Apple is getting more popular every day (I love my MacBook and it’s selling in record numbers this year), but most people still have a Windows PC at home. If you use both Mac and PC on the network, chances are good that you will want to exchange files between Mac and PC. You can do this in one of two ways: access Mac files from Windows PC, or Windows files from Mac.
Today I’m going to talk about how you can share and access files on Mac on your PC. The process is pretty simple and should work as long as you’re on the same network and your Mac isn’t overly configured with security settings.
The first thing you need to do is turn on file sharing on your Mac. Here’s how to do it.
Enable file sharing in Mac OS X
First, go to the System Preferences menu item by clicking the Apple icon in the upper left corner, and then click System Preferences.
Now click the Share icon where we need to go to configure all the sharing options.
Before you start, make sure to click on the little gold padlock icon in the lower left corner, otherwise everything will turn gray and you won’t be able to make any changes.
Now go ahead and check the file Sharing box under Service to enable file sharing. This one dialog box pretty much contains all the settings and options for sharing. Starting at the top, you can change your computer name to something less complex to make it easier for Windows users to connect. If you don’t, OS X will automatically give it a short name so that Windows can recognize it. Click the Change button to change the name.
You will also see the IP address of the computer specified when you clicked the Options button. In shared folders, a shared folder is shared by default. Press the little + (plus) button to open access to any folder on your hard drive. In the “Users” section, you can see the standard permissions and edit them as you see fit.
All you need to do is click the Options button and you will see a section at the bottom called Windows File Sharing. To connect from a Windows computer, you must check the box next to your username and enter your password. For some reason, OS X has to store your Mac account password in a less secure way to connect from a Windows machine. If you don’t do this step, you will be prompted to enter your username and password from your Windows computer, but this will just give you an error even if you enter it correctly.
That’s all from the Mac side. Now it’s time to try connecting from your Windows computer.
Connect to Mac with Windows
There are several ways to do this. One way is to simply open File Explorer and click Network. You should see a Mac computer listed.
If Windows asks you to enable network detection, do so. Now when you double click on the computer name, the login dialog should appear. Enter the same username and password that you entered earlier in the Windows File Sharing dialog box in OS X. If your Mac user account had spaces, don’t worry, because Windows can handle it just fine.
If everything went well, you should now see a few shared folders on your Windows computer!
Another way to connect is to use the “Run” command from the “Start” menu. Menu. Click Start, then Run and enter the IP address or computer name:
Now you get the same dialog box, where you need to enter the username and password for your Mac account. You should now be able to copy files from Windows to Mac and vice versa.
The only parameter that can cause problems is the firewall in OS X. Everything should work fine with the firewall enabled with default settings, but if you go to firewall and then to Options firewall, you can block all incoming connections. If this item is checked, file sharing will no longer work.
Just uncheck this checkbox in your firewall settings and you should be good to go. If you have any other problems sharing Mac files with your PC, please leave a comment and I’ll see if I can help. Enjoy!