The most common way to share data with Windows and Mac includes Slack, Google Drive and good old’ flash drives. However, there is a better way if both computers are connected to the same WiFi network. In this article, we’ll set up shared folders on Mac and access it from a Windows computer. Let’s begin.
If you want to share the folders on Windows and access it from a Mac instead then you can follow the steps in this article on how to access Windows Shared folders on a Mac.
Step 1. Enable File Sharing and Share a Folder on Mac
Setting up and Accessing Shared folders is relatively easy and you don’t need to install any additional hardware. However, it would be even more seamless if you assign these devices a static IP so that you don’t have to re-establish a connection whenever your router assigns a new one.
Open ‘System Preferences‘ on your Mac computer and click the Sharing icon.
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Click File Sharing and add all the folders you want to share by clicking the + button under Shared Folders as shown below.
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After this, you can add users and the level of control they’d have on the shared folders. If you’re unsure then leave it on the default and enable the Server. Click Options to open the dialog box.
Mac supports both SMB and AFP servers where the latter is built for Apple devices only. I plan on sharing the folder between both Mac and Windows so I checked both servers but you can enable just SMB and it would work just as fine.
Check the box next to “Share files and folders using SMB”. Check the box next to your account and click Done.
Now, click the ‘File Sharing’ box on the left pane and then lock the settings by clicking on the padlock icon in the bottom left side of the window.
Before you exit this window, note down the smb server address and the name of the shared folder, we’ll need this to access the shared folder on Mac.
Read: How to Setup Shared Folders, Users, Permissions on WD NAS
Step 2. Access Shared folder On Windows
To access the shared folder on a Windows computer, we’ll map the drive to the computer. Open Windows Explorer and right-click on This PC icon.
Select ‘Map Network Drive’. Even though you can access the shared folder by running this command “\\IP-ADDRESS-OF-MAC” in the Run dialog box, we’ll map it so that it shows up in Windows Explorer and you don’t have to run the command every time you want to access the network drive.
Now, you’d need the IP address we note down earlier while enabling the shared folder on Mac. Type ” \\YOUR-MAC-IP\SHARED-FOLDER”. Click finish.
It would prompt you to enter the credentials and map the drive after successful authentication. Now, you can access the shared folder and files in it.
That was a quick way to set up sharing and accessing Mac shared folders from a Windows computer. It is a convenient and reliable way of accessing large files over the network when you don’t move around a lot. We use it for sharing Rendered video files that reduce the dependency on Google Drive and flash drives. Go ahead map the drives and let me know if you face any problems. You can comment down below or reach me on Twitter.