On a desktop or at home, members of a group may have different devices, a Windows PC or notebook, and Mac computers. See below how to share files between Windows and Mac and don’t let this turn into a task disorder.
How to set up Windows to share with Mac
To share folders containing files, the process is simple, with a slight difference between versions of Windows.
- Windows 7, 8, 10: Right-click the folder icon and choose “Share with”. Select “Specific people” and then follow the on-screen instructions;
- Windows Vista and XP: Right-click the folder icon and choose “Properties.” Click the “Shared” tab and follow the on-screen instructions.
In both cases, it is important to note that the Internet connection firewall is disabled. If you can’t turn off firewall, make sure tcp port 445 is open. More information can be found in the Manual and Windows Help Icons. The computer needs to be restarted after the setup process.
If you’ve never set up your Windows computer for sharing, open “Network and Sharing Center” and follow the on-screen instructions to set up a new network.
Information needed for your Mac
Mac computers need some information to access the Windows computer, workgroup name, user, and shared folder passwords. Let’s see how to find the information within Windows.
- For the name of the computer workgroup and the computer itself, go to Control Panel and then “System”;
- For user account names available on your computer, go to the Control Panel, and then click “User accounts”;
- For the IP address, click the Wi-Fi icon in the system tray, click the Network and Internet Settings, then click “Properties.” The IP address will be listed as iPv4 address.
How to connect to Windows computers on your Mac
There are a few ways to connect to a Windows computer via a Mac, let’s take care of the three most used.
- In the Mac Finder, choose “Go” → “Connect to Server” and click “Explore”;
- Find the computer name in the “Shared” section of the Finder sidebar and click it to connect. You may need to click “All” to view all shared computers;
- When you find a shared computer or server, select it and click “Connect As”;
- In some cases, the network area or workgroup will be required for the shared computer, we show above how to get the information;
- If necessary, enter your username and password and select the shared volumes or folders on the server;
- Passwords for Windows computers and servers are up to 14 characters long;
- To make it easier to connect to your computer in the future, select “Remember this password in my keys” to add your username and password to your computer in your keys.
- In the Mac Finder, choose “Go” → “Connect to Server”;
- Enter the network address for the computer in the “Server Address” field, using one of the following formats:
- Follow the instructions provided on the screen to enter the workgroup name and username and password, then select the shared folder you want to access.
By Ethernet cable
- Connect your Mac to your Windows computer using a standard Ethernet cable. If your Mac doesn’t have an Ethernet port, try using a USB-Ethernet adapter;
- Connecting the two computers will create a small local network, which consists only of the two computers;
- On your Windows computer, turn on file sharing;
- Make sure that the Internet connection firewall is disabled on your Windows computer. If enabled, make sure the TCP 445 port is open to allow sharing connections;
- On your Mac, choose → “Connect to Server” and click “Explore” or enter your computer’s network address in the “Server Address” field.
It sounds like a lot of work, but it’s not that much. Sharing files between Windows and Mac is basically putting both computers connected between them or on a shared network. Good luck!