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Homegroup, a feature introduced with Windows 7, continued to help users share files, folders, libraries, devices, etc. on smaller networks until it was finally deleted in Windows 10 v1803. Microsoft gave no particular reason to remove the feature, but their statement on the Microsoft support site clearly indicates that the removal was intentional and in the belief that there is already a replacement.
The real problem is for users who were dependent on HomeGroups because they could not create or join existing HomeGroups or leave those of which they are already members. The original group does not appear in either the File Explorer or the Control Panel.
We cannot troubleshoot existing HomeGroups from systems updated to v1803 because the Troubleshooting option in Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshooting has also been removed.
- Shared folders are accessible in the file explorer via the path homePCSharedFolderName.
- Shared printers can always be accessed from the Print dialog box.
Share printers and files even if the home group has been deleted
This becomes a serious problem for those who were heavily dependent on home groups. Microsoft mentioned the following solutions for those who want to share their files and printers. Let’s see how you can share printers and files under Windows 10 v1803 even if the original group has been deleted.
1] Sharing a network printer
Connect the primary PC to the printer and the machine to the network. You then have two options to launch the printer:
Share printer with Settings
1] Click the Start button, then click the gable icon to open the Settings application.
2] Go to Peripherals, then Printers and Scanners.
3] Check that your printer is listed or add it.
4] Click your printer, then select Manage. Select Printer Properties and open the Validation tab page.
5] Click Share this printer and add or change the share name of the printer to use when connecting to a second PC.
Share printer from Control Panel
1] Enter Control Panel in Search and find Control Panel. Open it. Open it.
2] Select Hardware and Sound, then Display Devices and Printers.
3] Right-click, open the printer properties, and go to the Share tab.
4] Click Share Printer and edit the name and details as described above.
By default, when you add the printer to a secondary PC, it is not listed so you can click Add Printer and enter the printer name.
2] File sharing in File Explorer
File sharing in Windows is easy.
1] Open the File Explorer and browse to the file you want to share.
2] Click the Share tab, and then click Share. Select the application with which you want to share the file.
As we use it as the original group replacement, users may prefer to share their files with OneDrive.
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