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How To Disable or Enable the Homegroup Feature in Windows 7

Have you ever used the Homegroup feature in Windows 7? It’s a great way to share files and printers with all your Windows 7 computers, but if you don’t want it anymore, you can disable or enable the feature easily.

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Before you bother disabling it, you should make sure to check out our articles explaining how it works, and why it’s great:

Still not convinced? Keep reading.

Disable the Homegroup Feature in Windows 7

The first thing you’ll want to do is open up Windows Explorer, right-click on the Homegroup option in the left-hand pane, and then choose Change HomeGroup settings.

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At the bottom of the window, you’ll find an option called “Leave the homegroup”, which you should click.

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Now you’ll be presented with a wizard asking you to confirm that you really want to leave the homegroup.

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This disables the homegroup, but doesn’t remove it from the navigation pane.

Remove Homegroup from the Navigation Pane

Next, you’ll want to open up services.msc in the start menu search box, or just find it through Control Panel. Find HomeGroup Listener in the list, and double-click on it.

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Change the Startup type to Disabled, and click the Stop button to stop the service. Once you’re done with that, you’ll need to disable the Homegroup Provider service in the same way.

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At this point you’ll notice that it’s gone from the navigation pane.

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Again, we recommend you learn how the feature works, but if you don’t want to, it’s pretty easy to disable, right?

How to Enable Homegroups Again

First, you’ll want to enable the service again—head back into services.msc, find the HomeGroup Listener and set it to automatic. Next, head into Control Panel –> Network and Internet, and then click on HomeGroup.

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Then, simply click on the Create a Homegroup button, and follow the prompts. If your button says Join a homegroup, follow that wizard instead.

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Do you use the Homegroup feature?

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 08/31/10

Comments (25)

  1. Bakr

    Thanks guys

  2. me

    time to time

  3. Matthew

    Thanks for this. I was thinking about disabling homegroups, because I’m the only person on my home network who has Windows 7 (everyone else is stuck on XP or even worse, Vista).

  4. Lt. Kije

    Home Group may or may not be great, but what I found was less than great was figuring out how to get W7 into my home workgroup network. This was my first W7 machine. I never did figure it out.

  5. Sir Fice

    I found that I needed to stop and disable the HomeGroup Provider service as well before it disappeared from Explorer.

  6. cmotdibbler

    Thank you for the advice.

  7. Warren Buffett

    Why bother to disable it? How much RAM does it use?

  8. Michail

    One problem that I ran into while doing this is that it didn’t work at first. I followed the the steps but I still had it in the navigation. What the problem was was that my Homegroup Provider was started and it has to be stopped, apparently.

  9. Bank

    @Michail – The directions clearly state that you need to disable the Homegroup Provider as well.

  10. jayr

    good advice for an asus 1201n netbook user. need all the ram i could get

  11. HeadsetChatter

    Very cool. Just installed Win7 as my secondary OS, so I don’t need all the bloat. Thanks.

  12. safer alkalema

    thanks to you

  13. DB

    Thanks for that

    +1 for having DropBox ;)

  14. Michael Waymire

    Hey Lt. Kije
    1. Right click on “Computer” in the start menu.
    2. Click on Properties- This brings up “System”.
    3. Click “Change settings” – It’s on the far right, 3/4 of the page down. – It brings up System Properties.
    4. Click the “Change” button – It’s on the far right, 3/4 of the page down.
    5. Change the “WORKGROUP” to your home workgroup network is on your other computer systems.

  15. Correction

    As “Sir Fice” said above, the HomeGroup Provider service also needs to be disabled for the functionality to get completely disabled and for the Homegroup option to disappear from the Explorer navigation pane.

  16. Pierre

    @ Correction, Sir Fice & Michail: RTM! (Read The Manual)

    The article clearly states: “…Once you’re done with that, you’ll need to disable the Homegroup Provider service in the same way.”. Duh!

  17. Maz

    Thanks for this tip

  18. Bob Downs

    Thanks for the run-through on getting rid of Homegroup. I found your article on Lifehacker and clicked through.

    If you include our smartphones, we have about 5-6 computers in our home, but only my laptop is running Win7, so I believe it’s a good idea for me to stop Homegroup.

  19. paulo ricardo

    hello everyone,

    I did everything as indicated, but the homegroup continues to appear in the navigation pane…

    thanks for the help…

  20. paulo ricardo

    solved …

    I’m sorry, I had forgotten to stop the service homegroup provider….

  21. blazer2704

    Great Article

    I got little issue on how to disable it and leave homegroup, because it’s not allowing me to leave the homgroup?

    Any ideas?

  22. W7dwarfs

    AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    It’s GONE!

    yep, had to kill the provider service, too.

    thanx for the advice!

  23. Roderunner

    How is the ‘Homegroup Listener. started, tried multi times and failed to start.

  24. Alley

    You may need to disable homegroups if you use Win7 Media Center. There is an annoying bug that showed up in SP1 where browsing large directories of files (like your music or video collection) slows literally to a crawl. Disabling Homegroups and disabling the services fixed it. Apparently the homegroup was fighting with Media Center over the files and there were constant file lock issues slowing the system down. Also you could never rename files in those directories as Homegroup had them locked.

    Just use the Win7 built in networking – it’s not difficult, works better than XP if you are all Win7 on your network, and if you have some XP machines homegroup doesn’t work for you anyway.

  25. Deniz

    Hi everyone
    in the stage of “leave the homegroup”,i confront with this message”windows couldn’t remove your computer from the homegroup” , please help me,this is very ennoying.

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