Mac to Windows File Sharing If you have a mixed network of Mac and Windows PC’s, chances are good that you’ll be wanting to move files between the two operating systems. The easiest way to share files from Mac OS X to Windows is to enable Samba support for a given user account on the Mac. Samba (SMB) is a separate sharing option within OS X’s File Sharing panel, here’s how to enable it and then how to connect to a shared Mac from a networked Windows PC.

Enable Mac to Windows File Sharing in OS X

  • Launch “System Preferences” and click on “Sharing”
  • Click the checkbox next to “File Sharing” to enable it
  • Once File Sharing is turned on, select it and then click on the “Options…” button
  • Click the check box next to “Share files and folders using SMB (Windows)”
  • Now click on the checkbox next to the user accounts you want to share or access from Windows – when you click to enable SMB sharing on a user account, you will be asked for that users password
  • Click on “Done”
Enable Windows File Sharing in Mac OS X With SMB enabled, we now can connect from the Windows PC to the Mac. If you already know the Macs IP address you can skip this first part of this and go directly to the Windows PC to access the shared users directory.

Connect to the Mac File Share from a Windows PC

  • Back at the ‘Sharing” system preference panel, take note of your Macs IP address as seen below, discard the afp:// portion and pay attention to the numbers in the format of x.x.x.x
Share files from a Mac to Windows PC
  • From the Windows PC connecting to the Mac:
    • Go to the Start menu and choose “Run” or hit Control+R from the Windows desktop
    • Enter the IP address of the Mac in the format of \\ and choose “OK”
    • Enter the shared Mac OS X users login and password and click on “OK”
Access to the shared Mac directory and user files appear as any other folder within Windows. You’re free to copy or access individual files, or perform more substantial tasks like moving an iTunes library from a Windows PC to a Mac. This process of connecting to the Mac should be identical from Windows XP, Vista, and Win 7, and enabling file sharing on the Mac is the same in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and 10.7 Lion. What about the .DS_Store files? Depending on the Windows PC settings, you might see a bunch of .DS_Store files on the Mac file system. These are normal but if you’re peeved by them, you can disable .DS_Store files by entering the following defaults write command in OS X’s Terminal: defaults write DSDontWriteNetworkStores true If you want them back, just switch that to ‘false’ at the end.

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