It’s quite common for windows users to share files and folders over the network. Homegroup makes access of files and folders between the connected device easy.
Users face difficulty when it comes to joining mac to their windows network or when they want to share a windows folder with mac network.
All that one needs to do is follow few steps and you are good to go.
Before we start with steps, ensure:
Both mac and windows should be on the same network.
1. Network discovery on windows PC – On a windows 10 PC – Start menu < settings < Network & Internet < network and sharing center < change advanced sharing settings….
Sharing options for different network profiles…
Ensure that current profile is private &
network discovery is turned on.
Also Turn on File & printer sharing.
Guest or Public: Leave that turned off.
All networks: Public folder – enable this if you need Public folders under users in C drive to be shared.
Password protected sharing – Turn on.
Save the changes.
2. Enable sharing wizard on PC – Windows explorer windows < view tab< From top right options < Folder and search options < view tab in the Folder options window < check – Use sharing wizard ( under advanced settings). Apply changes.
3. Create a login user on PC – steps to do that are – search in the search box – “Netplwiz” < Add a user in the user account window that opens < From bottom link – sign in without a Microsoft account. < Create a local account< Enter details user name and password and Finish and close the window.
4. Adding user account created to shared folder– Right click on folder to be shared< properties> sharing tab< share button< From the drop down select the profile added in above step. < Add it. Permission level set to “read” by default, you may change that. Click on share and close the window.
5. Sharing a folder on windows PC – Right click on folder to be shared< properties< sharing tab<Advanced sharing< Check box “share this folder”. Make changes in permission level like allow full control (if needed), Apply & proceed.
Above changes and settings were for windows PC – steps demonstrated were for windows 10 in particular but these are more or less same for other version of windows.
Let’s learn the steps for mac…
Enable file sharing: Apple menu < system preferences< check sharing (enable) < options- check mark : sharing files and folders using smb.
If your mac does not have SMB then you may check AFP – Apple file protocol. Done.
That’s it. Now we can access folder shared from PC on mac…
Open Finder: On left side you will notice- shared menu and you should see your windows PC on the network there.
Folder on the PC can be accessed by entering the user name and password we created in step 3 above. Well you can access the PC shared folder here.
Note: If you are not able to access folder or despite following steps you are not able to access the folder shared by PC on your mac, then restart both your PC & mac.
If in step 1 above – under All networks, if you enabled – Allow public folder to be shared then that would be visible here too. This makes the public folder of windows PC discoverable.
Congratulations: You are done with access of PC shared folder on Mac.
How to access complete mac on windows PC
- On Mac – From Apple menu < System preferences < Sharing < Options button< check mark Apple (your mac name may be different), mine is Apple).
- On windows PC – Go to network from explorer window, this is where windows PC’s are visible. You will find your mac system appearing there. You can access it by entering user name and password of your mac. If there is no password, you may leave that blank. Now you can access all the mac system files and folders right from your PC.
Above steps made the complete mac visible from windows PC on the network
How to access shared folder of mac from PC
- Create new user on mac- This needs to be created for folder sharing purpose. From Apple menu< system preferences<Users & groups < unlock the access by entering user name and password. From bottom left – click on + sign button to add a new user < from drop down against new account < select “sharing only”. Give it some name, create a password, save lock and proceed.
- Sharing under system preferences pane – from + sign below- select the folder that you wish to share. Add user and group from next + button besides that < select the new user that is created in above step< select and save.
- Change permission- From little triangle on the right on sharing window, you may need to provide read & write option.
- Options window under file sharing – Uncheck your mac name because we don’t want to give access of complete MacBook to PC. Checkmark the new sharing folder name that you see just below that. This may prompt you to enter password ( the one created for sharing under users and group window).
- On windows PC – Go to network from windows explorer window, you will see MacBook there. Enter the user name and password created under users and group, hit ok and you will be able to access the folder shared from Mac for windows PC in the network.
Above steps allow only for access of shared folder not the complete mac.
Thumb rule if you face any issue:
- Restart both mac and PC after critical steps for changes to take effect.
- Disable windows PC firewall temporarily
That was end to end explanation of how to share folders between mac and PC. This brings mac to the windows network or you may say bring windows to the mac network.