panel, which means that you can’t create, join, or leave a homegroup.
  • HomeGroup won’t appear on the Troubleshoot screen when you go to Settings  > Update & Security  > Troubleshoot .
  • You won’t be able to share new files and printers using HomeGroup.

If you shared Documents or Printers via the Homegroup, you should be able to still share the devices with no changes.  However, if you are looking to start sharing Printers or Documents, you will need to use the following steps to start sharing:

How to Share Printers

To share an installed printer from the primary PC that the printer is connected to other machines, you need to set up share settings for that printer.  

Once you have the printer installed, note the name of the primary PC. You can find the name of the primary PC, by clicking the Start/Windows Key, and typing in "Computer Name", then select "View Your PC Name".  It will be listed under "Device Name".

  1. Select the Start button, then Settings, then Devices, then Printers & Scanners
  2. Choose the printer you want to share, then select Manage.
  3. Select Printer Properties, then choose the Sharing tab.
  4. On the Sharing tab, select Share this printer.
  5. If needed, you can edit the Share name of the printer (this share name is visible from the other machines)


How to Share Files and Documents

Microsoft's official stance appears to be to move file sharing to OneDrive.

While that may not work for everyone, there is still a share tab so you can still share files individually:

While browsing File Explorer, "Share" will be one of the tabs at the top of File Explorer (as seen below)

As It Stands Now

Currently, we are not seeing any issues with Printer sharing ceasing to function, but we thought we would publish this article to get ahead of HomeGroup's removal.

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Tags: HomeGroup, Windows 10, Update, Windows Update, Networking, Sharing, Printer

Moving file sharing to a cloud drive as a default is ludicrous. Let's see, I think I will share a 4TB drive on OneDrive. Sometime in 2027 the data might get there if my satellite provider doesn't cancel my service first. Storage size has grown much faster and cost dropped much faster than communications BW and cost over the last 40 years and there is no indicator to suggest that trend will change any time soon. The cloud concept sort of works if you are working with a relatively small data set, but if you are pushing the limits of modern storage, it is a joke. And that rant doesn't even touch on the security issues.

Posted on 2018-05-09 17:27:14

While two years old, I would like to point out network sharing of folders hasn't been removed.

Posted on 2019-12-21 11:45:15

Network sharing works OK in Windows10 Pro, but not so sure about Home (which I don't use because you can't turn off the damn spyware). Even Pro is kind of broken because Net ID broadcasting has been sorely deprecated, so you have to either type in the address of the computer you want to see or just keep a list in Quick Access. The excuse is that there were security issues with the host finding mechanism so they just selectively deprecated the feature rather than fixing it to work correctly.

Posted on 2019-12-21 18:41:28
Michael Scott

Agreed on both (all?) counts.
Nice move servicing YOURSELF, Microsoft.

Posted on 2019-08-27 15:35:58
Don Burtis

Another argument (bandwidth, cost of needed storage on cloud, security are all valid) is that not all of the US has Internet available 24/7. I live in a suburb of Albuquerque and do not have the luxury of multiple ISPs providing reliable 24/7 GBit symmetric service competing for my business. We have a monopoly (one provider of wired Internet service at 300 MBit download and a measly 12 MBit upload). Nearly every month I suffer unpredictable outages that can last from a few minutes to many hours. The providers of cloud-based storage for individuals do not understand this serious limitation for many areas of the country. I will not allow my ISP's downtime (or slow upload) to affect how and when I want to use my data. So I have to use band-aids (listing my data servers in the Quick Access Menu) to get around Microsoft's failure to fix network discovery to include more than other Windows computers under the "Network" folder. The sad part is that once I do open a share on a data server, it DOES appear in the Network Folder (so most of the needed code works).

Posted on 2020-01-16 19:04:27