HomeGroup is a Windows feature that helps you to share documents, music, printers, videos, and pictures with other users on the same home network. HomeGroup is created automatically when users install a fresh Windows on their system. Users can also create HomeGroups and add other users of their network to it or just join the already present HomeGroup. However, if an administrator doesn’t want the computer data to be shared with other users on the network. They can prevent the computer from joining a HomeGroup by setting a specific policy.
Prevent the Computer from Joining a HomeGroup
There are several different reasons why an administrator would want to prevent the computer from joining to a HomeGroup. By default, users can join a HomeGroup without any restrictions. However, there is a policy in the Local Group Policy Editor that can prevent users from joining. We also included the Registry method because Windows 10 Home Edition users will not have Group Policy Editor on their system. Registry Editor will work similar to the policy, but it will require some additional steps from the user.
Method 1: Preventing through the Local Group Policy Editor
The Local Group Policy Editor is a Windows administration tool that allows users to configure different types of settings for their computers. There is a specific policy that prevents users from adding their computers to the HomeGroup. By enabling this policy, users will be unable to add computers to a HomeGroup. However, this policy will not affect other network sharing features.
If you are using Windows 10 Home Edition, then kindly skip this method and use the Registry Editor method.
If you have the Local Group Policy Editor on your system, then follow the below guide:
- Hold the Windows key and press R to open the Run dialog. Now type “gpedit.msc” and press the Ok button to open the Local Group Policy Editor on your system.
- In the Local Group Policy Editor, navigate to the following setting as shown:
Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\HomeGroup
- Double-click on the setting named “Prevent the computer from joining a homegroup“. It will open in a new window, now change the toggle from Not Configured to Enabled. Then click the Apply/Ok button to apply changes.
- Make sure to restart your system for this policy setting to take effect. Then users will be unable to add computers to a HomeGroup.
Method 2: Preventing through the Registry Editor
All the configuration settings included with Windows are stored in the Registry Editor. Many of the settings that aren’t available in the control panel or Windows Settings can be edited in the Registry Editor. Some of the additional settings will require keys/values to be created by users to make them work. Be careful with using the Registry Editor and don’t edit anything that you are not sure about.
You can also create a registry backup through the export feature before editing anything new.
- Open a Run dialog by pressing the Windows + R keys together. In the Run dialog, type “regedit” and press the Enter key to open the Registry Editor. Also, choose the Yes option for UAC (User Account Control) prompt.
- In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following key:
- If the following key “HomeGroup” is missing, just right-click on the available key and choose the New > Key option. Then name the key as “HomeGroup” and select it.
- Right-click on the right pane of the key and choose the New > DWORD (32-bit) Value option. Name the newly created value as “DisableHomeGroup“.
- Double-click on the value and set the value data to 1.
Note: Value data 1 will be for enabling value and value data 0 will be for disabling value.
- Make sure to restart your computer after applying all changes. This will disable the computers from joining the HomeGroup.