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OS X Mavericks: Connect to shared computers and file servers on a network

Connect to shared computers and file servers on a network

You can connect to shared computers and file servers on your network, including Mac and Windows computers that have file sharing turned on, and servers that use AFP, SMB/CIF, NFS, and FTP.

Note: To connect, you need the computer name or network address for the shared computer. If the shared computer is a Mac with file sharing turned on, it’s easy to find this information. On the shared Mac, open Sharing preferences, then select File Sharing. The address appears below the “File Sharing: On” indicator, and looks similar to this example: afp://17.212.167.33/

If you can’t locate a shared computer or server or connect to it, it may not be available, or you may not have permission to connect to it. Contact the person who owns the computer or the network administrator for help.

Connect to a computer or server by browsing

  1. Open a Finder window, and find the shared computer’s name in the Shared section of the Finder window sidebar. You may need to click All to see all the shared computers.
  2. When you locate the shared computer or server, select it, then click Connect As.

    If you are connecting to a Mac that has screen sharing turned on, and you have the appropriate privileges, you can also click Share Screen.

  3. Select how you want to connect to the Mac:
    Option Description
    Guest: You can connect as a Guest user if the shared computer permits guest access.
    As a registered user: Connect to the other Mac using a valid login name and password. If “Only these users” is selected on the other Mac, make sure the login name you’re using is on the list of allowed users.
    Using an Apple ID: Connect to the other Mac using an Apple ID. You must be set up in Users & Groups preferences with this Apple ID, on both this Mac and the other Mac.
  4. If necessary, enter your user name and password, then select volumes or shared folders on the server.

    In some cases you need the network area or workgroup for the shared computer. If you don’t have this information, contact the computer’s owner or your network administrator.

    To make it easier to connect to the computer in the future, select “Remember this password in my keychain” to add your user name and password for the computer to your keychain.

Connect to a computer or server by entering its address

  1. In the Finder, choose Go > “Connect to Server.”
  2. Type the network address for the computer or server in the Server Address field.

    For information about the correct format for network addresses, see:

    Network address formats for shared computers and servers

  3. Click Connect.
  4. Select how you want to connect to the Mac:
    Option Description
    Guest: You can connect as a Guest user if the shared computer permits guest access.
    As a registered user: Connect to the other Mac using a valid login name and password. If “Only these users” is selected on the other Mac, make sure the login name you’re using is on the list of allowed users.
    Using an Apple ID: Connect to the other Mac using an Apple ID. You must be set up in Users & Groups preferences with this Apple ID, on both this Mac and the other Mac.
  5. If necessary, enter your user name and password, then select the server volumes or shared folders.

    To make it easier to connect to the computer in the future, select “Remember this password in my keychain” to add your user name and password for the computer to your keychain.

Reconnect to recent servers

Here are some ways to make it easy to reconnect to shared computers and servers you frequently use:

  • Choose Apple menu > Recent Items, then choose from the list of recent servers.
  • In the Finder, choose Go > “Connect to Server,” then open the pop-up menu to the far right of the Server Address field and choose a recent server.
  • Add shared computers, network areas, and workgroups, to the Finder sidebar. Select the item, then choose File > Add To Sidebar or press Control-Command (⌘)-T.
  • Add a shared computer or server to your list of favorites. Choose Go > “Connect to Server,” enter the network address, then click Add (+).
Last Modified: May 8, 2014
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  • Last Modified: May 8, 2014
  • Article: PH13779
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