How to Delete a HomeGroup From Windows Explorer or File Explorer


Windows 8 and Windows 7 both feature HomeGroup, a specialized networking application that connects Windows computers on a home network to one another and allows them to easily share devices and documents. HomeGroup is enabled automatically with your Windows 8 installation; removing the entry from File Explorer (Windows 8) or Windows Explorer (Windows 7) requires that you first abandon the HomeGroup and then tinker with your Windows settings.

Leaving the HomeGroup

  • Open the Windows Control Panel. For Windows 8, swipe to the bottom right side of the screen, click the “Settings” charm, and then click “Control Panel.” In Windows 7, click the Start button and then click “Control Panel.”

  • Click the Control Panel search box and then type “HomeGroup.” Click “HomeGroup” from the list of applications and options that display.

  • Click “Leave the HomeGroup” to abandon your HomeGroup. Click “Leave the HomeGroup” again, followed by “Finish,” to complete the process. Once finished, you’ll be free to remove the HomeGroup entry from File Explorer and Windows Explorer.

Removing the Entry

  • Open the Windows Run dialog by pressing “Windows Key-R.” This process is the same in both Windows 8 and Windows 7.

  • Type “services.msc” into the Run dialog box. Click “OK” or press the “Enter” key to launch the Services application.

  • Scroll through the list of services running on your computer. Double-click the “HomeGroup Provider” entry to open its Properties menu.

  • Click the “Stop” button to disable HomeGroup Provider. Next, click the “Startup Type” drop-down and then click “Disabled.” These settings ensure the HomeGroup Provider service doesn’t just initialize itself the next time you reboot your computer. Click “OK” to save.

  • Double-click the “HomeGroup Listener” entry and then click “Stop” to turn off the service. Set its Startup Type to “Disabled” and then click “OK” to save your changes. HomeGroup is now completely disabled on your system.

  • Restart your computer. In Windows 8, swipe to the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, click “Settings,” select “Power,” and then choose “Restart.” In Windows 7, open the Start menu, click the small arrow next to “Shut Down,” and then select “Restart.” When the PC finishes its reboot, the HomeGroup item will be gone from File Explorer and Windows Explorer.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can re-join the HomeGroup at any time. Re-enable the HomeGroup services via the Services application, reboot your computer, and then use the Control Panel “HomeGroup” option to reconnect your computer to the HomeGroup.
  • Disabling HomeGroup will free up resources for your PC. You may not see a significant performance spike, but fewer running services give your hardware more room to work.
  • Only users with administrator accounts can change HomeGroup settings or modify system services.

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