Sharing Mac Files with Windows Machines

How to share Mac files with Windows machines

Reviewed by Bil Hays 04/22/2013 04/29/2014

Macs running OS X can access windows shares directly from Finder.  Under the Go menu, choose Connect to Server, and then use the following url:

smb://machine.name.here cifs://machine.name.here

Then you’ll be prompted for the following:

  • Name: Your windows id
  • Password: Your windows password.

Then you should be given a list of shares to choose from.

Sharing out files is a bit more complicated.  Macs run a unixy OS, and the version of samba that comes on the Macs is geared to authenticating local users.  So if you want to set up your mac so that you can connect to it from a windows machine, all you need to do is enable Windows sharing in the Preferences, Sharing pane, and select your account.  If you’re trying to open up access to other users in the department, you’ll need to dig into Samba a bit more.  There’s some information on this up at http://www.ibiblio.org/macsupport/swat/index.html.

An alternative worth considering is Fuse and SSHFS, see http://code.google.com/p/macfuse/ for more information.  Basically, Fuse and SSHFS allow any machine running ssh (remote login in macspeak) to share files via mounted disk.  So you can create an account for whomever you wish to share files with, and they use an SSHFS client or SFTP client to connect to your mac.

If you want to share files with a large number of users in the department, you can do that as well, if you use Directory Assistant to bind your mac to Active Directory.  If you wish to pursue that option, please contact help@cs.unc.edu.