What is a Windows workgroup?

According to Refugeict solution, a workgroup is a peer-to-peer network setup using Microsoft Windows operating system. It’s a group of computers on a local area network that share common resources and responsibilities. You can easily create a workgroup by connecting two or more PCs without going through a separate server computer.

In a workgroup, each computer on the network is physically connected to a router or switch. Each computer that’s a member of a workgroup can access shared resources in the network, like files or printers, or share their own resources with the group. While a workgroup is a group of computers that are connected to a network, it’s not the same as a network. You can connect a computer to your network without making it a member of a specific workgroup. You can even have multiple workgroups in the same network.

How does a workgroup in a small office or home office work?

Let’s take an example of a small three-person office. John, Amy, and Mark are this small office’s three employees. Every computer on this network will have its own database of usernames and passwords.

Essentially, a workgroup is “every man for themselves,” and there is no central control. Every PC in a workgroup is a server and a client at the same time. A PC will act as a client when it seeks to access a resource in another PC. The PC which needs to provide the access to its resources will act as a server during the process of authentication and authorization.

For instance, if Amy wants to use Mark’s computer, her username and password need to be created on Mark’s computer. And if Mark wants to use Amy’s computer, his username and password need to be created on her computer. If both Amy and Mark want to use John’s computer, both of their usernames and passwords need to be created on John’s computer.

How to set up a Windows 10 workgroup?

Once you’ve set up your network in your small office, you can follow the steps below to connect all your devices to a single Windows workgroup:

  1. Navigate to the Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > System. You will get to view basic information about your computer screen.
  2. Click on Change Settings under Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings to arrive at the System properties pop-up.
  3. Click on Change to rename this computer.
  4. Under the Computer Name/Domain Changes pop-up, you’ll have the option to join the workgroup of your choice. Ensure that all the devices you want in a particular workgroup are joined to that workgroup. In this case, the workgroup is named My Workgroup. The following image shows where you can enter the name of the workgroup you want to join.
Setting up a Workgroup
Setting up a Workgroup

How do I share files and folders in a workgroup?

Now that you’ve set up a workgroup for your small office, let’s talk about how to share files and folders among different users in a Windows 10 workgroup. Let’s assume that you want to share the My Games folder under Documents.

Follow the steps below to share this folder:

  1. Right-click My Games.
  2. Click Properties.
  3. Click the Sharing tab.
  4. Click on Share
  5. Choose the people you want to share the folder with, and select the permission level. The following image shows the screen where you can grant access to other users in the workgroup.
  6. While granting access to other users, you’ll need to create their usernames and passwords on your own computer. This is the only way these users can be authenticated.
Sharing a folder with your workgroup
Sharing a folder with your workgroup

To join a workgroup in Windows 10:

1. Open file explorer > Right-click “This PC” > Click on Properties > Under “Computer name, domain and workgroup settings” click “Change settings”

windows10 change pc name 1 2

2. Ensure you are on the “Computer Name” tab > Click “Change” > Under “member of” select workgroup > Input your workgroup name > Once you are ready click OK > Restart your PC for the changes to take effect


Features of a Workgroup

  • Peer network – no computer has control over another computer.
  • Each computer has a set of user accounts. You must have an account on that computer in order to log on to a any computer in the workgroup.
  • Usually only about 20 computers in the workgroup.
  • A workgroup is not protected by a password.
  • All computers must be on the same local network or subnet.

Features of a Domain


  • Centrally controlled by servers
  • Servers control security and permissions for all computers on the domain using policies.
  • Domain users must provide a password or other credentials each time they access the domain.
  • Users can log into any computer on the domain without having a local account set up on that computer.
  • Computer in a domain are more restricted and not allowed to install programs without the network administrators permission.
  • There can be thousands of computers in a domain.
  • The computers can be on different local networks.


Features of a Homegroup

  • Computer on a home network can belong to a homegroup as well as a workgroup at the same time.
  • A homegroup makes it easy to share pictures, music, videos, documents, and printers with other people on a home network.
  • A homegroup is protected with a password, but you only need to type the password once, when adding your computer to the homegroup.
  • A homegroup help you set up your home network sharing easily.

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Author: refuge_2020

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