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Archived - Mac OS X: Sharing your files with non-Apple computers

Learn about the ways Mac OS X lets you share files with non-Apple operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Sharing from your computer

Mac OS X offers various forms of file service so that other operating systems can connect to your computer with built-in tools or common application programs (such as FTP clients and web browsers). Forms of file service include:

  • File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
  • Web Sharing (HTTP)
  • Secure Shell (SSH)
  • Windows File Sharing (SMB - Mac OS X 10.2 and later)


To share with other computers, simply turn on the service you want to use in Sharing preferences (in System Preferences), then use the matching client software to connect to your Mac from the other computer.

When you enable Windows file sharing on Mac OS X 10.2 or later, a Windows computer can connect directly to your Mac.

If you enable FTP or Web Sharing, the other computer could connect with a common Web browser or FTP application.

You can enable Secure Shell (SSH) by selecting "Allow remote login" in the Sharing pane. SSH is a more advanced method frequently executed through the command line, though some graphical SSH clients exist.

Connecting to a non-Apple computer

Using Mac OS X's Connect to Server command (in the Go menu), you can connect to several common types of file services, including Windows (SMB).

You can connect to an FTP host using many web browsers, or FTP client software. With a web browser, begin your URL with "ftp://" (instead of with "http://").

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Mar 17, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Mar 17, 2014
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