Software & Apps

How To Share Files Between Mac and PC

How To Share Files Between Mac And Pc

Sending files from one Mac to another is pretty easy using AirDrop. However, we can’t say the same when sharing files between Mac and a Windows PC. Still, this doesn’t mean it is impossible.

To share files between Mac and Windows PC, you’ll need to ensure both devices are connected to the same network and find out the IP address assigned to both devices.

On your Mac, do the following:

  1. Turn on file sharing and enable the “Share Files and Folders Using SMB” option on your Mac.
  2. Press Cmd + K, enter smb://(type the IP address of the Windows PC) , and press the Return key.
  3. Click “Registered User” and input the credentials of the Windows PC, then click “Connect“.
  4. Go to the Finder app’s “Shared” section and transfer files from your Windows PC to your Mac.

On your Windows PC, do the following:

  1. Turn on “File and Printer Sharing“.
  2. Launch the “File Explorer“.
  3. Type “\\” on the address bar, then input your Mac’s IP address.
  4. Right-click on your Mac’s Shared Folders and select “Map Network Drive“.
  5. Choose a drive from the list that appears, then transfer files from your Mac’s shared folder to your Windows PC.

This article contains a detailed guide on sharing files between a Mac and Windows PC. Note that the methods below only work if both computers are connected to the same local network.

How To Share Files From a Mac to Windows PC

To share files from your MacBook to a Windows PC, you need to turn on file sharing and enable Server Message Block (SMB) on your Mac. Note that this method only works if both computers are connected to the same local network. 

Follow the steps below to set up file sharing on your Mac.

  1. Click on the Apple menu, then select “System Preferences“.
  2. Under “System Preferences”, click on “File Sharing“.
  3. Ensure that the “File Sharing” check box is enabled.
  4. Click the Options button on the far-right section of the screen.
  5. Click on the checkbox next to “Share Files and Folders Using SMB“.
  6. Under “Windows File Sharing“, enable the checkbox next to the user whose files you intend to share.
  7. Input the user’s password, then click “Done“.
  8. Under the “Sharing” window, select folders on your Mac that you intend to share with a Windows PC.
  9. Check Mac permissions applied on the folders.
  10. Note down your Mac’s IP address.

To access Mac files on a Windows device, follow the procedure below.

  1. Click on the Windows Start menu to locate and launch the File Explorer.
  2. Go to the address bar section, type “\\“, and input your Mac’s IP address
  3. Input the same credentials you entered on your Mac.
  4. All the folders you added to your Mac’s Shared Folders and Shared Users lists will appear on File Explorer.
  5. You’ll need to map the network folder to copy or moves files from your Mac’s Shared Folders.

How To Share Files From a Windows PC to Mac

The Windows PC controls the network access and shares its resources in this method. 

You need to enable Network Discovery on your Windows PC for this method to work. To do this, follow the steps below.

  1. Launch the Start menu and open the Settings app.
  2. Click on “Network & Internet“.
  3. Select “Ethernet” or “Wi-Fi“.
  4. Under “Related Settings”, click on “Change Advanced Sharing Options“.
  5. If you’re using Windows 11, click “Advanced Network Settings” on the Network & Internet window, then select “Advanced Sharing Settings“.
  6. Expand the “Private Network” menu.
  7. Select “Turn On Network Discovery” and “Turn On File and Printer Sharing“.
  8. Click on “Save Changes“.

Now that you’ve enabled Network Discovery on your Windows PC, you can now begin setting up file sharing on your Windows PC. You can either decide to share individual folders with your Mac or have complete control over the sharing and create multiple shares with Advanced Sharing.

Follow the steps below to share individual folders with your Mac.

  1. Open the Windows Start menu and select File Explorer.
  2. Find the folder you want to share and right-click the folder’s name.
  3. Under the folder’s properties, click on “Sharing“.
  4. Under “Network File and Folder Sharing“, click on “Share“.
  5. On the “Network Access” tab that appears, select who you want to share the folder with and their permission level.
  6. Lastly, click on the “Share” button.

On the other hand, follow the steps below to have complete control over the sharing process and create multiple shares with Advanced Sharing.

  1. Open the Windows Start menu and select File Explorer.
  2. Find the folder you want to share and right-click the folder’s name.
  3. Under the folder’s properties, click on “Sharing“.
  4. Click on the “Advanced Sharing” button.
  5. Enable the check box next to “Share This Folder“.
  6. Click “Permissions” to determine the permission level you give each user on the network.
  7. Click “Apply” > “OK“.

The following steps involve how to access the Windows PC files and folders on a Mac.

  1. Launch the Finder app on your Mac.
  2. Click “Go“, then “Connect to Server“.
  3. Type smb://[IP address], then press the Return key. The IP address should be the one assigned to your Windows PC.
  4. Input your Windows credentials, then click “Connect“.
  5. Go to the Finder app’s “Shared” section and drag and drop your Windows PC files to your Mac.

Conclusion

Sharing files between Mac and PC can be a bit complicated. Given that Windows PCs and MacBooks have in-built file-sharing support to transfer files over a network protocol, you can use this to your advantage. We hope this article has helped you learn how to share files between Mac and PC without needing a third-party app.

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