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Share Files Between Mac and PC

by Mrinal Saha
Share Files Between Mac and PC

If you are following my updates on Instagram, then you may have noticed the MacBook, which I bought a few weeks back. And the first problem I faced with my new MacBook was, How do I transfer files to new computer, i.e., From Windows to Mac.

Watch this Video Tutorial (recommended)

Related: How to share files between two PC using LAN cable

Since you are reading this, I am sure you are facing the same problem of sharing data between PC and Mac. So let’s explore our options:

  1. Pen drive: Too slow and tedious to transfer big files
  2. External Hard drive: Good, but not everyone has that
  3. Dropbox/Bit torrent sync: Not really an option as it consumes too much bandwidth

So the only thing we are left with is LAN cable/WiFi that can transfer a huge chunk of data at the good speed and is also feasible. So let’s find out, how to share files between Mac and PC using WiFi or LAN cable.

Requirement :

  1. Windows PC (xp/7/vista/8/8.1)
  2. Mac
  3. LAN cable or WiFi router

Follow the steps to share files between Mac and PC

Step 1: Connect MAC and PC under the same network

To connect both of them to same network, you can either use physical LAN cable or WiFi router. If you have LAN cable then both the end of the cable to RJ45 jack of your PC and MAC. But since new MacBook don’t have LAN port in them, you can connect your PC and MAC under same WiFi network as well.

Connect MAC and PC under same network

If you have both option available, then I will suggest using a LAN cable to connect PC and MAC because the wired connection is faster.

Step 2: Configure setting in Windows computer

Once both these computer is on the same network, we will have to make the computers talk to each other by enabling sharing. For reason security file sharing feature is turned off by default. So we will have to make some changes in the settings of both computers. Let start with Windows’ PC first.

2.1 Turn on sharing and disable password protection on your windows computer by going to your control panel > network and sharing options > Advance sharing options > All networks.

Turn on sharing and disable password protection on your windows

Note: For simplicity, we are turning OFF password protection but do revert the changes once you are done, to prevent future misuse.

2.2 Take a note of your Windows computer’s name, we will need it later.

computer name in windows

2.3 Create a shared folder that acts as a common folder linking your PC and MAC. To do this create a new folder ( or select you existing folder that you want to share with your MAC) and right-click >properties > Sharing > Share > Everyone > Add > Share.

create a shared folder in widows

Step 3: Configure setting on MAC

Now that your Windows computer is ready to share it’s data, you will have to set your MAC in such a way that it can receive data from Windows.

To do this on your MAC, under the Finder window > select Go from the top menu > click on ‘Connect to server’ from a drop down options. Alternatively, you can press CMD+K shortcut.

In the new window, type in smb://Computer’s name. Since my computer’s name (step 2.2) is Mrinal. I will type in smb://Mrinal.

Note: Computer name is case sensitive.

connecting mac to windows

For authentication, it will as you to enter your Windows’ username and password but since we have remove password protection (step 2.1), you can easily login as guest and have the same access.

connecting mac to windows using shared folder

And that’s it, both the computers are now connected to same network and are ready to send and receive files. To share/transfer files drag and drop the files in ‘shared folder’ on your Windows computer and the content will get sync in Mac.

Share Files Between Mac and PC

You may be thinking

How much data transfer speed will I get?

It varies from system to system, quality, type of files and even whether you are using LAN cable or WiFi. You get more speed when you use a cable over WiFi for data transfer. But to give you a rough idea the speed is around 30-40 MB/s.

How much data can I transfer between PC and Mac?

There is no limit; you can transfer as much data as a drive can hold, i.e., usually 100’s of GB’s.

Which LAN cable should I use Crossover or Straight Through?

Theoretically, Crossover is used to connect two same type of networking device like PC to PC whereas Straight though are used for different type of networking component for instance PC to the router, etc.

So ideally one should use crossover LAN cable to connect PC and MAC, but most modern networking device can work automatically configure themselves to a different cable. Therefore you can use any LAN cable, i.e., Straight trough or crossover if you are having a computer that you brought within 4-5 years.

Is there any data transfer software that can do all this?

Yes, If you don’t like to go through all this connection setting then you can download file transfer software know as Anysend to share data between your PC and MAC. Off course, you will need to connect both computers to same WiFi network for this to work tough.

Credits: Top Image modified from Pixabay


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