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You can improve Windows 10’s speed in lots of ways. For example, you can get rid of any pre-installed bloatware, refresh the operating system The One Reason to Reset or Refresh Windows 10: Clutter The One Reason to Reset or Refresh Windows 10: Clutter When Windows 10 feels sluggish, you can blame various forms of clutter. You can get Windows up to speed by using Reset or Refresh it. We explain the difference and how to use it. Read More  (OS), add more RAM, perform system maintenance tasks Push Your PC to Peak Performance With System Mechanic Push Your PC to Peak Performance With System Mechanic Keeping your system running smoothly can be tough, but System Mechanic is here to help. Let's take a look at this powerful, all-in-one cleaning solution. Read More , or change the power settings.

However, one tweak many people overlook is the HomeGroup feature. Disabling the HomeGroup can not only improve the performance of your OS, it can also dramatically increase your network connection How to Fix a Slow or Unstable Wi-Fi Connection How to Fix a Slow or Unstable Wi-Fi Connection One simple trick could speed up your Wi-Fi connection. We explain the issue, how to analyze Wi-Fi networks around you, and how to use the information to speed up your Wi-Fi connection. Read More speed.

But how do you disable and remove the HomeGroup? Here’s how.

What Is a HomeGroup?

A Windows HomeGroup lets you share files and devices (such as printers) The 3 Easiest Ways to Share a Printer Over a Network The 3 Easiest Ways to Share a Printer Over a Network You can share your one printer with multiple PCs across a local network. We explain how to set this up in Windows. We also show you alternative ways to share your printer. Read More between trusted computers on the same local network. It means you don’t need to install drivers on multiple machines or make unnecessary copies of photos and music on all your computers. It’s also compatible with Xbox, meaning you can stream locally-saved media What Are the Best Plex Clients for Streaming Your Media? What Are the Best Plex Clients for Streaming Your Media? What are the best Plex clients for streaming all the latest media? We've rounded up some of the best media-streaming devices around, including the Amazon Fire Stick, Playstation 4, Raspberry Pi, and more! Read More straight to your TV.

The feature has been part of Windows for years. It made its debut with the launch of Windows 7 in 2009 and survived the rise and fall of Windows 8 to maintain its position as a key networking tool in Windows 10.

Unlike the much-criticized Guest Mode in Windows XP, HomeGroups are password protected, all communication over the HomeGroup is encrypted, and users can share files with either the entire group or on a person-by-person basis.

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Ultimately, if you’re not network-savvy and you need HomeGroup to easily share content, it’s an exceptionally useful feature. If you don’t use it, you will be better served by disabling and removing it.

Leave Your HomeGroup

Before you can remove HomeGroup from your system, you need to leave your existing HomeGroup if your machine is part of one. Luckily, this is the easiest part of the entire process.

To access your HomeGroup settings, either search for “HomeGroup” using the Windows search feature or navigate to Control Panel > HomeGroup.

leave homegroup windows

If you’re in a HomeGroup already, you’ll see an option called Leave the HomeGroup. Click the link and select Leave the HomeGroup for a second time to confirm your selection. Click Finish to complete the process.

leave homegroup windows confirm

Simply going this far and then stopping should give you an immediate and noticeable improvement in your network speed.

Turn Off the HomeGroup Service

From this point on, the process becomes more complicated. The next step is to disable the HomeGroup service. This is where you’ll start to see improvements to the core speed of your OS.

The Services menu can be a tricky beast — disable or pause the wrong thing, and your machine can quickly start to unravel.

To access the services menu, either search for “Services” or go to Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services. You’ll now see a list of all the services running on your machine.

control panel admin tools windows

There are two services relating to HomeGroups: HomeGroup Listener and HomeGroup Provider. You need to disable both of them.

homegroup services windows

To disable a service, double-click on the item in question or choose Properties from the right-click context menu. In the Properties window, make sure you’re looking at the General tab, then select Disabled from the drop-down menu next to Startup Type. Click Apply to confirm the changes.

homegroup services disable windows

Repeat the above steps for both the HomeGroup services.

The HomeGroup services will be permanently disabled and, if you’re using Windows 7, it will also be removed from the File Explorer and context menus. However, if you’re running a newer version of Windows, there’s one more step to take before every trace of the feature is gone from your system forever.

Edit the Registry

Unfortunately, completing the process is also the most complicated part: you’ll need to edit the registry What Is The Windows Registry Editor & How Do I Use It? [MakeUseOf Explains] What Is The Windows Registry Editor & How Do I Use It? [MakeUseOf Explains] The Windows registry can be scary at first glance. It’s a place where power users can change a wide variety of settings that aren’t exposed elsewhere. If you’re searching for how to change something in... Read More .

Remember, the registry is very delicate. It underpins your entire Windows OS and accidentally changing something can brick your machine. If you’re not confident, you should stop here. However, if you’re reasonably familiar with how the registry works, keep reading.

Note: Even if you’re competent in using the registry, it’s always wise to make a backup How to Fix Windows Registry Errors & When Not to Bother How to Fix Windows Registry Errors & When Not to Bother In most cases, fixing our registry will do nothing. Sometimes registry errors cause havoc after all. Here we'll explore how to identify, isolate and fix registry problems – and when to not bother at all. Read More before making any changes.

To fire up the registry editor, run a search for “regedit.” The editor is divided into two panes. In the left-hand pane, navigate through the file tree to this location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes\CLSID\{B4FB3F98-C1EA-428d-A78A-D1F5659CBA93}

Make sure you navigate to CLSID and not .CLSID — they are two separate entries.

homegroup registry windows

Once you’ve located the registry entry, right-click on it and go to New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Call the new value System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree. Ensure you include the period after “system”.

Windows automatically sets the value of the new DWORD to zero. As such, the HomeGroup will no longer be part of the File Explorer menu.

homegroup registry permission windows

If Windows will not let you create a new DWORD value, right-click on the registry entry and go to Permissions > Advanced > Change, enter your Windows user account name in the box next to Check Objects, and click OK.

homegroup registry permission control windows

Next, return to the first permissions screen, highlight the Users line, and mark the checkbox next to Full Control.

Re-Enable HomeGroup

If you ever want to turn the HomeGroup back on in the future, it’s easy. There are only two steps you need to follow.

Firstly, delete the registry entry you made, and secondly, change the two HomeGroup services from Disabled to Manual.

Doing to so will reintroduce HomeGroup to your File Explorer and allow you to join and create groups from your computer.

Have You Removed HomeGroup?

Hopefully, the article has provided you with enough information to make an educated decision about HomeGroups. You should now understand what they are, what benefits they offer, and how to remove them if you don’t use them.

Do you use the feature? If not, have you removed it? And most importantly, if you did remove it, did you notice an improvement in your computer and network speed?

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  1. Me
    May 7, 2017 at 5:52 am

    Its easy to make up "tweaks" when you don't have to show any benchmark.
    This is clearly a bunch of .

    Try to provide some empirical data instead of this amateur nonsense.

  2. HMonk
    May 5, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    Registry write error: "cannot create value: error writing to the registry."

  3. likefunbutnot
    April 27, 2017 at 12:36 am

    To echo previous comments, I've never observed disabling the Homegroup services to make a subjective difference on a PC contemporary enough to have shipped with a Windows 7 license. I have at times found reduced-capability machines (ULV Atom or m3 CPU systems with 1 or 2GB RAM) where disabling Windows Defender on Windows 10 to be beneficial, but even then it's not something I would suggest to anyone else.

  4. ReadandShare
    April 26, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Going to my Win 10 Services panel, the two services in question (HomeGroup Listener and HomeGroup Provider) were both set to Manual, and neither was started. Thus, echoing the earlier comments, I am also thinking that disabling will not speed up Windows.

  5. d0x360
    April 26, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    This does nothing to improve performance. Homegroups service is idle unless it's in use. The only time is COULD cause some latency is when it's being woken up for a transfer and even then we are talking about the same amount of time it takes to load a website with a couple paragraphs of text.

    The only actual reason to disable this is security, of course if the attacker is already in your house on your network or has broken into your WiFi network AND also gotten your password to login to homegroup on their PC id say you have bigger issues

  6. eliminat
    April 25, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    "if you did remove it, did you notice an improvement in your computer and network speed?"

    The article says it will improve performance, then asks if it did. Did you do any testing? I haven't seen anything to indicate disabling HomeGroups has any effect on Network performance.

  7. I Don't Believe You
    April 25, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    "Speed Up Windows"
    Benchmarks?