Join a HomeGroup and share files with your Surface

computer network
How can you share files with your Surface and other PCs on your home network?

As you know, storage on any tablet device is limited. The Surface is nice because its space is expandable and you have SkyDrive for even more (cloud) storage.

However, even after adding a MicroSD card, you may still find that you need more space, or you may simply want to share files with your other Windows devices. On a Surface tablet, you can do so by using a HomeGroup.

In this post you will find:

  • How to Create a HomeGroup
  • How to join a HomeGroup with your Surface
  • How to access your HomeGroup files

Note: This walk-through works on all Surface tablets.

First thing is first, what is a HomeGroup?

In the MS Windows world, a HomeGroup is a group of computers on a home network that can share pictures, music, videos, documents, and printers. PCs on a home network must belong to a workgroup, but they can also belong to a HomeGroup. The big advantage of a HomeGroup is that is protected with a password. But don’t worry, you will only need to enter the password once, when first joining the HomeGroup. To better understand the difference between Workgroup, Domain, and HomeGroup, see MS article on joining them.

To join a your Surface with a HomeGroup, you need to follow a two-step process. First you need to create a HomeGroup on your PC (or laptop) and then you can join it and share files with your Surface.

1. Create a HomeGroup on your PC (or laptop):

  •  Swipe from right to get charms menu
  • Search for “Network” and choose Network from the list
  • In Network window, select Homegroup from left side bar, then click Create a homegroup button, as below

  • Select what you want to share and click Next

  • Write down the password and click Finish

  • A homegroup will automatically be created and your computer will be added, as below

Note: Network sharing must be turned on for HomeGroup to work. After you create a homegroup, the other PCs running Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows RT on your network can join it.

 2. Join a HomeGroup with your Surface tablet:

  • Swipe from right to get charms menu
  • Search for “homegroup”
  • Choose HomeGroup from the list

  • You will be prompted that a HomeGroup was created
  • Tap Join now button

  • You will be asked to type in your HomeGroup password you wrote down in previous section (beware that capital letters do matter here)
  • Click Next and Finish

Voila! You are finished. You will now be able to share files, music, or whatever else you shared between your PC and Surface tablet. If you have multiple computers and want them all to join your HomeGroup, you simply repeat the same joining process as with the Surface in step 2 above.

Note: PCs that belong to your homegroup will appear in File Explorer.

To get to shared libraries on HomeGroup PCs and share files with your Surface:

  1. Open File Explorer – you can search for it or press Windows key + E at the same time
  2. Under HomeGroup, tap user account name of the person whose libraries you want to access.
  3. In the file list, double-tap the library you want to view, and then double-tap file or folder you want.

Hope you find this helpful.

You may also like our posts on How to Set up Parental Control on Surface and Surface Accessories.


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