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Using the AppleTalk networking protocols, you could easily mount drives connected to one networked Mac to any other Mac on the network.

The whole process was a breeze, with almost no complex setup required. In this article, we're going to concentrate on setting up your Mac to share files with a Windows-based computer, using the SMB file sharing system. In order to share your Mac's files, you must specify which folders you want to share, define the access rights for the shared folders , and enable the SMB file sharing protocol that Windows uses.

Names and text displayed on your Mac may be slightly different from what is shown here, depending on the version of the Mac operating system you're using, but the changes should be minor enough not to affect the end result. The left side of the Sharing preference pane lists the services that you can share.

Enable SMB to Share Files Between Your Mac and Windows

Place a checkmark in the File Sharing box. You should now see a green dot next to text that says File Sharing On.


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The IP address is listed just below the text. Make a note of the IP address; you will need this information in later steps. With file sharing turned on, you can now decide if you wish to share user account home folders. When you enable this option, a Mac user who has a home folder on your Mac can access it from a PC running Windows 7 , Windows 8, or Windows 10, as long as they log in with the same user account information on the PC.

Place a checkmark next to the account that you wish to allow to share files.

macOS Sierra: Set up a Mac to share files with Windows users

You'll be asked to enter the password for the selected account. Provide the password and click OK. Repeat the above steps for any additional users that you want to have access to SMB file sharing. Click the Done button once you have the user accounts you wish to share configured.

Each Mac user account has a built-in Public folder that is automatically shared.

Set Up Your Mac's File Sharing Options

You can share other folders, as well as define the access rights for each of them. Make sure the Sharing preference pane is still open, and File Sharing still selected in the left-hand pane.


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In the Finder sheet that drops down, navigate to the folder you wish to share. Click the folder to select it, and then click the Add button. Folders you add to the shared list have a set of defined access rights. By default, the current owner of the folder has read and write access; everyone else is limited to read access.

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The Users list will display the names of the users who have access rights. Next to each user's name is a menu of available access rights. The list includes individual users as well as groups, such as administrators.

You can also select individuals from your Contacts list, but this requires the Mac and the PC to use the same directory services, which is beyond the scope of this guide. Tip Use the Share tab in Windows File Explorer to send files and folders to the computers on your network. References 5 Indiana University: What is Ethernet? Turn Sharing On or Off Windows: About the Author David Wayne has been writing since , with technology columns appearing in several regional newspapers in Texas.

How To Share Your Mac’s Folders With a PC

Accessed 19 February Wayne, David. Small Business - Chron. Retrieved from http: