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OS X Mountain Lion: Share your files

Share your files

You can set up your computer to share files and folders with other users on your network. You can share your entire computer with everyone, or allow specific users access only to certain folders.

  1. Open Sharing preferences if it isn’t already open, and then select the File Sharing checkbox.
  2. To select a specific folder to share, click Add (+) at the bottom of the Shared Folders list, and then locate the folder, select it, and click Add.

    The Public folder of each user with an account on your computer is shared automatically. To keep a folder from being shared, select it in the Shared Folders list and click Delete (-).

  3. By default, any user set up on your Mac in Users & Groups preferences can connect to your Mac over the network. A user with an administrator account can access your entire computer.

    To give only specific users access to a folder, select the folder in the Shared Folders list and click Add (+) at the bottom of the Users list. Then do one of the following:

    • Select a user from Users & Groups, which includes all the users of your Mac.

    • Select a user from Network Users or Network Groups, which includes everyone on your network.

    • Select a person from your contacts. Create a password for the person, and then click Create Account.

    • Click New Person. Enter a name and password for the person, click Create Account, and then select the person from Users & Groups.

  4. To specify the amount of access a user can have, select the user in the Users list, and then click the triangles next to the user name and choose one of the following:
    Option Description
    No Access: The user can’t see or copy files from the folder.
    Read & Write: The user can see and copy files to and from the folder.
    Read Only: The user can view the contents of the folder but can’t copy files to it.
    Write Only (Drop Box): The user can copy files to the folder but can’t view its contents.
  5. To change the protocol used for sharing files, click Options, and select AFP or SMB.

    If Windows users connect to your computer to share files, make sure SMB is selected, select the On checkbox next to the name of each Windows user that will share your computer, and enter the password for that user.

OS X is set up by default to allow guest access to shared folders on your computer. To turn off guest access, deselect the “Allow guests to connect to shared folders” checkbox in the Guest Account pane of User & Groups preferences.

Last Modified: Aug 8, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Aug 8, 2013
  • Article: PH11197
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