Welcome to Windows Home Server

The Windows® Home Server operating system helps you centralize and connect your digital assets. Windows Home Server enables you to share, store, access, and automatically protect your pictures, videos, music, and files.

Now that you have completed Setup, here is how to get started with Windows Home Server.

Explore the Windows Home Server tray icon on your home computer

When you install the Windows Home Server Connector on your home computers, the Windows Home Server tray icon is added to the task tray.

Windows Home Server tray icon on a home computer

The Windows Home Server tray icon notifies you about the health and status of Windows Home Server and your home computers. This includes notifications about user account password mismatches, software upgrades, and backup status. The tray icon also provides quick access to the Windows Home Server Connector software via a right-click menu.

The color of the tray icon represents the status of Windows Home Server:

Healthy tray icon Green indicates a healthy network.

At risk tray icon Yellow indicates an issue that you must attend to soon.

Critical tray icon Red indicates an issue that you must attend to immediately.

Backup status tray icon Blue indicates that a backup is in progress.

Offline tray icon Gray indicates that your home computer cannot contact Windows Home Server.

For more information, right-click the tray icon, click Help, and click the "Windows Home Server tray icon" topic.

Add user accounts

User Accounts icon

Add a user account for each user in your home network. Ensure that the logon name and password of each user matches their logon name and password on all computers in your home network. Windows Home Server has a built-in Guest account that you can enable for guest users on your home network. You can also configure each user’s access to the shared folders on Windows Home Server.

For more information, see Adding a user account.

Organize files into shared folders

Shared Folders icon

Organize your files in the built-in shared folders: Music, Photos, Software, and Videos. Use the Public shared folder to store files that every user on your home network can access. You can also create new shared folders and customize user access to them.

For more information, see Shared Folders.

Configure backup

Computers and Backup icon

Your home computers are automatically backed up each night when you install the Windows Home Server Connector software on them. But you may want to customize the hard-drive volumes to back up, or the folders to exclude from the backup.

For more information, see Configure Backup.

Customize Server Settings

Server Settings icon

You can customize your Windows Home Server Settings. For example, you may want to customize the following settings:

  • Password policy

    You can set the User Accounts Password Policy to Medium, Weak, or Strong. The default policy is Medium, which requires passwords to be at least five characters long. You can change this to Weak (no passwords required) or Strong (complex passwords that are at least seven characters long), depending on your preferred security level.

    For more information, see Setting User Accounts Password Policy.

  • Media sharing

    You can stream video, music, and photos from Windows Home Server to devices on your home network by using Media Library Sharing.

    For more information, see Media Sharing.

  • Backup Time

    The Backup Time is when Windows Home Server performs automatic backups and maintenance.

    You can adjust the period of time when Windows Home Server performs automatic backups and maintenance. The time period that you choose must be a least one hour long and can be up to 23 hours long. The default settings are Start Time: 12:00 AM and End Time: 6:00 AM.

    For more information, see Changing the Backup Time.

  • Remote Access

    You can configure everything you need to access your Windows Home Server Web site from the Internet.

    At a minimum you must configure the following items:

    • Enable connectivity to the Web site.

    • Configure router port forwarding.

    You should also configure an Internet domain name to uniquely identify your home server on the Internet. For example, you could register the name smithfamily.homeserver.com and use that name to connect to your Windows Home Server Web site.

    For more information, see Remote Access.

For additional content specific to Windows Home Server, see the Microsoft Web site at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=85098.