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How to fix the “Windows can’t set up a homegroup on this computer” error

Are you looking to share files between computers and easily work together with other people? The Homegroup feature in Windows is the perfect way to do this. However, users have reported an issue related to the creation of a homegroup. The error says “Windows can’t set up a homegroup on this computer”.

This is a known error with homegroups on Windows 10 and Windows 7 as well. But what are you supposed to do when it comes up? Read our article to find out the causes and learn useful methods of fixing it.

Homegroup errors on Windows 10 and Windows 7

Homegroups are used to make file sharing and collaborating easier for you, your colleagues and your family. Most known errors make it impossible to create or join a homegroup, rendering the feature useless.

Alongside the “Windows can’t set up a homegroup on this computer” error, many other issues related to homegroups can come up on your system. If you’re experiencing any of these issues, we have some easy and quick fixes below.

Here are the most common homegroup errors reported by Windows 10 and Windows 7 users:

    • Homegroups not working: If you can’t create, join or use a homegroup at all, you most likely have configuration issues. Homegroups rely on IPv6 and necessary Homegroup Services to function, these are often the common causes of the error.
    • Can’t create a homegroup, only join: There’s a possibility that you can join homegroups, however, you can’t create your own. To troubleshoot, you need to delete the contents of the PeerNetworking directory.
    • Homegroup can’t access other computers: Are you able to create and join a homegroup, but can’t see the other computers in it? This is a security issue that can be fixed by changing the permissions of the MachineKeys and PeerNetworking directories.

Now that we have identified most of the possible causes, it’s time to get into fixing the issues. We compiled seven methods that allow anyone to troubleshoot homegroup errors on both Windows 10 and Windows 7 operating systems.

Our methods were written using a Windows 10 system, meaning that the wording might be different on Windows 7. However, all methods should still work on both operating systems and possibly even Windows 8.

Run the Windows Troubleshooter

Windows comes pre-equipped with a number of tools that specialize in fixing issues on your system. Starting from simple things like audio troubleshooting all the way to fixing homegroup errors.

The Windows Troubleshooter can’t resolve all problems, but it’s a good place to start. Here are the steps to running it:

  1. Open the Settings app by pressing down the Windows and I keys on your keyboard. Alternatively, you can click on the gear icon in the Start menu.
  2. Click on Update & Security.
  3. Choose Troubleshoot from the menu on the left. From here, select the HomeGroup Troubleshooter and click on the Run troubleshooter button.
  4. Wait for the Windows Troubleshooter to finish scanning your computer. You can automatically restore your Homegroups if it detects any fixable issues.

It’s possible that the HomeGroup Troubleshooter is missing from your system or simply didn’t return any useful results. Don’t be disheartened by this, our other methods can still help you deal with the issue.

Delete files from the PeerNetworking folder

if you can’t create a homegroup, it’s possibly an issue with a folder called PeerNetworking. Deleting some of its contents then trying to make a new homegroup is often able to fix the issue. This method basically forces Windows to generate new files within the folder, replacing older and possibly corrupted ones.

  1. Press both the Windows and R keys on your keyboard at the same time to bring up the Run utility. Paste in this location and hit enter: C:\Windows\ServiceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Roaming\PeerNetworking.
  2. First, delete only the idstore.sst file and continue with Step 3. If by the end this doesn’t work, come back to this step and delete everything else, then continue.
  3. If you’re currently in a homegroup, go to your Network Settings and leave the homegroup. Repeat this on all PCs you want to use in your new homegroup.
  4. Turn off all the computers that you want to use in your new homegroup.
  5. Turn on one PC and create a new homegroup. This homegroup should be recognized on all computers now.

Enable Peer Network Grouping services

There’s always a great number of services running on your computer to make sure every feature works perfectly. However, sometimes these services can get turned off by Windows Update, third-party apps or even viruses.

If your homegroups don’t work at all, you should double-check whether or not the Peer Network Grouping services are turned on. Here are the steps to check and turn them on if needed:

  1. Press both the Windows and R keys on your keyboard at the same time to bring up the Run utility. Type in services.msc and hit enter. This will launch the Services app, which might take a few seconds to load up.
  2. An alphabetical list will appear with all of the services available on your computer. Look for the following four services:
    1. Peer Network Grouping
    2. Peer Network Identity Manager
    3. Homegroup Listener
    4. Homegroup Provider
  3. Right-click on each of these services and click on Start. If all are already started, proceed with Step 4.
  4. Right-click on each of these services and choose Properties. Make sure that the Startup type is set to Automatic.
  5. Attempt to create a new homegroup and see if the issue is resolved.

Allow full control to the MachineKeys and PeerNetworking folders

If your homegroup can’t be accessed by other computers, it’s possibly an issue with the security of two folders. By simply changing their security settings, you can allow other computers to use your homegroup.

  1. Press both the Windows and R keys on your keyboard at the same time to bring up the Run utility. Paste in this location and hit enter: C:\Windows\ServiceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Roaming\PeerNetworking.
  2. Right-click on the PeerNetworking folder and choose Properties.
  3. Switch to the Security tab, then click on the Edit button.
  4. Under Permissions for Administrators, place a checkmark next to Full control. Click the Apply button and close the File Explorer.
  5. Open Run again (Windows + R) and go to the next location: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\CryptoRSA\MachineKeys.
  6. Repeat Step 2. to Step 4. with the folder called MachineKeys. Once you allow full control of these two folders on all PCs, try connecting to the homegroup again.

Enable IPv6 on all PCs using the homegroup

Because IPv6 is a relatively new technology, most computers have ti disabled by default. According to users, turning it on can fix the issue and make their computers connect to a homegroup. You can easily do this by following these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app by pressing down the Windows and I keys on your keyboard. Alternatively, you can click on the gear icon in the Start menu.
  2. Click on Network & Internet.
  3. Click on either WiFi or Ethernet from the left-side menu, depending on which one you use for your connection.
  4. Scroll down and click on the Change adapter options link found under Related settings.
  5. Right-click on your network connection and choose Properties from the context menu. From here, place a checkmark next to Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) to enable IPv6.
  6. Repeat these steps on all PCs attempting to connect to your homegroup.

After IPv6 has been enabled on every computer trying to use the homegroup, you shouldn’t have any issues anymore. If you still struggle to make a working homegroup, we recommend trying our other methods too.

Make sure that your system clock is correct

Sometimes an incorrect system clock can cause errors regarding homegroups on your computer. Users report that adjusting the time can fix problems. To make sure your system clock is correct, do the following:

  1. Right-click on the time or date in the bottom right of your screen, then choose Adjust time/date. This will take you to the Settings app.
  2. Turn off Set time automatically then turn it back on after a few seconds. Doing this should automatically set your time according to your timezone.

Change your computer’s name

Changing the name of your PC might solve issues with homegroups. This is due to configuration issues. By changing the name of your computer, you force Windows to create fresh, usable configuration files.

Follow these steps to change the name of your computer:

  1. Use the search function in your taskbar and look for View your PC name. You can bring up the search bar by clicking on its icon or pressing the Windows and S keys on your keyboard.
  2. Click on the matching result. This will launch the Settings app.
  3. Scroll down and click on the Rename this PC button.
  4. Enter a different name. You can use any combination of alphanumeric characters and hyphens. When you’re done, click on the Next button.
  5. Restart your PC after successfully changing the name of it. If necessary, repeat these steps on all computers that want to access the homegroup.

We hope that by following our guide, you were able to resolve the “Windows can’t set up a homegroup on this computer” error. If you have any other issues with homegroups in the future, you can return to our article and try our methods once again.



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