Remove Homegroup icon appearing suddenly on Windows desktop

Has it happened to you on your Windows 8.1/8 or Windows 10, that you restart your computer and find that the Homegroup icon has suddenly appeared on your desktop? It has happened to me several times, and I was wondering why this was happening when I do not use the Homegroup feature, and how to remove this Homegroup icon. At times the Homegroup icon appeared randomly, stayed for a while, and disappeared automatically. At other times it was stuck and wouldn’t go away. The appearance of this Homegroup icon is not because of any virus – it just appears to make its presence once in a while – randomly!

Remove Homegroup icon

Remove Homegroup icon

 

Before you proceed, read Helge Neumann’s simple tip below to Refresh the desktop – and make it go away.

Next, create a system restore point. Now, if you are a part of a Homegroup, then leaving the Homegroup via Control Panel will make the icon go away. If you are not, then you want to try these suggestions and see if any of them help you.

1] Open Control Panel > Personalization, open Desktop Icon Settings and then first check and then uncheck the Network checkbox. Click Apply and Exit.

homegroup icon settings

2] Via Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center, open Advanced Sharing Settings in the Control Panel and see if checking the Turn off network discovery helps.

network discovery turn off

3] Open Control Panel > Folder Options > View tab. Uncheck Use Sharing Wizard (Recommended) and click Apply. Then Check it back and click Apply. The Homegroup icon will be removed from your Windows 8 desktop and should not reappear again.

turn off sharing wizard

4] If you don’t use Homegroup, then you could open Services Manager or services.msc and disable Homegroup Listener and Homegroup Provider services. Change their start up types from Manual to Disabled.

disable homegroup services

The Homegroup Provider service performs networking tasks associated with configuration and maintenance of Homegroups. If this service is stopped or disabled, your computer will be unable to detect other Homegroups and your Homegroup might not work properly. The Homegroup Listener service makes local computer changes associated with configuration and maintenance of the Homegroup-joined computer. If this service is stopped or disabled, your computer will not work properly in a Homegroup and your Homegroup might not work properly.

5] If the icon continues to appear on the desktop, back up your Registry first and then open Registry Editor or regedit, and delete the following key.

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\

delete homegroup key

This folder key {B4FB3F98-C1EA-428d-A78A-D1F5659CBA93} relates to the Homegroup icon. If you get an error while deleting key, you may be required to take control of the registry key OR you may disable Homegroup Listener and Homegroup Provider service as mentioned above and see it this allows you to delete the registry key.

I hope something works for you. If nothing works for you, you may restore your Windows 8 computer back to the created restore point.

Have you noticed this behavior? I have and at times, it appeared after I had use Disk Cleanup and a Registry Cleaner – but I have no idea if it is connected in any way. If you have any idea about this, please do share in the comments section… or then maybe its simply a bug where the Homegroup icon appears on the desktop at random.

NOTE:

  1. Helge Neumann recommends below in the comments that your Refresh the desktops. Yes that does work, so do try that first.
  2. Waxinator suggests, you could just leave the Homegroup via Control Panel > Homegroup > “Leave the homegroup”.
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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.